IN OTHER WORDS: Right reward

If the Academy Award didn’t get the world to heed Al Gore on the threat of global warming, maybe the Nobel Prize will. The decision of the Nobel committee to award the 2007 peace prize jointly to Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives the former vice president his most exalted platform to speak the truth about environmental degradation.

First, the dire effects of climate change are felt most severely in the poorest, least stable nations. Droughts, floods, desertification, and crop failures upend whole societies, creating refugee crises and resource wars. The horror of Darfur, in many ways a struggle over water and arable land, is just one example. In Haiti, degradation of the land also has contributed to violent strife. If the problems of climate change cause civil conflict, its solutions often promote democracy and peace. Gore shares the prize with the UN panel, a group of 2,500 eminent scientists, who have created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.

The Nobel committee has seen that environment is at the centre of the effort to prevent war

and promote peace. Gore on Saturday called solving the climate crisis “a moral and spiritual challenge.” It must now also be seen as a security imperative for the world.