This a follow up to Georgia's post on reactions to Al Gore and the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Nobel peace prize win. Reactions from America, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa will be included.
We start in America with the reaction by Alex Steffen of world changing who wrote…
Al Gore and the IPCC winning the Nobel Peace Prize symbolizes more than just a head-nod towards some eco-fad — it shows that sustainability has finally moved from the outskirts of activism to the most central halls of authority. Concern for the planetary future is now as credible as it is possible to get. The beginning of the struggle to save ourselves from ecological catastrophe has come to an end and we can begin to see the outlines of the next stage of the struggle.
The idea that receiving a Nobel peace prize means that the person has transcended the local (and sometimes petty) politics of their geographical region is mentioned by two bloggers in two locales, one in America and one in Kenya. In the post ‘For whom the Nobel tolls’ David Roberts discussed the Nobel win and the question of whether Al-Gore should run for president. He points out that
Over the past week, all the U.S. media could talk about was how winning might affect Gore's chances in the U.S. presidential race. To me this demonstrates just how badly our media is misjudging the race, Gore's significance, and our current historical moment.
He lays out why he thinks Al Gore should not run for president, stating (in part)
…it would be a disaster for Gore to enter the race at this point — not because he might lose, but because he has transcended U.S. partisan politics. He has become a figure of global stature, one of a tiny fraternity of private individuals in the world capable of driving historical change from outside the confines of any institution. What many Americans don't realize is that the rest of the world is not distracted by the serial, lurid distractions that compose our political dialogue. Our national conversation is dominated by the resentful bile of a core of nationalist, reactionary, authoritarian ding-dongs, but it's not like that when Gore goes overseas. In other countries, they don't care about his electrical bills or his waist size or his clothing choices or his lack of that most important qualification for leader of the free world, the ability to act like a regular guy.
Gore can't act like a regular guy. He's smart, and he talks like a smart person. He's earnest and committed. He cares. He wants to help save the world.
A discussion in the Kenyan blog ‘Kumekucha‘ about the age of this years’ Nobel peace prize recipients, invariably led to mention of a Kenyan Nobel Laureate who was awarded for her work with the environment, Wangari Maathai. A comment by Taabu stands out…
…Prof Wangari Muta Maathai is a 1940 born making her averagely younger than these years’ Laureates. In my estimation she is one GREAT Kenyan whom we have failed to use to our motherland’s advantage. She is a global citizen still embroiled in sectarian politics. She belongs to all of us. Just here her opening acceptance speech during the Prize’s presentation in 2004:
“I stand before you and the world humbled by this recognition and uplifted by the honour of being the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate. As the first African woman to receive this prize, I accept it on behalf of the people of Kenya and Africa, and indeed the world.”
And we still shamelessly bottle her in our small and petty village politics?
From Ethiopia: Addis Journal asks ‘”What has Al Gore done for world peace?”
In South Africa, congratulations to Al Gore and IPCC are offered by Carl of Greencars.
Ivo, a magazine columnist/journalist does not see how the Al Gore and IPCC win fits with Alfred Nobel's will in starting the prize, saying
For all their entertainment value, how either Al Gore or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change created fraternity between the nations, abolished or reduced standing armies, or held and promoted peace congresses, is beyond me.