Speech by Al Gore on the acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize
December 10, 2007
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Honorable members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen.
I have a purpose here today. It is a purpose I have tried to serve for many years. I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it.
Sometimes, without warning, the future knocks on our door with a precious and painful vision of what might be. One hundred and nineteen years ago, a wealthy inventor read his own obituary, mistakenly published years before his death. Wrongly believing the inventor had just died, a newspaper printed a harsh judgment of his life’s work, unfairly labeling him “The Merchant of Death” because of his invention - dynamite. Shaken by this condemnation, the inventor made a fateful choice to serve the cause of peace.
Seven years later, Alfred Nobel created this prize and the others that bear his name.
Seven years ago tomorrow, I read my own political obituary in a judgment that seemed to me harsh and mistaken - if not premature. But that unwelcome verdict also brought a precious if painful gift: an opportunity to search for fresh new ways to serve my purpose.
Unexpectedly, that quest has brought me here. Even though I fear my words cannot match this moment, I pray what I am feeling in my heart will be communicated clearly enough that those who hear me will say, “We must act.”
The distinguished scientists with whom it is the greatest honor of my life to share this award have laid before us a choice between two different futures - a choice that to my ears echoes the words of an ancient prophet: “Life or death, blessings or curses. Therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
Hanover, New Hampshire (Remarks as Prepared for Delivery: August 23, 2007)
This election is unlike any we have faced before. The stakes are
higher. And the challenges we face as a nation are greater than at any
time in memory.
We as a nation must choose whether to do what America has always
done in times like these -- change direction and move boldly into the
future for the sake of our children, if not for ourselves, or wander in
the same stale direction we have traveled in our recent past.
The choice we must make is as important as it is clear.
It is a choice between looking back and looking forward.
A choice between the way we've always done it and the way we could do it if we dared.
A choice between corporate power and the power of democracy.
Between a corrupt and corroded system and a government that works for us again.