Strong Words from Nobel Laureates

Former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, accepted his Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on Monday. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, as part of the three-day official program, Gore challenged the American leadership to listen to the climate demands of the people.

The American people and people in other countries - as the truth of this climate crisis begins to be more widely known - are going to demand that political leaders take action. They have to find, somehow, the courage to resist the special interests, the special pleaders, the concerns that often have more influence than they should, and instead respect the demands of the human future. – Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize news conference
The high profile climate advocate still has no plans to run for president in the upcoming U.S. election, according to the Al Gore 2008 Draft Campaign website. Gore’s official website makes no presidential noises either.

Gore, however, was not sparing in his political advice to the leaders of, particularly, China and the United States, during his Nobel lecture:

The world needs an alliance – especially of those nations that weigh heaviest in the scales where earth is in the balance. I salute Europe and Japan for the steps they've taken in recent years to meet the challenge, and the new government in Australia, which has made solving the climate crisis its first priority.

But the outcome will be decisively influenced by two nations that are now failing to do enough: the United States and China. While India is also growing fast in importance, it should be absolutely clear that it is the two largest CO2 emitters – most of all, my own country – that will need to make the boldest moves, or stand accountable before history for their failure to act.

Both countries should stop using the other's behavior as an excuse for stalemate and instead develop an agenda for mutual survival in a shared global environment. – Al Gore, Nobel lecture

Indian Co-Laureate, Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri narrowed the focus from governments to the individual.
I think it would be naïve, as indeed some people have been making us believe or wanting to make us believe, that merely developing technologies is going to be the answer. You also need to bring about lifestyle changes. And I don’t think this means that we have to go back and start living in caves. Those lifestyle changes merely imply that you have to be conscious of the impacts of your actions. – Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Nobel Peace Prize news conference
The ceremony coincides with talks in Bali over the Kyoto Protocol. According to the Associated Press, both Gore and Pachauri plan to fly to Bali on Wednesday.

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  • Posted on Dec. 11, 2007. Listed in:

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