Friday, October 12, 2007

The Greening of the Prize

Al Gore, on whom I still have a big ol' boycrush even though his face is as wide as a glacier (according to BOSSY), and the UN's Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Washington Post (I think I read it in the article linked above) raised the point that the Nobel Prize Committee is trending away from conflict resolution and towards people and organizations that promote and work to attain social stability.

I would like to take it a step further and say that the Committee is not merely awarding the prize to those who promote social stability, but also to those who promote stability through environmentally sustainable/beneficial ways. The Nobel Prize Committee is turning over a new, greener leaf.

Al Gore and, 2004 Laureate, Wangari Maathai's green credentials are obvious. Al Gore has become the face of climate change, while Wangari Maathai founded the African Green Belt Movement.

Perhaps, less obvious are the green contributions of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank (2006) and the International Atomic Energy Agency and Mohamed Elbaradei (2005).

Although the IAEA and Mohamed Elbaradei received the Peace Price "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way," nuclear energy is often promoted as a means to lower greenhouse gas emissions and, thus, lessen humankind's impact on climate change. [Greenpeace disagrees.] Hotly debated indeed, but this award could be interpreted as a Green Choice by the Nobel Prize Committee.

Bottom-up economic and social development is the stated reason Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank won the award in 2006. However, the idea of microfinance is used by environmental organizations, such as the International Crane Foundation, to promote socio-economic development as well as environmental protection.

Achieving social stability goes hand-in-hand with the protection and improvement of our environment. If the Nobel Prize Committee continues to reward people and organizations which promote social stability, we will continue to see a greening of the prize.


  1. Fantastic post, Vuboq! I can't add anything more to its perfect greening. I am having my own private Al Gore celebration day.

  2. Big Face = Big Brains.