A Peace of the Prize


By Ruth Jacobs

Al Gore got more than 50 percent of the attention when he won half of the Nobel Peace Prize in October. After all, the winner of the other half, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), doesn’t have a movie and never ran for President. But its work to understand and combat climate change, according to the Nobel Committee, is equally worthy of recognition. And at least two contributors to that work spend their days in front of classes on Mayflower Hill.

Nobel Peace PrizeProfessor of Science, Technology, and Society James R. Fleming is a leading expert on the history of climate and, as such, was asked to contribute to chapter one of the IPCC’s 2007 assessment reports, about the history and science of climate change.

Mitchell Family Professor of Economics Tom Tietenberg, whose work was cited in a 2001 report, also can claim a piece of the prize for his role in the IPCC’s work over the last two decades. Tietenberg is a national expert on emissions trading.

Colby’s faculty members were among thousands—most from large research universities, according to Fleming—who get some credit for the IPCC’s work. And, although neither professor is lobbying for a portion of the $1-million prize money, Fleming says, jokingly, that he hopes to get a color photocopy of the medal to hang on his office wall.

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