Nobel Aspirations

I was pleased to learn that Al Gore and his colleagues at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on promoting awareness that climate change is real and caused by human activity. I share Gore’s position that climate change is one of the most urgent issues that we should be dealing with now and in the near future and appreciate Gore’s willingness to take the heat on this issue. After the 2000 election was taken away from him despite his winning the popular vote, it would have been easy to retreat from the public, but through his hands-on environmental activism and through his more public participation in the documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and in the Live Earth concerts, he has helped to mobilize a wider public on this issue. Here’s hoping that Gore and the IPCC can use the weight of their Nobel victory to influence more people to do what they can to fight climate change.

I think the Nobel Prize and the (slowly) developing efforts to combat climate change potentially put an affirmative answer to the question of whether documentaries can change the world. And, yet, while I admire all that Gore has done over the last six years, I can’t help but wonder what might have been had he (properly, in my opinion) won the presidential race in 2000.  And while it’s certainly tempting to call for Gore to run in the 2008 election, his Nobel victory makes me wonder if he’ll be able to do just as much as an activist and world citizen.

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