Noble Laureate Gore: The Reaction in Scandinavia


Mostly praise from commenters in the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian media at the decision to award the Peace Prize to former veep Al Gore. Børge Brende, a conservative member of parliament and former Minister of the Environment, who, along with Heidi Sørensen, a member of parliament for the Socialist Left, nominated Al Gore for the prize, told Norwegian media that today "was a big day for the climate." The climate is reportedly thrilled. Ola Mattsson, general secretary of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, disagreed, grumbling to Sweden's TV4 that his group "think it's a little strange to give the prize to a former American vice president." A Swedish vice president, if such a thing existed, would be quite a different story. "The purpose of the prize," said Mattsson, "is to reward people who work for disarmament, and in this context Al Gore has not done anything big for the world." The Danish news website 180 Degrees is the first to interview "skeptical environmentalist" Bjørn Lomborg, who says that awarding the Peace Prize to Gore amounts to nothing more than "political propaganda."

But the best reaction comes from Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute Geir Lundestad, who told Swedish television that Gore's receiving the prize is great…for the Norwegian Nobel Committee: "Its best [if the prize is given to] one person—an organization doesn't arouse as much publicity. But the combination of international politics and a single person is a good one, and it gives us a lot of attention." (emphasis added)

Charles Paul Freund on the Danish academy's campaign against Lomborg here; Ron Bailey's review of The Skeptical Environmentalist here.

I make fun of Al Gore's god-awful book here.

(Tip of the cap to Billy)

NEXT: Congratulations to Al Gore

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  1. Can we make this the last Al Gore post of the day?

  2. No

  3. Algore invented global warming hysteria.

    But at least he doesn’t spend $400 on a haircuit, eh Edward?

  4. MM,

    You might want to consider editing that post. It’s filled with errors.

  5. The climate is reportedly thrilled

    And Gaia creamed her jeans.

  6. x,y
    I found a typo. And you will be happy to know that it has been fixed.

  7. Yeah, but what did James Inhofe say?

  8. When an evolutionary biologist wins the Nobel, make sure you pass on the press release from the Discovery Institute, ok Michael?

  9. “… the combination of international politics and a single person is a good one, and it gives us a lot of attention.”

    The first priority of an organization, whether it admits it or not, is to increase (or if in trouble, maintain) its power.

  10. How much of this positive reaction can be attributed to an urge to stick it to Bush in reference to Kyoto?

    As an aside, is there anything that can’t be sold over there so long as it’s seen as a way to stick it to Bush? …or is that just my imagination?

  11. nobel peace prize is political.

    in other news, water is wet and the sky is above you unless you’re falling through it in which case OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY G———–

  12. Joe,
    As usual, I haven’t a clue what you’re on about. But thanks for the input.


  13. You probably learned these things in “Earth In the Balance”… and the much, much more popular, “Harry Potter and the Balance of Earth.”

  14. The Nobel Peace prize has been without meaning a least since Arafat won.

  15. As usual, Michael, playing dumb is an integral part of your ability to function.

    That’s ok. There is no logical connection between Bjorn Lomborg and the Discovery Institute. None. At all. So don’t even worry about it.

  16. Think about this, readers:

    either Michael Moynihan is being truthful, and hasn’t the foggiest idea what I was talking about;

    or he actually does get it, and is pretending not to.

    Clearly, this is someone you need to take seriously.

  17. Remember folks, Reason = Corporatism.

    An actual libertarian magazine would not have such an absurdly backwards stance on the global warming issue.

  18. Dan T.,
    Tell us more about what actual libertarians would do. I’m intrigued by your in-depth analysis. I find your ideas interesting and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  19. Dan T. please explain how it would be good for corporations if the earth’s climate indeed collapses? Do they have some secret plan to make money off of it?

  20. Reason = Corporatism

    That word, it pops up a lot here. Did I miss when it became fashionable?

  21. Excelsior!

  22. Wood shavings?

  23. The notion that the peace prize is for disarmament is completely outdated. Dr. Martin Luther King won it in ’64 for his civil rights work. The Nobel committee recognizes that “peace” encompasses justice and security (of all types) for the individual and humanity as a whole.

  24. “The Nobel Peace prize has been without meaning a least since Arafat won.”

    Not to mention the Auden snub!


  26. Joe,
    You have yet to comment on a single on of my blog posts without resorting to ridiculous hyperbole or name calling. So would you prefer that I ignore Lomborg? Should I have quoted the other above? Do you equate someone who believes in global warming (Lomborg) with a think tank that doesn’t believe in evolution? What is your point? I’m not “playing dumb,” I just don’t see the connection…nor, I suspect, would most readers.

  27. Flavor:

    Thanks for the link

  28. So, he rolled over on the recount in Florida and Bush won the election and then ushered in war on the middle east and on the American people. How again did Gore contribute anything to “peace”?!

