Monday, 8 October 2007

News from the Goracle camp

Well, the biggest news, run in the Sunday Times and several other media outlets around the world is that Al Gore is tipped to win the Nobel Peace Prize, an event that will finally destroy whatever miniscule credibility that particular distinction ever had.

Should he be awarded the coveted (not!) prize there will be more pressure on him to make an attempt for the Democratic nomination next year. One imagines Hillary Clinton views that one with mixed feelings at best. It is not that she is not smarter than the Goracle as she is smarter than Barack Obama and John Edwards (though not, perhaps, John Edwards’s hair). She is.

Gore will, on the other hand create an unholy alliance (in Hillary’s eyes) of the nutroots, at present unimportant enough in her opinion for her to disregard them, and of the anyone-but-Hillary tendency in the Democratic Party. He might just get that nomination if he runs.

When this blog first mentioned that the Goracle had been nominated for the Peace Prize, we did quote yet again the official citation for it. It is supposed to go to
the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
Errm, how does this apply to the Venerable Al Gore? But then, how does this apply to most past recipients of the Peace Prize. The only organization that fully deserves it, as we have pointed out before, is the United States Marine Corps (we can have the US army the following year) who actually achieved a great deal of the citation though I have never heard of that fine body of men and women promoting peace congresses.

There is a real problem with that Prize (remember the shenanigans last year?) and that is its inherent impossibility. One can undoubtedly argue about the scientific achievements of the winners in the various categories (not that I would dare) but one can be sure that these achievements exist. Even in economics one can point to a body of writing or a theory or two, more controversial though these might be. Literature? Ah well, least said, soonest mended.

But Peace Prize? How much peace has there been in the world since 1901? I suppose, rather a large number of peace congresses has been held and promoted, thought not, as it happens, by the Venerable Al Gore.

Meanwhile, closer home, there have been developments in the case Stewart Dimmock brought against the government, which decided to send a copy of that curious film, described as a documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” to every secondary school in the country. Oh yes, we are paying for this.

It is rather interesting to see how the media round the world handled the High Court decision. Surprisingly (or not) there seems to have been as much interest across the Pond as in Britain with only the Daily Telegraph, the BBC, The Scotsman and Kent News covering the story. Of these, the BBC and The Scotsman concentrated on the fact that the bid to prevent the film from being shown failed. Take that, you horrible sceptic.

American outlets produced much more up-to-date and outspoken accounts, concentrating on the fact that the High Court laid down guidance as to the circumstances in which the film can be shown.

I particularly liked this headline Men’s News Daily in California: “Britain to give Gore film a ‘BS’ rating”. Fox News quoted Mr Justice Burton as saying that the film did promote “partisan political views”.

In fact, Stewart Dimmock has become something of a hero in the United States to bloggers. Here is Oregon Guy reporting on “Stewart Dimmock day”.

It would seem that this is, indeed, a partial victory. The film will be shown but teachers are supposed to make it clear that this is partial, biased and partisan. Presumably, parents can encourage schools to show the Channel 4 film, which showed certain inconvenient truths about the whole man-made-global-warming industry. Full ruling is expected later this week.