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Gore Nobel win shows up Bush: US press

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 13, 2007
US newspapers Saturday hailed Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against climate change, saying it showed up failings of President George W. Bush in the seven years since he beat Gore to the White House.

"For more than 20 years, Mr. Gore persisted in the face of intense skepticism and criticism with his warnings about the impact of global warming on the planet," the Washington Post wrote, hailing the award as "vindication".

It interpreted Gore's honor -- awarded jointly to him and the some 3,000 scientists of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- as "yet another perceived rebuff to the unpopular president."

"Mr. Bush's inaction on climate change is one of the major failings of his presidency," it said.

Bush has consistently resisted joining other world powers in committing to concrete targets for reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions, though he has bowed to acknowledge the threat they pose.

"It shouldn't have to be left to a private citizen -- even one so well known as Mr. Gore -- or a panel of scientists to raise that alarm ... or champion solutions to a problem that endangers the entire planet," the New York Times argued in Saturday's edition.

"That should be, and must be the job of governments. And governments -- above all the Bush administration -- have failed miserably."

The view was echoed in the Los Angeles Times, where opinion columnist Jonathan Chai wrote: "Gore's triumph is a measure of George W. Bush's disrepute."

The Dallas Morning News shared the view that the award vindicated Gore for skepticism expressed in the past at his expense, though the paper said he would still appear "as a stuffed shirt in the eyes of many Americans."

"He has long been ahead of his time," it said in an editorial. "In 1992, President George H.W. Bush made fun of Mr. Gore, then running for vice president, for his environmental enthusiasm. Far fewer people are laughing today."

The Wall Street Journal in its Nobel editorial meanwhile made no mention of Gore but gave a list of worthy non-winners, such as the monks who led recent pro-democracy protests in Myanmar, and people braving danger to rebuild Iraq.

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