Al Gore is standing by in Oslo this morning (unless he went to Stockholm by mistake), waiting for the Nobel Peace Prize committee to tell him whether he won it.
It's not clear what Al has done to make peace, but the committee often chooses someone who doesn't have anything to do with peace, a vain and foolish fancy of men besotted by vanity. Wise men seek justice. Vain men, the Scriptures warn us, "cry peace, peace, when there is no peace."
Peace is what Al travels the world to disturb, and he's counting on hitting the jackpot. The prize is worth 10 million kroner, and that comes to a cool million and a half dollars, which is a lot more than his Oscar is worth, even if you throw in his Emmy. But Al has projector, will travel, so if you see him coming at you, with projector in hand and Tipper following behind with the popcorn and a CD of his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," take the popcorn.
Al left town yesterday, burning up thousands of gallons of aviation fuel and sending nobody knows how many tons of C02 into the atmosphere to contribute to global warming, just to stand by while the Nobel committee types up the press release, which Al could have read in the Nashville newspaper. Getting the news from a distance is the way the other winners do it. The 10 million kroner won't be awarded until the ceremony in Oslo in December.
The committee may or may not have leaked the news to Al in advance of today's official announcement, but Sen. Barbara Boxer was positively giddy yesterday, like a schoolgirl finally getting the invitation to the senior prom she was waiting for. "I just got a call from Vice President Al Gore," she said in a note to friends. "He told me that he needs to travel tomorrow for an exciting and urgent mission that could result in a major breakthrough in the fight against global warming ... I am really disappointed we won't see Al until next month [but] I'm just thrilled."
The object of her ardor all sublime would join a distinguished list of Nobel peacemakers Martin Luther King, Woodrow Wilson, George C. Marshall, Henry Kissinger as well as a few warmakers with exceptional talent for killing people, including Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho and "the United Nations Peacekeeping Force," which has actually distinguished itself more for raping than killing, though some of that, too. And of course there's Jimmy Carter, whose bungling incompetence doomed the attempt to rescue the Iranian hostages and left several betrayed American soldiers dead in the sand. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, a noble gesture to prove that even malignant mediocrity can have its rewards.
But rain can fall on any parade. A high court judge in London ruled yesterday that Al's movie actually took several convenient liberties with the facts and it can't be shown in British schools without an accompanying warning, like the warning on cigaret packages that smoking can be dangerous to your health. The judge set out nine inconvenient factoids which render the movie dangerous for anyone in pursuit of facts.
The judge was acting on a suit brought by a truck driver with two children; but for the working man the intellectual class would have had us all dead long before now. He told the court the Labor government was trying to "brainwash children with propaganda." Al's movie was unfit for schools, he said, because it was politically partisan, with serious scientific inaccuracies and "sentimental mush." It's not a documentary, but a "shockumentary."
The judge agreed. Al's film is "broadly accurate" about the fact the world is getting warmer almost nobody argues with that but errors have arisen in "the context of alarmism and exaggeration." Almost nobody who has seen Al's movie could argue with that, either. It's just the bowl of mush to warm the heart of the Nobel committee.
n South Carolina. Praise the Lord, indeed.