13 votes

Greta Thunberg nominated for 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

8 comments

  1. [7]
    nacho
    Link
    I just want to point out that a nomination for the Nobel Peace prize doesn't mean anything other than that someone on This extensive list of people have written a letter suggesting as much. There...

    I just want to point out that a nomination for the Nobel Peace prize doesn't mean anything other than that someone on This extensive list of people have written a letter suggesting as much.

    There are a huge number of completely unreasonable people who fit the categories and can make those nominations.

    Historically, once the 50 year limit on sharing the nominations has past, we see that a lot of completely unreasonable people who have caused millions of deaths in violent conflicts have been nominated for the prize.

    11 votes
    1. [4]
      daturkel
      Link Parent
      The first sentence of the linked article explains exactly how she was nominated: It's possible others nominated her too. I don't think anyone would argue that Thunberg has caused the deaths of...

      The first sentence of the linked article explains exactly how she was nominated:

      Two Swedish MPs have nominated Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, and the Fridays For Future protest movement she began, for 2020’s Nobel Peace Prize, TT agency reported citing a letter from Swedish parliamentarians.

      It's possible others nominated her too.

      I don't think anyone would argue that Thunberg has caused the deaths of millions, so I'm not sure where you're going with that line. If the answer is "the nominations aren't always reasonable," I guess that's all well and good, but feels somewhat tangential unless you have an argument that Thunberg is one such example.

      5 votes
      1. pallas
        Link Parent
        If I might give another approach to explaining what nacho is saying, as I have long been frustrated by this tendency: Nominations for the Nobel Prize are not meaningful and are not newsworthy....

        If I might give another approach to explaining what nacho is saying, as I have long been frustrated by this tendency:

        Nominations for the Nobel Prize are not meaningful and are not newsworthy. When they are promoted in the news, it is only ever as the result of attempts at publicity by one of the many nominators for the prize. They do not actually mean short-listing, as they do for the Academy Awards. They simply mean that one person, out of likely tens of thousands of qualified nominators (eg, every professor of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, or religion in the world, and every member of a national assembly), wrote in the person's name, and then, if there ends up being an article about it, chose to publicize and politicize the nomination process.

        I think Thunberg potentially has a reasonable claim to the prize. But that should not mean that the nomination should be presented as meaningful.

        14 votes
      2. [2]
        nacho
        Link Parent
        I'm saying that it doesn't matter who nominates someone, whether they're deserving of it or not. A story about someone, anyone, being nominated for the prize doesn't mean anything. Being nominated...

        I'm saying that it doesn't matter who nominates someone, whether they're deserving of it or not.

        A story about someone, anyone, being nominated for the prize doesn't mean anything.

        Being nominated for the prize is an empty gesture. It isn't newsworthy, it doesn't mean anything.

        Publicly announcing nominations is not necessary. Why do these politicians in particular make such an announcement?

        I have not compared Thunberg to anyone. I'm contextualizing the notability of the story. To me there is none.


        People don't know this. They will be misled. They will assume this means she's likely to win the prize, that there's some event leading to nomination, that it gives her extra credibility or similar. It doesn't.

        I believe there are way more important things relating to Thunberg, climate, Fridays For Future, substantive ways in which the impact they bring is being acknowledge, rewarded and reinforced.

        Piggybacking on the notoriety of the Nobel prize when nomination doesn't mean anything can be used by those who don't think the cause is worthwhile.

        7 votes
        1. daturkel
          Link Parent
          Responding to both you and @pallas, I didn't think the article assigned any sort of undue importance to the news other than the acknowledgement that it happened. But nevertheless, as...

          Responding to both you and @pallas, I didn't think the article assigned any sort of undue importance to the news other than the acknowledgement that it happened. But nevertheless, as inconsequential as it might be in the abstract, I think both the announcement by the Swedish politicians and the posting of the article here were meant to create recognition and spur conversation. If you think there are important things related to Thunberg to discuss, this strikes me as a perfect opportunity to do so. If you think she does or does not deserve the prize, this would also be an appropriate time to raise that. But to say "well, the nomination process is a formality and these stories aren't predictive" seemed to me to shut down that conversation before it could happen.

          1 vote
    2. pallas
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      While I wholeheartedly agree with your explanation of the problem of Nobel nominations being publicized as meaningful—it has long been a frustration of mine—I feel that there is some nuance here....

      Historically, once the 50 year limit on sharing the nominations has past, we see that a lot of completely unreasonable people who have caused millions of deaths in violent conflicts have been nominated for the prize.

      While I wholeheartedly agree with your explanation of the problem of Nobel nominations being publicized as meaningful—it has long been a frustration of mine—I feel that there is some nuance here.

      From Nobel's will:

      the interest on which is to be distributed annually as prizes to those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind [...] one part to the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses.

      The intention was that the prizes be in relation to actions over the preceding year. Thus, giving the examples of the Kissinger-Thọ award, or the Arafat-Peres-Rabin award: they were not awards for the people who had promoted peace throughout their lives, but of people whose specific actions over the last year had created accords that had at least for a time (for Kissinger and Thọ, a very short time) advanced peace. Similarly, for all that Obama turned out to be with respect to violence and conflict, his election and views at the time represented a reintroduction of the US into fellowship among nations.

      Often, the people best situated to promote peace are people with power who usually promote violence, but, on some occasions, turn toward peace instead. Sometimes the person who has done the most to advance fellowship amongst nations is the person who decided, at least for a time, to stop being an impediment to it.

      3 votes
    3. freestylesno
      Link Parent
      Saying there is a long list of unreasonable people just shows how reasonable she could be.

      Saying there is a long list of unreasonable people just shows how reasonable she could be.

      1 vote