Gore Peace Prize Win Called 'Sad Day for Nobel Legacy'

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:23 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - While supporters of Al Gore and his stance on global warming celebrated the former vice president's win of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, skeptics of man-made climate change dismissed the award as another example of the Nobel committee naming someone "Liberal of the Year."

"Al Gore should probably get a prize for most travel in a private jet, but not the Peace Prize," said Myron Ebell, director of global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). He also called the award, which was shared with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), "a sad day for the Nobel legacy."

Giving Gore the annual prize was "an unfortunate and misguided move by the Nobel committee," Ebell said, because "the energy-rationing policies he espouses would perpetuate the poverty and human misery associated with political instability and conflict."

Timothy Ball, a retired climatologist who leads the National Resources Stewardship Project, told Cybercast News Service that Friday's award "just makes a travesty of the whole concept of Nobel Prizes."

"This tells me everything I need to know about Nobel Prize winners," he said. "I notice they just gave one to the guy who discovered holes in the ozone layer - but there are no holes in the ozone."

Ball also said that previous Prize recipients unfairly "trumpet" their wins. "They say 105 Nobel Prize winners say that global warming is a problem," using the concept that "if you got a Nobel Prize in one very specialized area, somehow that makes you clever in all the areas."

"That's rubbish," said Ball.

The scientist also had a basic question on Gore receiving the prize for his efforts to combat global warming: "What on earth has that got to do with peace?"

In a statement congratulating Gore on Friday, Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, addressed that issue.

"In the Nobel committee's words upon awarding the 2004 Peace Prize to Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai: 'Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment,'" Pope said.

"The committee clearly sees the work of Gore and the IPCC in a similar light, as those who work staving off the conflicts by uniting strange bedfellows behind the common cause of protecting humanity's only home," he said.

Pope added that Friday's announcement "underscores the need for more of our leaders to take a stand and meet the challenge of global warming head-on."

However, Iain Murray, director of projects and analysis at CEI, told Cybercast News Service that any action taken regarding global warming must be considered carefully.

"If the reason the Nobel Prize committee gave Gore the Peace Prize was for drawing attention to the possible future conflicts associated with climate change, then they really should have taken a look at what Gore's policies would do to the world, if they would actually improve or worsen the situation," he said.

Murray pointed to "The Challenge of Global Warming: Economic Models and Environmental Policy," a study done by Yale University economist William Nordhaus.

It estimated "how much global warming will cost the world if unchecked, assuming that the U.N. IPCC that he shared the prize with are completely correct in all their assumptions," said Murray.

If the world's temperature were to rise by three degrees, "that would cause $22 trillion in damages," Murray said. "However, Gore's policies will reduce that damage from warming to $10 trillion, but at a cost of $34 trillion.

"So Gore's policies will cost the world $44 trillion, twice the cost of unchecked global warming," he added. "If global warming is going to cause disruption and conflict, what will Gore's policies do when they're twice as damaging?"

Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, told Cybercast News Service that she believes "this whole global warming thing will never live up to the catastrophic predictions."

"Even if it turned out to be a correct theory, we're not going to have a cataclysm in the next three decades" as climate change alarmists claim, she said. "Of course, Al Gore will be retired by then, so it won't matter."

Ridenour also said she wasn't impressed by Friday's announcement.

"I think the way the Peace Prize has to be looked at is liberals anointing another liberal as Liberal of the Year," she said. "With that award, the committee determining the winner tries "to make a statement, and it's always a statement about liberalism."

"In that sense, who better than Al Gore?" Ridenour asked. "He's pulled the wool over a lot of people's eyes in the past year" through his lectures and the film "An Inconvenient Truth."

As Cybercast News Service previously reported, several global warming skeptics said on Thursday that the former vice president deserves an award - but for his efforts as a propagandist on the issue of climate change.

On Friday, CEI Senior Fellow Mario Lewis criticized Gore's film because it "purports to be a non-partisan, non-ideological exposition of climate science and moral common sense. In reality, it is a colorfully illustrated lawyer's brief for global warming alarmism and energy rationing."

Regarding "An Inconvenient Truth," Ridenour added that "liberalism, like marriage, is the triumph of hope over experience" because liberals "write things that aren't true and hope it'll turn out fine - and they won't get caught."

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