    Ok, in all seriousness though, could an Al Gore administration have done anything any worse than what BushCo have done? It would be hard to imagine! At any rate, Nobel’s and Oscar’s are definitely overrated these days.

  29. Michael,
    Lomborg has questioned some of the dogma of the environmentalists and has not resorted to hysterics in his approach to global warming. Therefore, yes, in joe’s head he is equivalent to creationists.

  30. JasonC,
    Indeed he has. And his crackpottery was published by that fringe publisher Cambridge University Press, and backed by that obscure Bircher magazine The Economist. Exactly the same thing as those morons who deny evolution…And if you don’t see that, well, you’re just dishonest.

  31. I’m reading this article about Lomborg right now; amongst other things Lomborg is gay and a vegetarian (at least as of 2003).

  32. Do you equate someone who believes in global warming (Lomborg) with a think tank that doesn’t believe in evolution?,/i>

    Oh, Michael. The Discovery Institute doesn’t deny evolution, any more than Lomborg denies global warming. They recognize that there is evolution within species, and many people there will even go so far as to acknowledge that there has been some evolution among species as well.

    Because, you see, when someone with a poltical agenda is seeking to discredit real science, they need to keep up a pretense of scientific credibility.

    Would I prefer you to ignore Lomborg? Yes, I would. He does lousy science to advance a political agenda.

  33. Ok, in all seriousness though, could an Al Gore administration have done anything any worse than what BushCo have done? It would be hard to imagine!

    Mark, just because something is so incredibly stupid that reasonable people can’t imagine it happening — doesn’t mean that a pandering politician won’t do it. See corpus, habeus.

    Though, I doubt Al Gore could have done as much damage as Bush, if only because a Republican Congress would have reined him in. Not that Gore wouldn’t have tried.

  34. Not creationists, JasonC. Intelligent Designers.

    The Discovery Institute aren’t creationists, silly! Like Lomborg, they’re just so much more intelligent than, well, everyone who actually does research on the subject, that they’ve come out with a more Intelligent take.

    And if that happens to advance a political agenda, hey, they’re just following the science.

  35. How again did Gore contribute anything to “peace”?!

    He relegated global warming denial to the dustbin of history.

  36. The science is settled! The science is settled!

  37. >He does lousy science to advance a political agenda.

  38. Who were we talking about?

  39. The guy who claims to be a scientist engaging in science.

  40. joe,
    You should maybe reflect on the fact that you ascribe sinister ulterior motives to those you disagree with while people are on your side are motivated by pure good. There may be some flaws in your critical faculties. You don’t have to respond to me (before you know it you’ll be insulting my mother and that would make me feel bad). Just reflect on it quietly to yourself, since I know you hold intellectual honesty in the highest regard.

  41. >The guy who claims to be a scientist engaging in science.

    Now I’m really thrown. I don’t believe either claimed to be a scientist.

  42. He does lousy science to advance a political agenda.

    Do it well enough and you just might win a big prize or something.

  43. JasonC,

    I don’t assume people on my side are motivated by pure good. You shouldn’t assume that I do, just because I criticize the other side.


    Bjorn Lomborg claims to be a scientists, and is regularly held up as the most sciency scientist ever to hold a beaker on this web site. All of the other scientists are just blinded by greed and groupthink, but the guy who made his name publishing books through American political publishers is the only one who looks at the evidence. Or something.

  44. Will Gore throw his hat in the ring or not? I know he has a hard on for Hillary and nothing would make him happier to knock her out of the race.

  45. joe,

    I’m going to go with ‘or something’, because what you just wrote isn’t true.

  46. joe –

    where does BL claim to be a (natural/ earth) scientist? Political scientist, sure, but where? IIRC, that was a big beef against him in Denmark – unless you’re an officially-recognized “expert” in the field, you’re not to have an opinion…

    Mind you, I don’t really believe his story about the genesis to his big book… (but he and I share the same birthday (not year, tho))

  47. “Bjorn Lomborg claims to be a scientists”

    I’ve never read or heard him make such a claim.

  48. “He relegated global warming denial to the dustbin of history.”

    His extreme exaggerations in “An Inconvenient Truth” gives all the more ammunition to global warming sceptics.

  49. I know, oops. I was exaggerating for comic effect.

    Rattlesnake Jake,

    Is that where you’ve seen public and political opinion go since his movie came out?

  50. Is that where you’ve seen public and political opinion go since his movie came out?

    Pretty much, yeah. I would say the skeptics have been making up ground at a pretty good clip, especially over the last several months.

  51. joe,

    Do you have any specific, substantive charge to make against Lomborg?

  52. substantive = substantiated

  53. joe is a great example of the “50 million Frenchmen can’t be wrong” school of epistemology.

