Friday, October 12, 2007

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2007

Nobel Peace Prize has usually been awarded to the individual contribution for making the world a more peaceful place. The list of prominently distinguished prize winners include Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mohamed El Baradei and other distinguished names as well.

In 2007, the prize was awarded to Albert Al Gore and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The committee explained the awarding decision to those two entitities in the following way:
"for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"

IPCC has put together scientific knowledge in quite a comprehensive form while Al Gore has pushed policymakers to take action concerning global warming. Establishing scientific consensus on global warming is a difficulty. Regarding the definition of the consensus is that the latter is the agreement on particular issue or type of issue where everyone agrees with it, but in broader terms, nobody believes in. In 1992, professor Richard S. Lindzen wrote a fascinating article, a compelling truth about global warming where he wrote:

"The simple picture of the greenhouse mechanism is seriously oversimplified. Many of us were taught in elementary school that heat is transported by radiation, convection, and conduction. The above representation only refers to radiative transfer. As it turns out, if there were only radiative heat transfer, the greenhouse effect would warm the Earth to about seventy-seven degrees centigrade rather than to fifteen degrees centigrade. In fact, the greenhouse effect is only about 25 percent of what it would be in a pure radiative situation. The reason for this is the presence of convection (heat transport by air motions), which bypasses much of the radiative absorption."

Source: Richard S. Lindzen: Global Warming, The Origin and Nature of the Alledged Scientific Consensus (link)

In the course of global warming debate, there are several sceptics. On the issue of global warming, the understanding of science is crucial to the analytical predictions and estimates in the future about this particular issue. In addition, it is essential to separate science from non-science. Remember what Mr. Gore said in the interview on ABC when Mr. Stephanopoulos confronted him with the fact that the best estimates of rising sea levels are far less dire than he suggests in his movie:
"Scientists don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence."

Economist published a well-argued and notable article, judging whether Al Gore truly deserved to get a Nobel prize. In fact, the question is since when a movie which could hardly be identified as a documentary can serve as a tool for decision-making over such a distinguished award as a Nobel prize for peace. Clearly, the term "peace" includes effort that support the institution of peace in relation to preventing conflicts and suggesting solutions to solve particular complex problems. For instance, if there is a vast empirical evidence on the positive correlation between the decline of regional conflicts and free trade, then free international exchange is, in fact, the contributor to peace.

In Guardian, Bjorn Lomborg wrote a sizzling article on the Nobel prize for peace in this year. Have you read Mr. Lindzen's article Don't believe the hype? Here is a link to the article where professor Lindzen summarizes the fact that there is actually no consensus on global warming:

"So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.

First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a "moral" crusade.

Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce--if we're lucky."

2 comments:

Libertas said...

I'm becoming less and less impressed with the "experts" and the Nobel awards.
Paul Krugman for economic?
Yaser Arafat for peace?
Al Gore?

It's all become one sick joke.

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