ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
Former Vice President Al Gore says he wants to use his Nobel Peace Prize to change minds faster with regard to what he calls a planetary emergency. Gore was named the co-winner of the Peace Prize today along with the United Nations Climate Change Panel.
As NPR's David Greene reports, the award has raised questions about whether Gore will use the prize as a springboard for another White House campaign.
DAVID GREENE: It's been a wild ride for Al Gore these last eight years. In November 2000, he won the popular vote for president but lost in the electoral college.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)
AL GORE: Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States.
GREENE: Then he traveled around Europe, put on some weight, grew a beard for a while and put together a PowerPoint presentation about global warming that became a movie.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: The documentary was a hit, then it won an Academy Award, and when Gore picked up his Oscar earlier this year, he'd briefly led his audience to think he had a big announcement to make.
(SOUNDBITE OF 2007 ACADEMY AWARDS)
GORE: I'm going to take this opportunity right here and now to formally announce my...
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: That was a joke. But this morning, Gore got some very serious news.
OLE DANBOLT MJOES: The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared in two equal parts between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, and Albert Arnold L. Gore, Jr.
GREENE: Ole Danbolt Mjoes leads the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee. In explaining its choice, the panel said fighting climate change has a lot to do with peace, if the Earth warms and there's a fight for resources and large- scale migration that could lead to wars and violence.
Chairman Mjoes insisted that giving the award to Gore was not meant as a slap at President Bush, who has in the past questioned the science behind global warming. A White House spokesman said Mr. Bush is happy for Gore and that the Nobel is important recognition. As for Gore himself, he made a brief statement from California saying, he's honored but remains very busy.
GORE: We have to quickly find a way to change the world's consciousness about exactly what we're facing and why we have to work to solve it. I'm going back to work right now. This is just the beginning.
GREENE: But the beginning of what? Gore had said emphatically that he has no plans to run for president in 2008 but today, former President Jimmy Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner himself, said on NBC's "Today Show" that he'd love for Gore to run.
(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW "NBC'S TODAY SHOW")
JIMMY CARTER: But I have to call Al Gore and urge him to run for president so many times. He finally told me the last time, President Carter, please do not call me...
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
GREENE: Carter's not alone. There are nearly 20 Draft Gore organizations across the country. One group ran a full-page ad in the New York Times last weekend begging Gore to enter the 2008 race.
Dylan Malone runs another grassroots group that wants Gore to run. He said he learned about the Nobel Prize very early.
DYLAN MALONE: Today at about 3 or 4 in the morning, the phone rings and it was a fellow from the Nobel Prize Committee trying to reach Al Gore.
GREENE: Malone says even if Gore doesn't run, he has no regrets.
MALONE: Our efforts have been well worth it because, frankly, it scares the hell out of the other candidates. I think that our movement is, whether Gore runs or not, has pushed the top candidates into more Gore-esque positions.
GREENE: Greg Simon is a Gore adviser who worked for him in the Senate and the White House. He said the Nobel Prize won't bring Gore into the race.
GREG SIMON: What Al has said over and over again is number one, the electoral process right now focuses so much on raising money and 30-second sound bytes that is very difficult to get any message through the system that's either - that's not about money or buzzwords.
GREENE: Though Simon did offer this.
SIMON: He may choose to run for president eight years from now, 12 years from now.
GREENE: Or even four years from now, if there's no Democratic incumbent running. And the Draft Gore community may have to settle for that.
David Greene, NPR News, Washington.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.