Green Peace

This short article, explaining why it was appropriate to award Nobel Peace Prize to people working on climate change, appeared in Slate. It’s archived below.

October 15, 2007
Green Peace
Did Al Gore deserve a Nobel Prize for his work on global warming?

By Stephan Faris

When Al Gore became a Nobel laureate on Friday, it was the second time in four years that the prize for peace had gone green. In 2004, its recipient was Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan politician responsible for planting millions of trees to combat soil erosion. The day after she was recognized, I asked Maathai what reforestation had to do with ending conflict. “What the Nobel committee is doing is going beyond war and looking at what humanity can do to prevent war,” she answered. “Sustainable management of our natural resources will promote peace.”

This year’s award, which Al Gore shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, took Maathai’s sentiment to a global scale. “Indications of changes in the earth’s future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness,” said Ole Danbolt Mjøs, the committee chairman. “There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.”

But does global warming really cause war?

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