Did you hear the surprising news? Oh, but you will. You will hear the lapdog media repeat this news over and over and gush about how great this news is.

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.

The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

Too early? Ya think? Talk about the audacity of hope, he was nominated after having been President for less than two weeks. So what was he nominated for? To give you an idea of the monumental work Obama accomplished to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize, here is a list of his actions as President as listed by Wikipedia:

  • January 20 – Minutes after the administration of the Oath of Office, Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, issues an order suspending last-minute federal regulations pushed through by outgoing President George W. Bush, planning to review everything still pending. In one of his first official acts, President Obama issues a proclamation declaring January 20, 2009 a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation. Obama enacts a pay freeze for Senior White House Staff making more than $100,000 per year, as well as announces stricter guidelines regarding lobbyists in an effort to raise the ethical standards of the White House.
  • January 21 – Obama revokes Executive Order 13233, which had been initiated by the Bush administration to limit access to the records of former presidents. At 7:35 EST on January 21, Obama retakes the Presidential Oath of Office, again administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, before four print journalists. Obama issues instructions to all agencies and departments in his administration to “adopt a presumption in favor” of Freedom of Information Act requests, reversing earlier policy set by former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
  • January 22 – President Obama signs an executive order announcing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within a year, and signs a prohibition on using torture and other illegal coercive techniques, such as waterboarding, during interrogations and detentions, requiring the Army field manual to be used as a guide. He issues an executive order entitled “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel”, governing the limitations on hiring of employees by the executive branch to qualified individuals only, and placing very tight restrictions on lobbying in the White House.
  • January 23 – Obama ends the funding ban for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, also known as the “gag rule” or the Mexico City Policy. He orders the first two Predator airstrikes of his presidency.
  • January 24 – Obama produces his first weekly Saturday morning video address available on whitehouse.gov and YouTube, a policy compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats.
  • January 26 – Obama signs his first two Presidential Memoranda concerning energy independence, directing the Department of Transportation to establish higher fuel efficiency standards before 2011 models are released and the allowing states to raise their emissions standards above the national standard. That night he gives his first formal interview as president to Al Arabiya.
  • January 28 – Obama makes his first visit to The Pentagon as President, meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • January 29 – Obama signs his first bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which promotes fair pay regardless of sex, race, or age. Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in the employment discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. joined Barack and Michelle Obama at the signing ceremony.
  • January 30 – Obama signs a presidential memorandum launching the Middle Class Working Families Task Force to be led by Vice President Joe Biden.
  • January 31 – Obama speaks at the Alfalfa Club annual banquet.

So, did you spot the monumental accomplishments that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize? No, neither did I. This prize isn’t about actually having done something, it’s the hope that he will do something worthy of the prize.

“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. “In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations.”

I must admit that Obama is able to give a good speech when the teleprompter is present, and yet talking is not the same as doing. Looking at the two other sitting U.S. Presidents to get the same prize, I don’t see much of a comparison. President Theodore Roosevelt got the prize for mediating the peace between Russa and Japan after their war in 1904-1905. And President Woodrow Wilson got his in 1919 for creating the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations. And now in 2009, President Obama gets his for talking.

Somehow it doesn’t quite seem to measure up.

UPDATE (10/9/2009 10:01:20 AM): I have thought about it some more, and I believe this prize should be awarded not just to President Obama, but to both who have made it possible. The prize should be awarded to both Obama and his teleprompter.

It’s official — former Vice President Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with global warming.

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.

Contrary to what you might think, it wasn’t awarded because of his huge CO2-spewing house and CO2-spewing private jet junkets, but because of his vanity puff-piece movie, An Inconvenient Truth. I call it a vanity puff-piece because the movie is not about global warming as much as it is about Al Gore talking about global warming.

But is Gore’s movie and subsequent CO2-spewing trips to blab about global warming really the best candidate for this award? I have to believe that the answer is no because of the poor science behind the movie. I’ve already written about Gore’s movie, but since then, there have been some interesting news items come out about his movie.

A truck driver in England brought Gore’s movie to court because he believed it was biased, inaccurate, and shouldn’t be shown to school children as fact. The final ruling isn’t in yet, but the judge on the case has found 11 inaccuracies in the film. (hat-tip Climate Skeptic) Here is the listing of the 11 inaccuracies from the movie, as specified by the judge.

  • The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
  • The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
  • The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.
  • The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.
  • The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice.  It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
  • The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
  • The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
  • The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
  • The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
  • The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

Yeah. This is worth awarding the Nobel Peace Prize. Rush Limbaugh pointed out this week that Mother Theresa got the Nobel Peace Prize after a life-time of service. Al Gore makes an inaccurate movie that is more a vehicle for his own vanity than it is about global warming, and he gets the same prize. The bar has really been lowered.

In other environmental news, the Nobel Peace Prize was also awarded this year to a German chemist, Gerhard Ertl, for his work that can explain the destruction of the ozone layer.

“Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere,” the award citation said.

That would be really impressive if it weren’t for some other news in the chemistry world this year. As written up in Nature, “Chemists poke holes in ozone theory.”

“Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

“Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

And here’s the final paragraph with my emphasis added.

Nothing currently suggests that the role of CFCs must be called into question, Rex stresses. “Overwhelming evidence still suggests that anthropogenic emissions of CFCs and halons are the reason for the ozone loss. But we would be on much firmer ground if we could write down the correct chemical reactions.”

It’s still man’s fault, but they can’t prove it. Yep. Sounds like rock-solid science to me. And well worth awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a chemist who can “explain the destruction of the ozone layer” when that same chemistry is being called into question. And while Gore’s movie is being called into question, why not award him, too? But they have a history of doing this. Former President Jimmy Carter was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work for peace and the Agreed Framework with North Korea. The same Agreed Framework that North Korea announced in 2002 that they had violated from the beginning.

At this point I don’t have any respect for the selection process of the Nobel Peace Prize. I only write this because liberals will be applauding Saint Gore for his prize, and they will ignore the shaky science behind it.