Wangari Maathai
October 8, 2004 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement in Africa, has won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. [Via WorldChanging.]
posted by homunculus (10 comments total)
Yay! I was so delighted to hear this on the radio this afternoon. I think it's fantastic that this year's peace prize is going to someone who's done so much to save the Earth as a whole, instead of someone who's enmeshed in the same old international clashes.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:14 PM on October 8, 2004

I listened to discussion on NPR about this today. How inspiring, not just environmental, but human rights-wise, to buck the government, be a "dissident", and stick to your vision. Wow. A ray of hope that the individual can be heard after all. That is just wonderful!
posted by yoga at 7:50 PM on October 8, 2004

I'd never heard of Maathai, but I am excited to hear more about her. I really appreciate the thought that has gone into the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, and it's nice to learn about such an accomplished activist. I think the link between sustainable ecological development and human rights is important. Go Sweden!
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 10:11 PM on October 8, 2004

This is wonderful news.
posted by jb at 11:27 PM on October 8, 2004

Go Norway, actually. The Peace Prize is the one Nobel award not given out in Sweden. (Norway and Sweden were in a union, under one king, between 1814 and 1905. Alfred Nobel lived 1833-96).
posted by mr.marx at 11:42 PM on October 8, 2004

Need some wood?
posted by Dukebloo at 12:11 AM on October 9, 2004

What I find impressive about this is that her methods integrated solutions to so many problems. She managed to encourage reforestation, participation by women in the economy, long-term responsibility (you couldn't get paid for planting the trees unless they survived, which meant you had to look after them). This strikes me as a rather thoughtful decision.
posted by lodurr at 6:09 AM on October 9, 2004

My brother dampened my excitement at this news a bit by pointing out that she believes HIV/AIDS was created by scientists for the purpose of mass extermination. Doesn't take away from all the good stuff she's doing, but that's pretty sad.
posted by languagehat at 5:57 PM on October 9, 2004

Well, Linus Pauling believed that vitamin C could cure cancer, and Kary Mullis believes that humans are regularly abducted by aliens. There's no rule that says Nobel winners can't have a bizarre delusion or two.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:07 PM on October 9, 2004

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