The Demise of the Prize

Perhaps long ago it meant something special, but the awarding of major international prizes has taken some rather peculiar turns in recent years. Take this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai—a woman who calls humanity “a threat to the planet.” Her groundbreaking efforts in the area of peace include work with tadpoles:

Maathai said a stream where she used to see frogs and tadpoles as a child 50 years ago had dried up. “The challenge is to restore the home of the tadpoles and give back to our children a world of beauty and wonder,” she said.

Yes, this is the same Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to terrorist Yasser Arafat in 1994—a prize that has among its recipients Martin Luther King, Jr., Theodore Roosevelt, and Albert Schweitzer. Sadly, it’s a prize which appears to have gone the way of the dodo. But the tadpoles, yes, the tadpoles will give us hope…