This is something I’ve been wondering about for years, and it’s really begun to seriously bother me lately: what do you actually have to do to win the Nobel Peace Prize?
The science prizes I can understand. Make a discovery, something that either adds greatly to what we know, or overturn something we thought we knew that ends up being bogus.
But the Peace Prize? Peace isn’t exactly a term you can define scientifically or objectively–which is really the crux of the problem. Nonetheless, I think it can be demonstrated that the Peace Prize just isn’t reliable as an award.
Certainly there have been worthy recipients–Albert Schweitzer and Norman Borlaug being among the greatest. But what about the fact that Mohandas Gandhi never received one? Could there have been a greater man of peace in all of history?
And what about the numerous unworthy recipients? How did they give it to Cordell Hull, when his actions helped deny the saving of over 900 Jewish refugees, many of whom went on to die in concentration camps? How did they give it to Henry Kissinger, because he gave “peace” to Vietnam after the Cambodia bombings, the kidnappings and murders of Operation Condor, and the invasion of Cyprus?
For that matter, why was it given to Yasser Arafat, whose crimes are well-documented? What, you can get the Nobel Peace Prize if you simply stop killing people? A serial killer could get it by not killing anyone else? And that argument doesn’t even apply to Arafat–he deliberately violated, continuously, the very peace agreement that supposedly merited him this award.
And now, this year, it was given to Al Gore. This, in my opinion, makes the Nobel Peace Prize nothing more than an irrelevant joke.
Let’s not get into the controversies around Global Warming here. For the sake of the argument, let’s assume that every single thing in An Inconvenient Truth is absolutely 100% factually correct. How, by any possible definition of the word, has it achieved even an iota of peace? How many people has it saved from the horrors of war, famine, and hatred? How many people, fearfully huddling under makeshift shelters, now get to step blinking into the sun once again because of this movie? How can the same goodness and peace brought to billions of people (yes, billions) by Norman Borlaug in any way be appropriately applied to a cheesy movie based on a bad PowerPoint presentation?
Can anyone explain to me how this isn’t just a bunch of people, who happen to be on the Nobel committee, trying to prop up their political hero? How is this in any way anything other than politics?
I say that this sullies once again the name of the Nobel Peace Prize, damages the good name of Alfred Nobel, and denigrates the work done by the real peacemakers of the world and the legacies they have left behind.