The chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee pulled no punches today at the opening ceremonies of the 2007 prize presentations in Oslo. Calling on the world to act, he expressed the committee's deep concern about the future. "The Norwegian Nobel committee rarely raises its voice. Our style is largely sober. But it is a long time since the committee was concerned with such fundamental questions as this year," he said.
Rarely also does the largely Norwegian audience break into a standing ovation but it did today after Al Gore's powerful and emotional speech."The earth has a fever. And the fever is rising...something basic is wrong. We are what is wrong, and we must make it right."
It was an incredible speech. Read it yourself, gather your family and read it to them. Pass it around at your office. Take a beat, and then feel the urgency of what everyone In that room felt today.
Very, very serious people from all over the world are speaking as loudly as they can here. As I sat in the ornate hall with the horns trumpeting, the opera singer singing, the afternoon felt like time had stopped, just for a second. For a moment everything was clear and the path we must take was already cut. But in the very next moment, because we had waited too long the havoc would begin and the floods would start to fill the room. It felt to me like I was in the scene from The Sound of Music where one second everyone was enjoying the show and the next moment the German soldiers marched in.
This is it people. As Al Gore quoted Spanish poet Antonio Machado this morning, "Pathwalker, there is no path. You must make the path as you walk." And so we must.
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