Since I won't ever get a Nobel Prize (unless they start a category called "Teaching Homer to High Schoolers"), I have to focus my excitement to the prize awarded today to a fellow Tennessean I have long admired: Al Gore.
Therefore, I would like to thank the Nobel Committee for choosing an American. For good and for evil, my country is a leading force in the world today, and I am grateful when Americans can be recognized for the good generated on behalf of other around the world. Gore joins political leaders like Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jimmy Carter, along with cabinet members like Cordell Hull and George C. Marshall as recipients of this most esteemed of awards.
It is also as a Tennessean that I thank the committee. Gore is the 2nd Tennessean to win this prize--considering that my state is not among the most populated, I think that's pretty good. Cordell Hull, who made his home in Clay County, not 40 miles away from Gore's home in Carthage, won the Peace Prize in 1945 for his efforts in the founding of the United Nations.
Despite the common sense and clear science behind Gore's campaign to educate the world about mankind's impact climate change, he has certainly overcome great obstacles to do so. His own country has been misled into an abyss where contempt for fact and analysis is considered a political advantage. While no scientific studies have contradicted Gore's claims, he has weathered (pardon the pun) a string of personal attacks and hyperbole, designed to divert his American audience from his central message.
Frankly, if it had been easy, I guess he wouldn't have won the Nobel Prize. So maybe that's a good thing after all.