Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Looks like speculations turned out to be true, and Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize early this morning, “for their 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.”

The IPCC and Al Gore will split the $1.5 million prize, which will be awarded Dec 10 in Oslo.

I personally couldn’t be more thrilled for him, and believe it was the obvious choice. I am glad to see political + scientific activism be justly rewarded.

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Got some criticisms of “An Inconvenient Truth” to lob? Try reading my “Two Points on An Inconvenient Truth” which defends some of them. “Point One” is a discussion as to whether “An Inconvenient Truth” belongs in a science classroom, and “Point Two” is regarding the criticisms of Stoat as to Al Gore’s carbon footprint.


  1. #1 Susannah
    October 12, 2007


  2. #2 Johan
    October 12, 2007

    Very much expected and well deserved, although those Norwegians certainly like to stretch the definition of “peace.”

  3. #3 Tom B
    October 12, 2007

    “Very much expected and well deserved, although those Norwegians certainly like to stretch the definition of “peace.””

    They stretch the definition of chemistry, too, sometimes, including biochemical pathways and that kind of thing.

    Gore totally deserved this, as did the Burmese leader under house arrest from a few years ago. Some awards have been pretty dubious: Henry Kissinger?

    My opinion: climate change is the most serious problem mankind is facing, and, as a dad of young kids, I’m NOT convinced we’re going to “fix” it in time. My kids could end up living in “Waterworld”, but without Kevin Costner.

  4. #4 swampcracker
    October 12, 2007

    I was more than gratified to hear of Gore’s award. I consider it a form of vindication after the years of vilification he had received from the fringes. Early this morning, like 7:00 AM, the blathering pundits from the right were already on network TV bad-mouthing Gore, global climate change, and the Nobel Committee. It is as if there is a cultural and economic war against science, reason and rationality. And it won’t end anytime soon, I am afraid to say.

  5. #5 Nathan Myers
    October 12, 2007


    The valid criticism I have read, not of the movie or book but of the research behind it, is that the climate models are unable to predict changes in cloud cover. Indeed, it is very poorly understood what affects cloud cover; inconveniently, it may be strongly affected by solar surface activity or, even less conveniently, by cosmic ray flux.

    What this means is that the nice curves showing where we’ll be in thirty years may be meaningless, if in fact (as seems certain!) cloud cover patterns are actually affected by changes in climate. Maybe when a threshold is reached ten years off, cloud cover goes sharply up, and we plunge into a global ice age. Hopefully more likely, cloud cover patterns shift to different latitudes, bollixing the numbers (and agriculture). Neither is cause for complacency.

    Pollyanna might suggest higher temperatures could generate proportionally increased global cloud coverage, naturally capping temperature rise (but still bollixing agriculture). We haven’t seen any evidence of that yet, which we should have if it were true.

  6. #6 janet
    October 13, 2007

    Yes well deserved! The questions that are being raised by some crack me up.

    Like how do peace and climate change go together, which I read at I for one don’t understand a question like that and why it’s so hard to figure out?

  7. #7 Jussi Rytkönen
    October 14, 2007

    Global warming aside, i think peace prize should be given to someone who supports peace in every possible way, and from the little i know it seems Gore is just another warmonger like so many other top politicians. For example, he has been strong supporter of even harsher sanctions on Irag (before 2003 war) leading to death of hundreds of thousands. But then again people like Henry Kissinger have got Nobel Peace Prize already before Gore, so i hope no one relly gives any real credit to the price anymore.

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