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The Heat is on Peace


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This is the first time in world history that the Nobel peace prize goes to scientific cause not for the conventional cause. The Nobel committee chose two very different candidates - al Gore and Rajendra K. Pachauri (Head, IPCC), espousing the same cause - Global warming.

The concept of greenhouse effect and the decaying layers of ozonosphere may sound very complicated story to the public. But, in a simpler form, Global warming is a byproduct of human activities in day to day life. The Global warming phenomenon is an outcome of the biggest free lunch in the history of mankind. Interestingly, CO2 (Carbon Di Oxide) had not been identified as a pollutant until about 20 years ago. The quantum of greenhouse gases which includes Co2, So2, CO, No3 etc released in the atmosphere each year, of which carbon-Di-Oxide is the most prevalent, is much higher than what nature can absorb (the oceans and land are natural skins). Hence the problem occurs. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that keeps the Earth's surface around 30d warmer than it would be otherwise without this effect all the infra-red radiation would escape to outer space and the earth would be too cool to support life. In this whole complex natural process, a thick natural layer of Ozone plays a crucial role of gatekeeper for infra-red radiation. The pollutants, called greenhouse gases, decay the layer of Ozonosphere and hence create the problem in the process of filtering the infra - red radiation. It may result in the scorching sunlight and thus may be raising sea level which will erode the whole human civilization as one.

While the effects of climate change are negative global externalities i. e. the damage from emissions is broadly the same irrespective of where they are emitted. The impact is likely to be felt unevenly around the world. That's why; global warming is not limited to one country. But it invites the urgency of intergovernmental efforts to find a way out. In this regard, the United Nations took a sincere cognizance in 1988 and established “intergovernmental Panel on Climate changes" to gather rigorous scientific evidence to show the extent of global warming. In 1995, IPCC, the team of 3000 scientists headed by R. K. Pachauri submitted its second assessment report to the UN. It resulted in the ‘Kyoto Protocol’ which obelised all the member countries to check on the emission of the harmful gases. The pious hands of IPCC headed by Dr. Pachauri thus made categorical advancement in order to make consensus between the first world and the second world on ‘save the planet’ campaign.

But the media approach to global warming was more or less driven by sensationalism and doom-gloom scenarios to bring accounts of deliberations taking place on climate change. The hazardous acronyms and sophisticated technological jargon left the people with no choice but to refrain from these news-items. But Al-gore and his Oscar winning film, ‘An inconvenience Truth’ made everyone sit up and take notice. Gore reached out to people across cultures and continents and managed to make climate change part of family dinner discussion even if they do not understand the science behind the issue. Gore skilfully navigated the sea of climate change science and politics and came straight to the point in a way the man on the street can understand.

Hence, looking with the glass of the Nobel Prize Committee, the decision appears to be Photocromatic. The symbiosis of the complex stories of R. K. Pachauri and filmy communication of Al-Gore have won the prize. The paradigmatic shift in the trend of peace prize, a herald that future security and peace issues are no longer about conventional wars but it is all about conflict with environment and his fight for survival.


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