In Oslo, on 12 October 2007, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Noble Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore Jr.
The IPCC is the body set up between the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organisation to monitor and report on the science of global warming. Al Gore Jr. is the former US vice-president who failed narrowly to beat George W Bush in 2000, and is now a campaigner on climate change issues.
The Nobel Committee explained their decision to award the peace prize to environmentalists- "Extensive climate change may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states." (Nobel Peace Prize 2007-Press release)
By awarding half the prize to Al Gore, the committee reveal their real attitudes to the environment and to peace, no less than when Henry Kissinger, principal weaver of the carpet bombing of Cambodia and other atrocities, was given the same prize in 1973, prompting the musical satirist Tom Lehrer to say that "political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize."
As we wrote in no. 143 of our US paper, Internationalism: "Despite all the media glorification celebrating Gore as the pre-eminent champion of the environment, Gore, like the rest of the capitalist class, is an environmental hypocrite. In light of his acknowledgment that Kyoto was never meant to impact seriously on GHG emissions, Gore's denunciation of the Bush administration's attitude on Kyoto and global warming rings hollow. Furthermore, while Gore voiced support for Kyoto in 1997, the Clinton/Gore administration did nothing to push for ratification of the treaty. A bi-partisan ‘sense of the Senate resolution' opposing the treaty because it exempted China and India from emissions limits and ‘would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States', passed by 95-0. Clinton/Gore administration never submitted the treaty for ratification, and the U.S. has not abided by the guidelines. Thus, no matter how much Gore vilifies Bush for not embracing Kyoto and no matter how clumsy Bush is in how he talks about the environment, the rejection of Kyoto has been a consensus policy position of the American bourgeoisie that began on the Clinton/Gore watch. Bush's policy is a continuity of the position set by Clinton/Gore in 1997".
Al Gore defends US national interests because he is a bourgeois politician and does not wish to get rid of the main cause of the destruction of our world: capitalism and its relentless pursuit of profit. By the same token, the "violent conflicts and wars" referred to by the Nobel Committee are caused by the frenzied competition between capitalist nation states.
Wars and environmental destruction are a normal part of capitalism in its period of decomposition. Each section of the bourgeoisie is forced into conflict to maintain its position or face defeat. The spirit of global co-operation is impossible in such a system.
Only the efforts of the working class to destroy capitalism are worthy of such an award, but the turkeys in Oslo will never be voting for Christmas. Ash 31/11/07