By Alexander Carpenter
As you've heard, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize went to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Spectrum Blog would also like offer congratulations to La Sierra University's M.Div. student Jared Wright who created the blog: Adventist Environmental Advocacy.
Al Gore said that he accepted the Nobel Prize "on behalf of all the people that have been working so long and so hard
to try to get the message out about this planetary emergency." Thus, kudos to Jared and everyone else who worked to integrate faith with the science of global warming.
The Times adds: "In New Delhi, the Indian climatologist who heads the panel, Rajendra K.
Pachauri, said, that science had won out over skepticism."
Thoughtful Adventism, like good citizenship, means always asking questions, but it also requires thinking critically about answers and action. As information increases, we all must form habits of critical appraisal of facts and their authorities.
Some might object to this Nobel Prize going to a polarizing figure, but that may say more about our current climate of ideological antagonism. There's been some debate, although few substantive disagreements over the science of human-caused global warming on the Spectrum Blog. Unfortunately there remain folks still pish-poshing every major scientific body in the world and the 2,000 scientists of the IPCC, who only recycle fossil-fuel industry press releases and redacted governmental reports. But as the great physicist Richard P. Feynman warned: "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
Thus, from now on: if someone wants to quote the novel opinions of Michael Crichton or tobacco industry scientists moonlighting for the coal industry or complain that Gore's house is too big, they will have to do more than comment. They will have to marshal evidence, engage the research, and go beyond arm chair skepticism. They will also have to state their parameters for being convinced by the evidence. I have a sticker on my laptop that says "Question Authority," but really anyone can ask questions -- as most children do. Mature citizenship means prizing solutions, even though they might cause -- or stop -- change.
Al Gore responds:
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.