Out of Stockholm and Oslo

For reasons that I don’t really understand (haven’t checked Wikipedia on this one) the Nobel Prize for literature is awarded by the Swedish Academy, in Stockholm, while the Peace Prize is awarded by a committee in Oslo. And this year’s winners are…

Doris Lessing, now 87 years old, who found out on the way home from the shops:

The author found out about the Academy’s decision as she returned from a shopping trip to her home in West Hampstead, London. “This has been going on for 30 years,” said Lessing, who put down her shopping bag and sat on her doorstep, head in her hand, after reporters gave her the news. “I’ve won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I’m delighted to win them all. It’s a royal flush,” she said, according to AFP.

(The Local, 12 October 2007)

I take it this was a little unexpected. Doris Lessing is after all well known and British, which is perhaps unusual for a Nobel literature prize winner. Only a week or so earlier an article in The Local had predicted that the winner would probably be someone few had ever heard of, much less read…

Meanwhile, the Nobel Peace Prize was taken by none other than Al Gore, along with the UN International Panel on Climate Change. The Czech Republic reaction was interesting, as reported by Reuters:

“[President Vacla Klaus] is somewhat surprised that Al Gore got the Peace Prize, because the relation between his activities and world peace is unclear and indistinct. It rather seems that Gore’s questioning of the basic foundation stones of the current civilisation does not contribute to peace much.”

The basic foundation stone of the current civilisation is, I presume, economic growth based on unsustainable use of fossil fuel based energy resources. There is no doubt that climate change is one of the major issues facing the world today, and if environmental degradation does, as is predicted, make some heavily populated areas of the world uninhabitable, with resulting environmental refugees, perhaps armed conflict will follow as people defend their patch. So perhaps, in that way, Al Gore and the IPCC have made a major contribution to world peace by warning the world of the disaster in the making…

The big question for us just now is whether the Scandinavian environment will force the Swedes south to Australia, or the Australian environment force Australians north to Sweden. For us, right now, winter is just around the corner and it won’t be long before everyone will be dreaming of global warming as an escape from the bitter cold…

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One thought on “Out of Stockholm and Oslo

  1. When Alfred Nobel was active, Sweden and Norway were united and ruled by the Swedish(-Norwegian) king, so he probably had a close relation to both countries.

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