Eyes on the prize

Our belated congratulations to Jeff Price, the Chico State University biologist who, as one of the lead authors of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The report, synthesizing the work of some 2,000 scientists worldwide, is the most substantial and authoritative document yet created describing the impacts of global warming.

As everybody knows by now, Price and his colleagues are sharing the honor with former Vice President Al Gore, who can now place the Nobel statuette on his mantle, next to his Emmy and Oscar awards for his film An Inconvenient Truth. As the Nobel committee noted in its citation, Gore “is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted” to combat climate change.

There’s a reason why the right wing in this country hates Al Gore: He’s been correct about so many things.

Conservatives taunted him for supposedly saying he “invented” the Internet, when in truth he never claimed that, only that he was an early advocate of its development. In 1992, George H. W. Bush mocked him as the “ozone man,” but three years later the scientists who discovered the hole in the ozone layer won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Gore also took flak in 2002 for opposing the invasion of Iraq, and more recently he was dissed for his tireless work on climate change.

Flash back to 2000: Gore has won the popular vote for president, but the Supreme Court intervenes in Florida, giving its electoral votes, and the presidency, to George W. Bush. As the New York Times recently editorialized, “One can generate a lot of heartburn thinking about all of the things that would be better about this country and the world if the Supreme Court had done the right thing and ruled for Al Gore instead of George W. Bush in 2000.”

To that we can only say: Amen.