Confirming the conventional wisdom of the past month or so, Al Gore has jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, thus marking the eighth time a UN agency has won, not including Secretary-Generals or other related prizes. This choice has the benefit of both rewarding the foremost advocate for planetary survival (a sufficient qualification for the Prize if ever there was one) and, as Kevin Drum points, promoting world peace itself:
If Gore does win, I expect it to cause a massive collective seizure among the conservative crackpot brigade, and that would do more to advance the cause of world peace than anything else I can think of.
Indeed. The speculation now is that Gore will use this as a launching pad for a presidential run. I doubt it. Gore’s consistent line on climate change is that it’s a moral issue, not a political one, and nothing would politicize the issue more than for him to enter the race. Moreover, it would lessen the impact of the Prize, making it seem less like the real honor that it is and more like just a campaign boost; that wouldn’t be good for the prize or for Gore.
However, I think the prize will give Gore more sway when he eventually does endorse a candidate. Having newspaper ledes say things like, “Candidate X was endorsed today by environmental activist, former Vice President, and Nobel laureate Al Gore” is undeniably good for Gore’s pick.