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Al Gore Accepts Nobel Peace Prize Today in NorwaySalem-News.com
Gore says the human species is confronting a planetary emergency — a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential. But he says there is hope if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.
(OSLO, Norway) - Nobel Prize winner Al Gore made his acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway today, underscoring the message that the earth is at risk, and people need to become active and do what is necessary to reverse negative trends, like global warming.
Gore said he had a purpose that he has tried to serve for many years, and he added that he has prayed that God would show him a way to accomplish it.
"Sometimes, without warning, the future knocks on our door with a precious and painful vision of what might be. One hundred and nineteen years ago, a wealthy inventor read his own obituary, mistakenly published years before his death. Wrongly believing the inventor had just died, a newspaper printed a harsh judgment of his life’s work, unfairly labeling him “The Merchant of Death” because of his invention — dynamite. Shaken by this condemnation, the inventor made a fateful choice to serve the cause of peace."
And so Gore explained that seven years later, Alfred Nobel created this prize and the others that bear his name.
Gore says that years ago tomorrow, he read his own political obituary in a judgment that seemed to me harsh and mistaken — if not premature. But that unwelcome verdict also brought the former Vice President a precious if painful gift: an opportunity to search for fresh new ways to serve his purpose.
"Unexpectedly, that quest has brought me here. Even though I fear my words cannot match this moment, I pray what I am feeling in my heart will be communicated clearly enough that those who hear me will say, 'We must act.'"
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Gore says the human species is confronting a planetary emergency — a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential. But he says there is hopeful news as well: he says we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst — though not all — of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.
He says that despite a growing number of honorable exceptions, too many of the world’s leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler’s threat: “They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.”
So Gore says today, "We dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow, we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now trapping more and more heat from the sun."
As a result, the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong.
We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.
The Nobel Prize winner says that in the last few months, it has been harder and harder to misinterpret the signs that our world is spinning out of kilter.
"Major cities in North and South America, Asia and Australia are nearly out of water due to massive droughts and melting glaciers. Desperate farmers are losing their livelihoods. Peoples in the frozen Arctic and on low-lying Pacific islands are planning evacuations of places they have long called home. Unprecedented wildfires have forced a half million people from their homes in one country and caused a national emergency that almost brought down the government in another."
He says the list goes on and on, and that the very web of life on which we depend is being ripped and frayed.
"We never intended to cause all this destruction, just as Alfred Nobel never intended that dynamite be used for waging war. He had hoped his invention would promote human progress. We shared that same worthy goal when we began burning massive quantities of coal, then oil and methane."
In the years since this prize was first awarded, the entire relationship between humankind and the earth has been radically transformed. And still Gore points out, we have remained largely oblivious to the impact of our cumulative actions.
"Indeed, without realizing it, we have begun to wage war on the earth itself. Now, we and the earth’s climate are locked in a relationship familiar to war planners: Mutually assured destruction."
Gore concluded his speech today by saying, "The future is knocking at our door right now. Make no mistake, the next generation will ask us one of two questions. Either they will ask: 'What were you thinking; why didn’t you act?'"
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