Oct. 15, 2007
By Linda Lockhart
Former Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were announced as joint winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of manmade climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it. The Nobel Committee said Gore is "probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."
In its Today's News section, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported the news has resonated deeply on American campuses as academic scientists have provided much of the research and documentation on climate change, and students have increasingly organized around the issue. The Chronicle quoted Anthony D. Cortese, a leader of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, as saying that the IPCC has made its mark on American universities because "its scientific reports were primarily based on the scientific work of people in colleges and universities."
We asked some members of the Ohio University community for their reaction to the announcement. Here's what they had to say.
Sonia Marcus, sustainability coordinator
"In my mind there is no doubt that no single individual around the world has done as much to create awareness of the issue of climate change."
"I know there are some people who question the appropriateness of his selection because he's not a scientist and hasn't dedicated his entire career to it. But he has had a special role in publicizing and galvanizing the movement here and abroad."
Ed Newman, recycling and refuse manager
"I think it's great. Our country has been a poor leader and, in fact, an instigator of global warming. It is good to see there is leadership in other countries that sees the importance of the issue and recognizes the efforts being made."
"He (Gore) did a lot to get the issue out in the forefront of people's thinking. It's something positive out of this country. I hate the direction our current leadership has taken as a world citizen. It is good to know a leader from here is doing this work."
Danny Young, student living at EcoHouse, mechanical engineering major
"It's great to have a public figure associated with the issue of climate change."
Robert Moats, assistant professor of biological sciences on the Chillicothe campus
"Al Gore probably would not have won the Nobel Prize had he been elected president. There would have been too many other pressures and priorities."
Amanda Annis, sophomore philosophy major and president of the Sustainable Living Organization
"I definitely believe climate change is a huge issue and one of the major issues facing the world today. It needs to be in the forefront of all kinds of discussions. The importance of the topic shows through the award, but I can't say whether he deserves it more than someone else."
Scott Miller, director for energy and environmental programs and manager of the Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment (CE3), Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
"The announcement is an affirmation that climate change is a tangible and enormous global concern. I'm obviously delighted that the added attention given to climate change through the announcement gives attention to the environment. But there is a lot of work to be done. There's a lot of science and policy that comes to bear."
"It's an interesting award because Mr. Gore is a policy maker that has been linked with 2,000 scientists from around the world. That linkage is the critical nexus between policy and science."
Nick Stanich, senior environmental biology major
"His message is fantastic. But I think him winning the Nobel Peace Prize is absurd. Just because he put together a lot of information that others had researched and then made a movie doesn't qualify him for this. There has to be some more novel work being done."