  54. Uhh, you anti-GWers do realize that most of the economic “truths” that are bandied about here on H&R all the time probably have an equal or lesser consensus by PhD economists than GW does among experts of that area…

    Can you supporters of skepticism of recent scientifict consensus name some other recent consensuses that you doubt?

  55. MNG –

    I think the skepticism comes from claims that seem fantastic (day after tomorrow scenarios); equally, the “GW isn’t a problem. and if it were, it’d be a good thing” (tech central station’s one-time pov) is grounds for skepticism.

    also, the nature of action to take is subject to discussion. stuff like that…

    but what are most of the economic “truths” that you’re thinking of?

  56. Do you have any specific, substantive charge to make against Lomborg?

    I’ve got one for you. He’s a liar.

  57. Syloson of Samsos,

    Off the top of my head, he greatly lowballs the effect of the loss of polar ice on polar bears, compared to both observed evidence and the projections of biologists.

    He makes a lot of oddball assertions about the cost of global warming that are vastly at odds with what people who’ve looked at the issue have concluded like that, and they always go in the same direction.

  58. If this is the standard to which the Nobel has slipped, I shan’t even bother to show up to receive mine.

  59. nobel peace prize is political.

    all nobel prizes are political. that’s why somorjai got fucked out of the physics prize this year. and why henry eyring never got one despite being the founder of modern physical chemistry.

  60. Syloson of Samsos,

    In today’s Boston Globe, Lomborg writes:

    Gore told the world in his Academy Award-winning movie to expect 20-foot sea-level rises over this century. He ignores the findings of the Nobel co-winners (the IPCC), who conclude that sea-levels will rise between only a half-foot and two feet over this century, with their best expectation being about one foot.

    I count two distinct lies: what Gore “told people to expect,” what the IPCC concluded about sea level rise. Gore does not tell anyone to “expect” a 20 foot sea level rise; he says that would be the effect of Greenland’s ice melting entirely, which is true. He presents Greenland ice-melt as an unknown, then describes what would happen in the worst-case scenario, presenting it as the worst-case scenario.

    And rather than this representing Gore “ignoring” the IPCC, the scientists at the IPCC says the same thing – IF Greenland’s ice melts, there would be a rise of sea levels up to 20 feet. The IPCC also says, as Gore reports, that they do not know how much melting is going to occur in Greenland, and the catasthophic meling is a possible, though extreme, scenario.

    Lomborg lied about what Gore said. He lied about what the IPCC said. Deliberate misrepresentation of the facts in order to slamm Gore and push a political agenda.

    And then there’s this bit: “While we worry about the far-off” bzzt, far-off? Most climate scientists and biologists report that effects are already being felt “…effects of climate change, we do nothing to deal with issues facing the planet today.”

    An obvious false dilemma, and an obviously false statement. We do quite a bit to deal with issues facing the planet today, even as we take steps to reduce warming.

    Deliberate misrepresentations, flawed and manipulative logic. This is not an honest person.

    Now someone waive some smelling salts under Moynihan’s nose.

  61. “Gore told the world in his Academy Award-winning movie to expect 20-foot sea-level rises over this century.”

    Seems like a half truth more than anything else–Gore did apparently tell people to expect a 20-foot sea-level rise. …if a, b and c happen.

    Regardless, I’m all for riding any public figures on either side of this issue who are making policy prescriptions based on their presumed authority and fear mongering.

    I think the answer to the question about what we should do about global warming will have less to do with the possible extent of the catastrophe or the ultimate costs of minimizing damage and more to do with Econ 101.

    Regardless of how extensive the damage of Global Warming will be, regardless of how much it will cost to minimize the damage, we will be better off in the future if we tax income, profit and economic activity less and tax pollution more. For you global warming deniers out there, call it “A Convenient Lie” if you wish. Even if global warming is sheer horse puckey, wouldn’t we be better off if we taxed carbon emissions rather than economic activity?

    For you Global Warming enthusiasts out there, here’s the real inconvenient truth–if we were to put a levy on carbon emissions big enough to have an impact, big enough to drive the necessary technology adoption and consumer choices, it would probably cripple our economy.

    …unless we stopped taxing income and profit and economic activity.

  62. Interview with Lomborg from a recent Time:

    TIME: Why did you write Cool It?

    Lomborg: Basically I think there’s a need to have two conversations. One is what is the status of global warming. Is it a hoax? Is it a catastrophe? I try to say, well, it’s neither. It’s not a hoax, not a left-wing conspiracy to raise taxes or just natural variation, as many Republicans want to say in the U.S. On the other hand, it’s not a not an unmitigated catastrophe, the end of civilization.

    Truly a madman that must be stopped. Might want to save the smelling salts for yourself, joe.

  63. JasonC,

    What is that supposed to prove? That he dressed up as a centrist? So what?

    Seeing him engage in rhetorical triangulation to present himself as the moderate voice of sanity doesn’t make his dishonest statements go away.

