Former US vice president Al Gore and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) led by Dr RK Pachauri, were jointly declared winners of this year’s Nobel Peace prize.
About five years ago, Gore and Pachauri had a spat over the latter’s election as IPCC boss.
In 2002, Gore had termed Pachauri as “let’s drag our feet” candidate and anti-American when he was backed by the US administration for the top post of IPCC.
In a signed article published in the New York Times, Gore had accused the US government of backing Pachauri to dilute the global effort on climate change for small “political gains”.
Expressing his deep disappointment at Gore’s derogatory remarks, Pachauri had hit back with a letter to the editor published in the NYT, asking the real Gore to stand up.
In his letter he had referred to how Gore had praised him in 1991. He had said: “Pachy (as Pachauri is popularly called) is one person in the world who can bring us all here…. He is known all over the community of concerned men and women as someone with the intellect and the heart”.
Pachauri had ended his letter by saying that what Gore says today holds no value tomorrow.
There was also some intended pun against Gore when Pachauri termed his rival in election Dr Robert T. Watson as his protégé. Pachauri won with 76 votes in his favour as against 49 for Watson, who was backed by Al Gore.
In five years, IPCC came out with four assessment reports but Al Gore was not part of even one of them, even though Gore had been creating awareness about climate change impact since 2001. “Al Gore was never actively associated with IPCC,” said a scientist associated with IPCC during Pachauri’s tenure.
Nobel Prize has apparently ended the hatchet. Pachauri received a congratulatory call from Al Gore immediately after the Nobel Prize was announced. Pachauri now terms Al Gore as a remarkable individual. He further says that they have known each other for over two decades and that he is looking forward to working with him.