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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Al Gore's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech - 10 Dec 2007, Oslo, Norway


That Alfred Nobel the inventor of dynamite was mistakenly blamed as "The Merchant of Death" and consequently resolved to serve the cause of peace. Seven years later he created the Nobel Prize.

That seven years ago, Al Gore's failure to win the US Presidential elections brought him a precious gift and opportunity to search for fresh new ways to serve his purpose.

"Life or death, blessings or curses. Therefore, choose life, that both thou and they seed may live."

We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency; and that we have the ability to solve the crisis and avoid the worst,... if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.

Winston Churchill once said, "They go on a strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent."

Culmulative concentratiions of global-warming pollution will trap more and more heat from the sun.

Last Sept 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun with scientist reports that the North Polar ice cap is "falling off a cliff". US Navy reseachers warn that it could disappear in 7 years from now.

In last few months, major cities in the Americas, Asia and Australia are out of water due to massive droughts and melting glaciers; causing floods, evacuations, wildfires,...etc.

We never intended to cause this destruction, just as Alfred Nobel never intended that dynamite be used for waging war. We shared that same worthy goal to promote human progress when we began burning massive quantities of coal, then oil, then methane.

As CO2 is invisible, tasteless, and odorless -- it is out of sight and out of mind.

Our war on earth itself - "Mutually assured destruction."

That is why we resolved to halt the nuclear arms race.

Robert Frost, an American poet said, "Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice." Either, he notes, "would suffice."

But neither need be our fate. It is time to make peace with the planet.

At a time of crisis, at the 11th hour to defend the common future, free people will rise against the challenge.

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - an African proverb.

We must ensure that entrepreneurs and inventors everywhere on the globe has the chance to change the world.

When we unite for a moral purpose that is manifestly good and true, the spiritual energy unleashed can transform us. eg. The defeat of fascism in the 40s; the launch of the Marshall Plan; the United Nations that facilitated the emergence of democracy and prosperity in Germany, Japan, Italy and much of the world.

"It is time we steer by the stars and not by the lights of the passing ship."

In Chinese, "Crisis" means "danger" and "opportunity", by taking the danger away, we have only the opportunity.

The United States and China, the two largest CO2 emitters will need to make the boldest moves, or stand accountable before history for their failure to act.

"Pathwalker, there is no path. You must make the path as you walk." - Antonio Machado, a Spanish poet.

"One of these days, the younger generation will come knocking at my door" - Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright.

The next generation will either ask:

"What were you thinking; why didn't you act?"


"How did you find the moral courage to rise and successfully resolve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve?"

For full text, click here

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