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September - October 2007

Lunch with Condor #19

Nobel Peace Politics Prize

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Although it was a few years ago, my lunch with a California Condor, on a rocky ledge in the Grand Canyon has just been added to the Hiking Grand Canyon section of my blog. 

   Lunch with Condor #19[November 11, 2004] It is Veteran's Day, and there are no classes, which means I don't need to stick around in my office and can, instead, go hiking.  It was cool day, but not cold.  There was sun early, but quite a bit of overcast later.  And, despite some early missteps, it was a day to remember. . .

Read the full story - Lunch with Condor #19 in front of the Battleship

Sunday, October 14, 2007

   Nobel Peace Politics PrizeI am sure that the question is being asked far and wide, if not across the globe, then at least across the net - "How can it be that Al Gore is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?"  Exactly what has he done to promote peace?  I really can't think of a single thing.  Even a more broadly countenanced standard of "humanitarianism" eludes the former veep.  After all, did he use the bully pulpit of his Vice Presidency to rail against the genocide in Rwanda?  Well, no.  Has he been touring the world raising consciousness about the human tragedy of Darfur?  No, but maybe it's on his "to do" list.

     Certainly, Al Gore is not in the same category as last year's winner, Muhammad Yunus, who won for his pioneering efforts to create a micro-loaning bank that has helped the desperately poor, in Bangladesh, pull themselves out of poverty and, in making meaningful productive contributions, raise the standard of living in their localities.  That is humanitarian.  Indeed, the Nobel announcement for Gore cites "[his] efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."  Since everything that Dr. Yunus has been doing for the past thirty years has been to help people increase their contribution to "man-made climate change," one is left to wonder whether Dr. Yunus' prize will have to be returned.

     Upon hearing of Gore's selection, my spouse wrote to me and asked, "Does the Nobel Peace Prize mean nothing?" to which I responded, "Yes, it means nothing."  Here's a list of what is wrong with the Nobel committee's statement:

Measures are needed to counteract changing climate.  No.  Absolutely not.  That is the point that is made, over and over again, by Czech President Václav Klaus, most recently in a speech before the United Nations.

Man-made sources are significant contributors to climate change.  There is no evidence for this.  Most of the warming that has occurred over the last hundred years occurred before 1940, before humans made any significant contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere. 

Al Gore is helping to "disseminate" knowledge about man-made climate change.  No.  He is disseminating his own message, but that he continues to duck debate proposals on this topic (see JunkScience and DemandDebate) tells me that he isn't interested in clearing the air on this topic.

     So, let's call this prize what it really is - The Nobel Politics Prize.  Indeed, if Gore gets his way, in terms of a command and control system that crushes economic progress and development, he'll make Rachel Carson's contribution to world-wide genocide seem like small potatoes.  Which is probably what we'll be eating.

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