I must say it gave me a special kind of pleasure watching and hearing news excerpts of today's speech by former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore's speech in Oslo today, as he received the Nobel Peace Prize.
It seemed a powerful, clear and dramatic speech. The kind you want to hear on grand, ceremonial occasions like this one; the kind you wish you'd hear more often from the present leaders of the world's superpowers.
Evoking Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and other luminaries, Gore made a strong plea for immediate action to save our planet from environmental disaster. In accepting the prize together with the UN climate panel and it's leader Rajendra Pachauri, Gore said humanity risks "mutually assured destruction" if we don't act now.
"We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war," he said.
Gore made a special appeal for the United States and China to make bold moves on climate change or "stand accountable before history for their failure to act."
"It is time to make peace with our planet. "
Later in the evening, he was joined by Pachauri and their wives on the balcony of the Grand Hotel in Oslo, where they were greeted by crowds of supporters. The public filled the streets of the Norwegian capital, under Christmas decorations.
It was a particularly important day for Gore, who took on his environmental crusade after that controversial and close political defeat seven years ago in the U.S. presidential election. His wife Tipper, one of his most public supporters, was beaming by his side.
Later this week, Gore will be taking his message to the international conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia.
If the world's leaders can't agree on ways to reduce harmful emissions, let's do our part at the neighbourhood level and let's also find ways to support our youth -- I'm confident they have the drive to make a critical difference.
To read excerpts of today's speech, click here:
To see photographs of the Nobel ceremony and acceptance speech, see this link.
The photo of our planet was taken by the crew of Apollo 16 in April of 1972. Courtesy NASA through http://www.pdphoto.org/.