    Have you considered the possibility that pledging allegiance to centrism is public isn’t any better an indicaion of truthfulness than pledging allegiance to the left or right?

  64. so, it doesn’t matter what he says, he’s guilty, guilty, guilty! anyone knows that, just listen to him and read the code.

  65. This is for Michael Moynihan. Would you mind posting what was the source for the quotation from Geir Lundestad? It is an amusing and insightful quotation, but I haven’t found it anywhere else yet.

  66. joe, trying to prove to you that there are different approaches to global warming is like trying to prove to Sean Hannity that liberals aren’t devil worshipping America haters. So I won’t bother. However, if you’re interested in the possibility of having your mind changed, watch this

    Maybe, JUST MAYBE!!!, Lomborg actually cares about this world and its people but has a different perspective on the challenges facing it.

  67. jason, you’re not reading the code. he’s a clear shill for the republicans. when he says that there is a momentary trend toward higher temperatures, what he’s really saying is, “drill in anwar.” when he says there are useful ways to respond, what he’s really saying is, “teach creationism in public schools.” when he criticizes ngos and major media outlets for getting the science wrong in the name of getting more funding or selling newspapers, what he’s really saying is, “extend the tax cuts and eliminate the amt.”

    you need to develop a more finely-tuned sensibility. perhaps you should move to massachusetts.

  68. Sigh.

    so, it doesn’t matter what he says

    No, edna, it does matter what he says. That’s why I, you know, QUOTED WHAT HE SAID.

    But I’d like to point out that, as we’re judging his reliability as an analyst of global warming issues, I’m looking at what he says about the science and facts surrounding global warming, and you’re looking at what he says about politics. blah blah blah republican blah blah blah Massachusetts blah blah blah code. You are the one bringing politics into this.


    Nice temper tantrum. I wouldn’t want to talk about Lomborg’s reliability and truthfulness, either.

    If somebody gets caught being dishonest like that, it is not evidence of bias on my part for finding him unreliable. As a matter of fact, your insistence that I shouldn’t criticize Lomborg’s demonstrably dishonest statements because of his politics IS pretty good evidence of bias.

  69. You don’t have to consider whether I’m right of not. You don’t have too look at what Lomborg said and see if it is true. You don’t have to think about these things, because Lomborg made a statement about “a pox on both their houses,” so that means criticism of him is obviously biased and unreliable.

    That’s just sloppy and self-indulgent, you two.

  70. you know, joe, it’s just a leeeeetle bit possible that i actually, you know, read his books and come to my conclusions that way.

    Deliberate misrepresentation of the facts in order to slamm Gore and push a political agenda.

    You are the one bringing politics into this.

    oh. i see. try to pick one story and stick to it, or at least wait until there’s a few dozen posts before blatantly contradicting yourself.

  71. joe, I doubt anyone is still reading this but for posterity’s sake:
    It doesn’t matter if Lomborg has made some incorrect statements. So has Gore. It’s to be expected. Neither of them are scientists. However, you take this to mean that you can put your fingers in your ears and scream “la la la Lomborg is a shill for Big Whatever la la la” without having to actually deal with his arguments about the best way to move forward. If you find that satisfying on an intellectual level, well, I guess you and John had more in common than I ever suspected.


    This link has absolutely nothing to do, at all, with this story, but I am posting it anyway. Why? Because for weeks, this website posted the same old tired bullshit about how people that claimed Iraq was improving were liars peddling vile propaganda. However, given the nature of this site, I expect to see no blog entries at all making corrections. Therefore I will be posting this link in every blog entries comments section. Time to eat crow, assholes.

  73. edna,

    I trust that, if you actually had an argument to refute what I wrote about Lomborg, you would have made it by now. But, instead, you are avoiding the issue like the plague, and talking about politics instead. Yeah, it’s that obvious.

    Jason C,

    It doesn’t matter if Lomborg has made some incorrect statements.

    Hold it right there. Gore has made statements about global warming which can be plausibly backed up by the evidence. Lomborg has made statements about Gore’s movie which are demonstrably untrue. Lomborg has engaged in deliberate misrepresentation – he didn’t make a mistake, he did it on purpose.


    It’s Ramadan. Don’t you people ever learn anything?

  74. “Lomborg has engaged in deliberate misrepresentation”

    Gore’s position about a 20 foot rise in sea level by the end of this century isn’t a deliberate misrepresentation of the data? Even the IPCC only projects about a foot rise in sea level.

  75. Lomborg has engaged in deliberate misrepresentation – he didn’t make a mistake, he did it on purpose.
    haha. Well, I can’t refute a man that can look into men’s souls. Let me know when you come up with something better than the silly “arguments” you’ve been making here. Until then, why don’t you stay out of global warming threads and let the adults talk? k, thanks.

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