Friday, October 12, 2007


Congratulations to the IPCC and Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The award fully fulfills Nobel's intent as expressed in his will

"The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiology or medical works by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not."
R.K. Pachauri"s statement on behalf of the IPCC
While receiving this news about the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for this year, I would like to pay tribute to the scientific community, who are the winners of this award. The experts and scientists are the backbone of the IPCC and they provide the knowledge, which has contributed to the success of the IPCC.

I would also like to thank the governments of the world who support and facilitate the work of the Panel. I hope, as the Chairman of the organisation, I am articulating the sentiments of the entire scientific community in acknowledging the enormous appreciation implied in the award of the Nobel Peace Prize and this would energize all the scientists and experts involved in the IPCC to do even more in the future.
Gore's statement
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.

Since Eli cannot resist irony, it is also interesting to note that
On November 27, 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will in Paris. When it was opened and read after his death, the will caused a lot of controversy both in Sweden and internationally, as Nobel had left much of his wealth for the establishment of a prize! His family opposed the establishment of the Nobel Prize, and the prize awarders he named refused to do what he had requested in his will. It was five years before the first Nobel Prize could be awarded in 1901.


Anonymous said...

Yes, and it is exceedingly rare for a scientist or scientific organization to get a Peace prize for the science.

When was the last time that happened?
Unless I've missed something:
1970 Norman Borlaug

was the last (and maybe the only other) case...

Anonymous said...

An environmentalist won it in 2004, Wangari Maathai:

...The Norwegian Nobel Committee has challenged the world to broaden the understanding of peace: there can be no peace without equitable development; and there can be no development without sustainable management of the environment in a democratic and peaceful space. This shift is an idea whose time has come.

I call on leaders, especially from Africa, to expand democratic space and build fair and just societies that allow the creativity and energy of their citizens to flourish...

She has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in biology and a PhD in veterinary science.

Anonymous said...

Though maybe she won it for her political activism.

Anonymous said...

Holly: thanks for the pointer.

I went back to her bio, and she certainly had an awesome track record, and was quite deserving of the award (more than some) but I think on balance, I'd agree more with h.

In a post elsewhere, I perhaps did a better job distinguishing between a scientist getting a Peace Prize for science, or for something else. Linus Pauling got two Nobels: one for chemistry, and the peace prize for his nuclear test ban efforts.

To a modest extent, that might apply to Borlaug (and IPCC), in that there is some politics, but a large amount of science.

Of course, Borlaug (in his 90s, still going at it) proves that not every 90+ scientist goes the way of Frederick Seitz...

Anyway, gettign a Peace Prize for since is still a rarity, one way or another.

Marion Delgado said...

This is validation. Onward.

(Monbiot was really good on democracy now! and I think Heat is going to gain interest from this)

Anonymous said...

Actually John, "h" was me also, posting in haste with a second thought. The wiki link seemed to stress the political activism more, though it does say the prize was awarded for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace."

And I agree, Marion, a Nobel prize sounds good and hopefully the money will do some good.

EliRabett said...

Eli went looking for pictures of Al Gore and R.K. Pachauri that showed them as happy as they must be tonight. Their joy and the joy of those who support and work with them is well deserved.