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Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

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Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

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Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

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

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Let's follow up on this morning's news that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. The former vice president gets the prize for his work on climate change, and he shares it with the United Nation's Panel on Climate Change. Earlier this year, Al Gore spoke with NPR's Scott Simon.

Mr. AL GORE (Former Vice-President, United States): Look, I am trying to play a constructive role in rallying people to solve the climate crisis. And in pursuing this task, I have come to feel ever more strongly that in order to solve the climate crisis, we're going to have to address these deep problems in the way we make decisions.

INSKEEP: He shares the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on an issue that in the minds of the Nobel committee is an issue of war and peace.

NPR's Rob Gifford is covering this story. And Rob, why would he get a prize for peace-making here?

ROB GIFFORD: Well, because it has simply becomes such a global issue and such an issue between nations and within nations that it seemed to be - and this is what they said in citing Al Gore and the U.N. Panel today - it's becoming a cause of conflict and could become even more of a cause of conflict in coming years. And so it's no longer just a matter for the environmentalists. It's crossing borders; it's becoming an international and a diplomatic issue. And that's really why they said that they have given this award to Al Gore and the U.N. Panel on climate change.

INSKEEP: And the Associated Press this morning is carrying a quote from Jan Egeland, the former United Nation's negotiator who says we're already seeing the first climate wars, and he points to areas like Africa where there are water shortages and so forth.

GIFFORD: That's right. I mean, water is really the big one in so many places, Africa crucially, and in the places like North China, some people saying, you know, water is the new oil, water is - you have to have it for life, obviously. And if countries don't have enough water, of course - and as the global climate affects all these kind of issues, countries are going to need to do something about that. And we've seen that - obviously, we've seen it through history in terms of resources of one sort or another. We've seen it terms of oil, for instance, and other resources.

Take Japan as an example in the 1930s. Now we're looking at a speeded up climate change where the Earth is proved - has been proved to be warming up. And that is going to increase the stress and the threat of some kind of conflict over these natural resources.

INSKEEP: We're talking about NPR's Rob Gifford about the news that Al Gore is sharing the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, his movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and other efforts.

And Rob, the committee said that he is the single individual who's done the most to create greater worldwide understanding of global warming.

And I have to ask you, since you're talking with us from London, was Gore's movie and his lectures, were they widely followed in Europe?

GIFFORD: They were. And it has been seen widely, although I should say just last week a scientist challenged Al Gore in a London court and some of the scientific facts in his movie, and the court actually said some of those facts were questionable and questioned whether the film should be used as an educational aid in schools.

But generally speaking, I think people here in Europe have been watching it, and they are getting hold of these issues, these climate change issues, probably faster than in North America. There's a huge focus here, it's a big political issue in all the campaigns, all the political parties - and it's absolutely you can't be without a solid climate change and environmental policy...

INSKEEP: Okay.

GIFFORD: ...as a political party in Europe.

INSKEEP: Rob, thanks very much.

GIFFORD: Thanks, Steve.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Rob Gifford commenting on today's news that Al Gore shares the Nobel Peace Prize.

It's NPR News.

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