Soon after learning that Gore had won the prize, I received his email note to supporters, which I am including here for those who may not have received it directly. I so respect and admire this man. I just put the Alliance for Climate Protection link in my favorite places. I figure if he is giving his peace prize money to these people I should at least be reading their articles and writing letters on their cause's behalf.
I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--the world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis--a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level. My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.
Also, discussion online with friends about Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize brought up a philosophical concern for me - one that is common because I seem to have an unusual opinion about life purpose and our level of power in it. My friend wrote that she believes things happen for a reason and that maybe the wonderful environmental work Al Gore has done - the opportunity to do it, I guess - is the reason he was robbed of the Presidency after being elected. I just don't buy that.I don't know if he could have done more or less good as President - and that doesn't matter for this argument. When the Presidency was stolen from him, Al Gore, in my world view, was put at a major choice point. He could have done so many things - from fighting the decision to make Bush President, to getting bitter and quitting on trying to be of service, just drinking and satirically bashing the administration, to focusing on family and friends only to continuing to try to run for office to jumping off a building ...endless and wildly varied choices. He chose (among other more private choices, of course) to put his energy into educating people about and fighting global warming. What a wonderful and possibly world-saving choice! Thank you Al Gore.
I don't believe things happen for a reason. So many things happen that shouldn't. I think its a dangerous belief, this "things happen for a reason." It somehow defangs evil actions, as if they are destined and it is clear people will turn them for good. Sometimes people don't. People make poor choices every day. Self included.
I think we are not in control of what happens to us or what we feel when it first happens. We are in control of what we do with our feelings. Feelings are energy, and like all energy cannot be destroyed but can be converted form to form. When we hurt we can just keep hurting - let the energy remain in the form of pain, anger. and hurt - let it fester into resentment and bitterness. We can convert the energy into a quest for revenge or mayhem and use it to hurt others. Or we can convert that energy into some other form - as Al Gore did - hard work, art, service.
Again, Thank you, Al Gore.