Alfred Barnard Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and innovator born in 1833. As the inventor of dynamite, he amassed a great fortune through the manufacture and sale of armaments. The Nobel Prize was established through his will in1895. Every year since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace.
It is one of the most impressive accolades any public servant can receive. The fact that the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” its Academy Award, and Vice President Gore’s activism led to this incredible honor is tantamount to the Nobel Committee endorsing his work. Giving him the Nobel Peace Prize places Vice President Gore in the company of greats like Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964, Mother Teresa In 1979, Lech Walesa in 1983, and Nelson Mandela in 1993.
Through this award, the international community is saying to us, “Environmental concerns are very important and America needs to step up to the plate of international leadership!” Although we would hardly place Gore in the same category as King or Mother Teresa, the award adds cache and credibility to the former Vice President’s agenda.
Ironically, last week, I asked my readers to consider taking practical steps to frame the debate on the environment. I suggested that we consider weaning the nation off of foreign oil as a way of starting down a balanced approach to both pollution and reducing CO2 emissions. There are a myriad of approaches to energy reform and environmental policy reform that conservatives can take that will help move these issues forward in a balanced manner. My greatest concern is that we will wait too long to attack this issue.
Little did I know that the Nobel Prize would be awarded to Gore and the IPPC days after my last column. If the Peace Prize causes the voting public of our nation to move environmental issues to the top of the list of public concerns, they will mandate that a solution be found and implemented.
Fortunately for the nation, environmental activists have not yet gained enough public attention for them to unveil their “solutions”. As these activists wait for their “moment,” conservatives should use the time we have to develop incentive-based approaches to reducing CO2 emissions. Even increasing the use of nuclear energy as a source of power within the US should not be taken off the table.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
Obligatory Video: Obama and Raúl Castro Shake Hands at Memorial Service For Nelson Mandela | Daniel Doherty