Why Al Gore is ‘Up Against the Wall’ …
For Al Gore, is winning the Nobel Peace prize more of an honor or a dilemma? According to this op-ed article from France’s Liberation, deciding whether to run for president again could be excruciating – but not as excruciating as another electoral defeat.
“It was as if the Norwegian committee had an ulterior motive: to embarrass President Bush and propel his unfortunate rival of 2000 into the White House. â€¦ but there are some wounds that never heal. Another electoral failure would be too heavy a price to pay.”
By New York Correspondent Isabelle Duriez
Translated By Elise Nussbaum
October 14, 2007
France – Liberation – Original Article (French)
Will Al Gore run for President? No sooner had the Nobel committee announced that it was awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the former U.S. Vice-President and the U.N. Panel on Climate Change, than the question was on everyone’s lips. It was as if the Norwegian committee had an ulterior motive: to embarrass President Bush and propel his unfortunate rival of 2000 into the White House. Al Gore, who has never completely ruled out running, now finds himself up against the wall: He must choose between benefiting from his new stature to continue to promote the battle against global warming, or return to the political arena and use his voice to engage the United States from the White House.
This dilemma is remarkable for a man who left Washington in the wake of George W. Bush’s victory broken, discouraged and jeered by his own supporters. After the weeks-long vote recount in Florida, Bill Clinton’s Vice President finally lost after the Supreme Court decision to declare the governor of Texas the winner. The Democrats have still not forgiven him for conducting a boring, even soporific campaign. So Gore therefore packed his bags for Nashville, Tennessee.
Freedom of tone. It was a salutary exile, since he returned with a youthful passion that at 59-years-of-age won him the Nobel Prize. Diving into his old files and fond of science and technology, he dug out the dusty slide show on global warming which he had presented as early as 1989. His passion for the environment isn’t new: This he owes it to his Harvard professor Roger Nevelle, the first scientist to have monitored the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Elected to Congress in 1976 at age 28, first as representative then as a senator from Tennessee, he organized the first Congressional hearings on the climate in 1981. In 1992 after writing the best-selling Earth in the Balance, he was preparing to make a documentary when Bill Clinton called on him.
And there he was again in 2001, in front of his slides, the man who was so proud of having predicted the Internet revolution. The slideshow became an hour-long presentation, the chair he set up to demonstrate a rise in CO2 levels has been replaced by an elevator. He toured campuses and was soon filling halls in Japan and China. Then in Hollywood, passionate eco-activist Laurie David proposed making a film out of it. No one would bet on it. After all, who would go to see a documentary full of numbers presented by the “pedantic” Al Gore? The success of An Inconvenient Truth was like a bolt from the blue. Americans has discovered both the dangers of global warming and another Al Gore. The one talking about rising sea levels and the greenhouse effect is as passionate, engaged and witty as the Presidential candidate was awkward, stiff and cold. “Hello, I’m Al Gore and I used to be the next President of the United States,” he jokes to his audience. “But there’s no real or fake Al Gore,” he explained at the time. “I’m just freer now.”