Nobel Committee recognizes Environment

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Gore, who actually would have won the 2000 US presidential election were it not for his conceding prematurely to Dubaya after the "spoiled ballots" fiasco in Jed Bush's home state, earlier won an Academy Award for his film An Inconvenient Truth.

Needless to say, American political conservatives have been critical of the film, of the choice of Gore as recipient of the Nobel Prize, and of the abundant inconvenient-to-greed scientific data concerning the undeniable fact of global warming. The inconvenient truth, which dismays liberals as much as conservatives, is that we cannot with impunity continue to abuse the environment.

Liberals, meanwhile, have responded with declarations that Gore should announce his presidential candidacy or that he is proving to be a beneficial influence and should continue on his current course.

The difference, of course, between liberals and conservatives has been the willingness of liberals to accept the unpleasant news and to express concern for the environment. Conservatives, undoubtedly motivated largely by the big business lobby, have denied the facts and ridiculed any who warn of the unwelcome news that we must curb fossil fuel emissions. Those conservatives who have finally acknowledged that the planet is indeed warming, include many who continue to deny the anthropogenic component of this trend.

On the topic of Gore's presentation of global warming predictions, Tim Lambert (Deltoid blog) provides a good summary of scientists' asssessments: Update on the nine alleged errors in An Inconvenient Truth, which is a follow-up on An 'error' is not the same thing as an error.

Problems with denial of global warming continue, typically fueled by partisan political positions or naked greed. Some outspoken deniers of climatologic facts, such as (shudder) Canadian Tim Ball, have been accused of being on the payroll of the energy industry. Recently, the 'framing wars' expanded to embrace global warming information. PZ Myers complains of "a day that will live in inframey" in sympathy with a blog post entitled Matthew Nisbet says entire environmental movement should just shut up in which Chris Clark complains of Nisbet's assumption that Gore did not frame the environmental message to the liking of Republicans. This was in response to Does Gore Contribute to the Communication Crisis?, in which Nisbet blames Gore for the fact that Republic concern about global warming has fallen while that of Democrats has risen. According to Nisbet, Gore ought not to have used 'scare tactics' to convey the message of global warming threats to Republicans.

MSNBC: Warming Signals . Ice at the Edge Interactives : Carbon trade game . The greenhouse effect . Cooling the planet . Eyeing the ice . Capturing CO2 . Melting mountains . Melting mountains .

British Royal Society: comment on Nobel Peace Prize . Climate change controversies: a simple guide .

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