Sunday, October 14, 2007

What follows Gore's Nobel Peace Prize?

What an honor. Following an Oscar and an Emmy, Former Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Politico documents the part of story on everyone's minds...

Former Vice President Al Gore was named joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his environmental activism, likely increasing pressure from his supporters for him to enter the Democratic race for the White House.

Sources say Gore will resist entreaties but will continue to tease by not ruling it out.

Just this week, an unofficial "draft Gore" movement bought a full-page ad in The New York Times — a move that succeeded in amping up the buzz among pundits and operatives.

The announcement boosts Gore's leverage with his party's presidential candidates and the next White House, if a Democrat wins. Now he and his agenda will command more attention.

The former vice president scheduled a news conference for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time in Palo Alto, Calif., at the offices of the nonprofit Alliance for Climate Protection, of which he is chairman. The group receives 100 percent of Gore's proceeds from the film and book versions of "An Inconvenient Truth."

A top Gore adviser said the prize — the latest in a string of awards Gore has won for his environmental work, including an Oscar in February — will not push him into running.

“My sense is that this won’t affect that calculation," said the adviser, Michael Feldman.

"He has said all along he has no plans to run for president. He’s been spending all his discretionary time on the climate crisis. This great honor will further enhance that.”

Gore said in a statement he was "deeply honored" to win the prize.

"The climate crisis is not a political issue; it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity," Gore said in comments e-mailed by his office 44 minutes after the prize was announced at 5 a.m. Eastern time. "It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level."

He said he would donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection.

Denied the presidency in the chaos of the Florida recount of 2000, he now has received what is arguably the most prestigious award in the world.

Gore, 59, shared the $1.5 million prize with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The citation praised him and the U.N. panel for their effort to “disseminate information about man-made climate change” — in the former vice-president's case, most notably with his book and movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."

Kudos from potential rivals

Gore was in the San Francisco area when the Nobel Foundation announced the prize in Oslo.

Democrats are already buzzing about the possibility that he could get a high-level post in a Hillary Rodham Clinton administration, perhaps as a roving ambassador charged with seeking global cooperation on climate change.

Fifteen minutes after the announcement, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was out with a three-paragraph congratulatory statement praising Gore's “prescient and compelling — and often lonely — advocacy for the future of the Earth.”

Friday morning, the home page of Clinton's presidential campaign featured a large photo of Gore in a thoughtful pose and a huge "CONGRATULATIONS!" A tribute says his "dedication and tireless work have been instrumental in raising international awareness about global warming."

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), another leading presidential candidate, issued a statement saying: “By having the courage to challenge the skeptics in Washington and lead on the climate crisis facing our planet, Al Gore has advanced the cause of peace and richly deserves this reward."

On Thursday, Clinton told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann when asked about the prospect of running against Gore: "There isn’t anybody who deserves it more, for the work he’s done for the past 20 years or more on behalf of sounding the alarms in the world concerning global warming."

There was a flurry of speculation on Thursday that Gore would win the Nobel when he unexpectedly canceled some appearances for what Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called "an exciting and urgent mission that could result in a major breakthrough in the fight against global warming."

The Gore camp pushed back against the rumors, saying the former vice president had meetings in Asia which were later canceled.

Gore is also on the board of Apple Computer Inc.; is a senior adviser to Google Inc.; is chairman and founder of Current T, an independently owned cable and satellite television network for young people; and is chairman and founder of Generation Investment Management, a private partnership focused on "sustainable investing."

LINK: Gore's Nobel boosts talk of White House run

In an email, Gore's statement was this...

Dear Joseph,

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--the world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis--a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Thank you,

Al Gore


Brent Budowsky wrote another fantastic essay in response to Gore's victory...

As these words are written the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize has been chosen but not yet announced and for purposes of the future of America the great and inconvenient truth is that this does not matter.

America does not need another prize, we need another president.

Americans deserve a president who aspires not merely to wield power but to use the office of the presidency as the center of action to lift our land to the greatness that was bestowed to us by Americans who came before us.

My hope is that Al Gore is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He deserves it, and it would be a great moment for America and a great statement about the future of the earth.

But America does not need another prize, we need another president. “An Inconvenient Truth” was a brilliant, noble and historic undertaking, but if saving the planet from the ravages that threaten it is our purpose, in a journey of a hundred steps, the film took us one step, not 99.

The Assault on Reason will be viewed by historians as possibly the most sweeping and profound analysis of the troubles of our times, and the most brilliant manifesto of where an American president in the tradition of Roosevelt and Kennedy would lead this land we love.

But America does not need another brilliant book with a compelling program; America needs another president to make it happen.

The concert for the earth was a wonderful and important moment that brought to the attention of the planet the latent idealism and dreams of young people who want to inherit the wind of a better world, not merely the winds for another war, and a statement of generosity and conviction of stars who joined with kids on every continent of the earth.

But now, America does not need another concert, we need a new courage, a new conviction, and a new president to bring out the best of all of us, and make America a force that brings light to the world…

Personally I will support any of the Democrats over any of the Republicans, but does anybody believe that the campaign of 2008 has given any hint of a renewal of American greatness?

In my view, never before in memory have the man, the moment and the magic come together as they come together for Al Gore in 2008.

My hope is that he is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, but whether or not that comes to pass does not ultimately matter.

There is a far higher stake than another honor, another prize and another award, and that is the future of a great country that deserves a remembrance of our past, a renewal of our better angels, a reform of our shortcomings, a revival of our national spirit and unity, and a restoration of our role as the true leader of the free world.
LINK: Al Gore for President

TIME Magazine covered this aspect of the story of well. And, of course, Political Humor did a fine wrap-up of Gore's career. Keith Olbermann weighed in as well.

Congratulations, Vice President Gore.
-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (10/21/07):

LINK: The Daily Show: "Gore and Peace"

LINK: Colbert Report - Enviro-medal Disaster

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