A Prize for Mr. Gore and Science
The New York Times | Editorial
Saturday 13 October 2007
One can generate a lot of heartburn thinking about all of the things that would be better about this country and the world if the Supreme Court had done the right thing and ruled for Al Gore instead of George W. Bush in 2000. Mr. Gore certainly hasn’t let his disappointment stop him from putting the time since to very good use.
Yesterday, the Nobel committee celebrated that persistence and awarded the Peace Prize to Mr. Gore and a panel of United Nations scientists for their efforts to raise awareness of the clear and present danger of global warming.
The committee said that the former vice president “is probably the single individual who has done most” to create worldwide understanding of what needs to be done to halt the damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions. It credited the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for creating “an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.”
What the citation didn’t mention but needs to be said is that it shouldn’t have to be left to a private citizen – even one so well known as Mr. Gore – or a panel of scientists to raise that alarm or prove what is now clearly an undeniable link or champion solutions to a problem that endangers the entire planet.
That should be, and must be the job of governments. And governments – above all the Bush administration – have failed miserably.