The fall of the Nobel Prize

by Lene Johansen on October 12, 2007

I am ashamed to be Norwegian today. The Norwegian Nobel Committee chose to give the prize to a shyster and a bureaucratic ministry of truth. I am not sure if I am more furious or more ashamed.

There were plenty of worthy candidates, doing actual work to build peace between quarreling parties and reducing standing armies, but this years choice was a populist attempt to influence the political discourse on climate change.

Earlier today, I was wondering if the motivation was to get more Hollywood glamour in their lives. The old world glamour of royalty, heavy crystal, and gowns must be getting old, but this is the political cynic in me speaking.

The press release states that Al Gore is one of the world's leading environmental politicians, even though the administration he was the vice president of did not even manage to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. His one achievement was a public policy stunt full of scaremongering and misrepresentation.

The press release states that IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus, which is true. This consensus is created by having experts sift through solid research and write up summaries based on personal judgment.

The threat of global warming is used to justify further intervention in the daily lives of regular people. Legitimizing this movement has already lead to human suffering all over the world. More energy rationing will increase the danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states. We know this. History has proven this. Energy rationing will increase the threat to the security of mankind.

The Committee has, willfully or inadvertently, become instruments for a political movement that will result in human suffering and grief. None of the Nobel science prizes have ever been given to climate related research. The Committee however, states in the press release that indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness. They ought to leave evaluation of research on energy to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. They are entrusted with the Nobel Prize in Physics after all.

The press release also says that the precautionary principle should be utmost on our minds. The kind of society that will result from applying the precautionary principle is a stagnant society with constant conflicts over scarce resources. How does that promote peace and the security of mankind?

The Nobel Committee has a long tradition for being controversial; it has repeatedly awarded the price to controversial candidates in an effort to reach a hand out to people building bridges for peace and prosperity. This decision was not controversial; it was trite.

I am saddened and angry that Norwegian politicians have devalued the Nobel Peace Prize.

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