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Al Gore

Al Gore

2007 Award Winners

Albert Arnold Gore was born in Washington D.C., USA, in 1948. He is Chairman of the Board of the Alliance for Climate Protection, an organization that aims to raise public awareness on the importance of adopting measures that will work towards stopping the climate crisis. He was Vice-President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 and the Democratic nominee in the 2000 Presidential election. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Harvard University and attended Vanderbilt University´s Divinity School and Law School. Today, he is president of Current TV, chairman of the investment firm and hedge fund Generation Investment Management, a director on the board of Apple Inc., and an advisor to Google and to the British government on environmental issues.

His interest in ecology has been a constant throughout his political career: in 1992 he described the problems the planet was facing and proposed policies for avoiding disaster in his book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (1992), which was translated into over 30 languages and became a bestseller. That same year he was part of the American delegation at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro. As Vice-President, he pushed for concrete environmental measures and defended the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the United States, which was vetoed by the Senate. Since the 2000 Presidential elections, Gore has travelled to a large number of countries giving over one thousand lectures on climate change.

His dedication to protecting the environment has become widely known with the film An Inconvenient Truth, presented by Al Gore himself and directed by Davis Guggenheim. The film premiered at the 2006 Sundance Festival and has received numerous awards, including two Oscars, one for best documentary feature. The film grossed 23 million dollars in four months, making it the third highest grossing documentary in the United States. In addition, he published a book of the same title and promised to donate all of the proceeds from the book and the film to educational campaigns. In the film, Gore, who considers the climate situation to be a "planetary emergency", sets ten years as the limit for reverting global warming and avoiding an ecological catastrophe. For this very reason, in February of this year, the United Nations´ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report, signed by 600 scientists and approved by over 100 countries, which certifies that human activity is very likely causing global warming.

In 2007 Al Gore has led the project to organize a series of seven concerts, called Live Earth and with the slogan "A climate in crisis", which will be held on July 7th in seven cities: London, New York, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo. Over one hundred artists have backed the proposal and proceeds will be donated to numerous environmental associations. He has published this same year The Assault on Reason, a new book in which he describes the lack of political will in solving the climate crisis and the predominance of a hostile political trend prevalent in the American democratic system.

After working as a military journalist in Vietnam and as an investigative reporter for a local newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee, he began his political career in 1976 serving as a Congressman for his state. He was elected Senator for two terms (1985 - 1993) and in 1993 he became Vice-President of the United States, when he won the election with Bill Clinton. In 1996 he was re-elected and four years later he ran for the presidency. Even though he won more popular votes than his rival, George W. Bush, he did not win enough electoral votes after a recount in the state of Florida. After the 2000 presidential elections, Gore lectured at several universities and centered his public work on his concern for environmental issues.

Al Gore received the 2005 Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard Medical School´s Centre for Health and the Global Environment (USA) and Scientific American, the most important scientific magazine in the United States, named him the 2006 Policy Leader of the Year. The film An Inconvenient Truth has also won Best Documentary awards from the National Board Review, the New York Film Critics Online and both the Los Angeles and Chicago Film Critics Associations.

Statement by Al Gore upon winning the 2007 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation

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