In fact as far as "divisiveness" and "conflict" goes, the whole issue drives a deep wedge between developed countries and those who would like to develop, but who will be kept from becoming rich by the politicisation of the very technologies needed for their development. By making an international crime out of attempts to increase production and raise living standards, it sets up possible conflicts, even wars, between countries.
The arrogance and indifference of environmental campaigners towards the suffering in the third world is well known -- reducing greenhouse gases at the cost of trillions of dollars “is one of the least helpful ways of serving humanity or the environment” points out Bjorn Lomborg, and these are trillions "not available for addressing the problems bedeviling the Third World––disease, malnutrition, sanitation, and economic development, the real and pressing needs of current generations that we can solve so easily and cheaply before we try to tackle the long-term problem of climate change, which will be massively expensive and accomplish so little.”
Al Gore and the IPCC have turned the arrogance and indifference of well-fed environmentalists into public policy.
As Julian Morris explained on Al Jazeerah last week, in effectively demanding that developing countries reduce their use of fossil fuels, Gore, the IPCC and (by endorsing their calls) the Nobel committee are essentially "promoting global disharmony." Said Morris,
Around 1.5 million women and children currently die from the use of dirty fuels, such as wood and dung*. Replacing these fuels with electricity, even from coal-fired power stations, would substantially improve the lot of the very poorest people on the planet – but this is opposed by people who promote restrictions on fossil fuel use.So a prize for "peace" is at least surprising. As John Beralu argues,
this choice, more than any other Nobel Committee selection, marks the end of a 105-year era. In direct contradiction of Alfred Nobel's last will and testament, the selection of Gore essentially means the Peace Prize can no longer be said to be an award for improving the condition of humankind.UPDATE 1: Says Andrew Walden,
An “inconvenient” court ruling was not Gore's only hurdle. Gore had to beat back another last minute challenge -- this one posed by the protests of pro-democracy Buddhist monks facing murder and torture at the hands of Burma’s socialist dictatorship... The Nobel committee has reached a new low by honoring a pompous, self-enriching fraud whose work is aimed largely at keeping the third world in poverty by blocking industrialization. Any Burmese monks able to escape the slaughter should immediately demand a recount.UPDATE 2: And the Wall Street Journal has a list of dozens -- indeed thousands -- of others who the Nobel Committee had to overlook in awarding the gong to Gore, "men and women [who] put their own lives and livelihoods at risk by working to rid the world of violence and oppression. Let us hope they survive the coming year so that the Nobel Prize Committee might consider them for the 2008 award."
*Acute Lower Respiratory Infections are among the leading causes of death for infants and women, and are predominantly caused by chronic inflammation resulting from the inhalation of toxic indoor air pollution, predominantly caused by burning wood and dung – e.g.: Majid Ezzati and Daniel M Kammen (2001) “Indoor air pollution from biomass combustion and acute respiratory infections in Kenya: an exposure-response study” 'Lancet' magazine, Vol 358, pp. 619 – 624.