After having a spectacular year culminating in the Nobel Peace Prize, Al Gore faced a wave of negative responses regarding his most recent accolade. Some questioned the validity of climate change and others simply don’t like Gore. However, my quip is that the Nobel Committee didn’t give the man the prize for his finest accomplishment: inventing the Internet.
According to Alfred Nobel’s will, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to “the person who [has] done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” But the Committee gave Gore the prize for his “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for measures that are needed to counteract such change.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there is a disparity between the two statements. Now many people will argue that climate change is a serious issue and the Nobel Committee tried to raise awareness for the cause. But let’s be honest: how many people, when they hear that Al Gore won the Prize, will bike to work or be motivated to install low pressure showerheads? If anything, Gore’s documentary winning the Oscar did more to make being eco-friendly the “cool” thing.
So this brings us back to my original point that Gore deserves the Prize for inventing the Internet. If the Nobel Committee can give out Nobels to people who planted trees in Africa, I’m sure one can be given to the dude who gave us the Internet. Just imagine for a second a life without Facebook. You can’t. I’m sure most Americans will agree that the Internet is definitely more worthy of recognition than an issue like global warming.
There are many skeptics out there that are now vehemently raging at the idea of giving a Nobel Prize for inventing the Internet, but there is in fact strong justification for doing so. Nobel’s will talks about how the recipient should be the one who has done “the most or best work for fraternity between nations.” Al Gore has done precisely this. If he had not invented the Internet, how could Mark Zuckerberg create Facebook, the ultimate best work in creating fraternity between nations?
The next criterion is that the person can cause the “abolition or reduction of standing armies.” Many may now believe that there is no way Al Gore’s invention did this, but they are wrong. Normal people don’t reduce standing armies, army generals do. The generals are the only ones who have the power and authority to order soldiers away from battle. How do they do that? They obviously use the Internet.
What further makes Gore’s invention so amazing is that it fulfills every single criterion listed in Nobel’s will, something not even the Dalai Lama can claim. The last criterion states the recipient has done great work “for holding and promoting peace congresses.” We of course without hesitation know this to be true. We can’t forget that the Internet allows us to hold peace congresses in the first place. These days, no foreign leader wants to attend boring summits on bringing peace to conflict ridden areas, because peace is never attained. Al Gore’s invention has consequently created video chatting, which allows foreign leaders to “attend” peace congresses and produce a few sound bites while on vacation elsewhere.
There is one huge objection that one could raise to my decision to award Gore the Nobel for inventing the Internet: it would end Stanford’s streak of Nobel Prize winners since there were 6 Stanford faculty members who technically share the prize. A Stanford faculty member should always win a Nobel Prize every single year. But rest assured, there are several faculty members who would also share the Nobel for their contributions towards inventing the Internet, including President Hennessy and George Shultz.
Surely after weighing all of this evidence, it is clear that Gore should have won for inventing the Internet. With this, I also have a fairly bold prediction for next year’s recipient: Brook Lopez, for “his efforts in bringing happiness and harmony to the Stanford campus for winning the NCAA championship.” Don’t you think we’d all take that over planting trees or stopping a nuclear war and keep Stanford’s streak alive?