(CNSNews.com) - Just as the buzz predicted, the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize is former Vice President of the United States Al Gore for spreading the word on global warming.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday that Gore would share the prize with the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which also blames human activity for warming the planet.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said in awarding this year's peace prize, it wanted to highlight the importance of battling climate change.
It praised the IPCC for its many reports over the years, which have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming."
The committee also praised Gore for being an early booster of human-caused global warming: "His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change," the Nobel committee said. "He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."
Nobel Prize contenders aren't supposed to campaign for the award, but Al Gore didn't need to do that -- "because he had the media doing it for him for at least a year-and-a-half," said the Business & Media Institute.
According to BMI, the media "put Gore front and center on a seemingly endless stream of shows and networks -- 'Larry King,' the morning news shows, the nightly news programs and even 'Saturday Night Live' and the Sci-Fi Channel."
In the summer of 2006, Gore and his movie "An Inconvenient Truth" received more than five hours and 38 minutes' coverage on national television. In 2007, eight networks under the umbrella of NBC devoted 93 hours to Gore 'Live Earth' concert, including three hours in primetime on NBC, BMI noted on Friday.
(The Business & Media Institute is part of the Media Research Center, as is CNSNews.com.)
Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite who created the Peace Prize, stipulated in his will that it should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Over the years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has broadened the criteria to include people or groups that contribute to the advancement of human rights.
Even before Gore was named the winner of the prestigious prize, some liberal Democrats were pressing him to run for president of the United States in 2008, something Gore has insisted he will not do.
The question now, as Gore basks in worldwide attention, is whether he'll change his mind about a presidential run.
"I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize," the Associated Press quoted Gore as saying. "We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."
Gore reportedly plans to donate his share of the prize money to the Alliance for Climate Protection.
Word that Gore might have won the peace prize spread on Thursday after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Gore had abruptly canceled an appearance at a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer in San Francisco.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Boxer told her supporters, "I got a call from Vice President Al Gore. He told me that he needs to travel abroad tomorrow (Friday) for an exciting and urgent mission that could result in a major breakthrough in the fight against global warming." But later, Boxer's campaign said Gore would appear after all at Thursday's event in San Francisco -- and he did.
Gore and the IPCC will share the $1.5 million dollar prize.
(The IPCC notes on its Web page that it does not carry out research, nor does it monitor climate-related data. "It bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature.")
See Earlier Stories:
Gore's Film an Oscar Favorite but Violates Academy Standards, Critics Say (Feb. 22, 2007)
UN Climate Summary Designed to Dupe, Critics Say (Feb. 2, 2007)
UN Report Pours 'Cold Water' on Global Warming, Senator Says (Dec. 12, 2006)
'Alarmist' Global Warming Claims Unfounded Says Climatolgist (July 14, 2003)
Global Warming Models Labeled 'Fairy Tale' By Team of Scientists (May 14, 2002)
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