Publish date:
Updated on

Al Gore wins Nobel Prize in the wake of An Inconvenient Truth

On this day in 2007, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to increase public knowledge about man-made climate change. In 2006, Gore had starred in the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which was credited with raising international awareness about the global warming crisis.

Gore, a former senator from Tennessee who served as President Bill Clinton’s vice president from 1993 to 2001, is considered one of the first politicians to recognize the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions, a cause of human-induced global warming. Gore became interested in the topic of global warming during a college course he took at Harvard University. As a congressman, he held hearings on climate change in the late 1970s, a time when most Americans had little or no knowledge of the issue. After losing the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, Gore embarked on a new campaign—the fight against man-made climate change—and gave slide-show presentations around the world in an effort to educate the public. An Inconvenient Truth chronicled Gore’s efforts to educate audiences with his “traveling global warming road show.” In the film, he details the facts and falsehoods surrounding this “planetary emergency” and describes the events in his own life that led him to become an environmental crusader.

An Inconvenient Truth debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2006, and opened in limited release across the United States in May of that same year. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the film went on to win numerous awards, including an Oscar for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards on February 25, 2007. Melissa Etheridge also received an Oscar for Best Original Song, for “I Need to Wake Up.”

One of the highest-grossing documentaries in U.S. history, An Inconvenient Truth played in theaters around the planet. It was credited with helping to spur the “green movement” that spread across the United States in 2007, as the media focused more attention on the problems associated with climate change. In Hollywood, actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio began driving hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and generally promoting a more eco-friendly lifestyle, while various film companies pledged to become “carbon-neutral.”

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!


USS Cole attacked by terrorists

At 12:15 p.m. local time, a motorized rubber dinghy loaded with explosives blows a 40-by-40-foot hole in the port side of the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer that was refueling at Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed and 38 wounded in the attack, which was carried out by more

The origin of Oktoberfest

Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named more

USSR leads the space race

The Soviet Union launches Voskhod 1 into orbit around Earth, with cosmonauts Vladamir Komarov, Konstantin Feoktistov, and Boris Yegorov aboard. Voskhod 1 was the first spacecraft to carry a multi-person crew, and the two-day mission was also the first flight performed without more

Terrorists kill 202 in Bali

On this day in 2002, three bombings shatter the peace in the town of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. The blasts, the work of militant Islamist terrorists, left 202 people dead and more than 200 others injured, many with severe burns. The attacks shocked residents and those more

Columbus reaches the New World

After sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sights a Bahamian island, believing he has reached East Asia. His expedition went ashore the same day and claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored his attempt to find a more

Gen. Joseph Stilwell dies

On this day in 1946, Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, the man who commanded the U.S. and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japanese incursions into China and Burma, dies today at age 63. Born March 19, 1883, in Palatka, Florida, and a graduate of the West Point Military Academy, Stilwell more

Thomas Jefferson composes romantic letter

On this day in 1786, a lovesick Thomas Jefferson composes a romantic and introspective letter to a woman named Maria Cosway. Early in 1786, widower Thomas Jefferson met Maria Cosway in Paris while he was serving as the U.S. minister to France. Cosway was born to English parents more

Fire rages in Minnesota

A massive forest fire rages through Minnesota on this day in 1918, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands homeless. The fire burned at least 1,500 square miles. The fire, known as the Cloquet-Moose Lake fire because that is where the damage was worst, began at rail more

The victim of an anti-gay assault dies

University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard dies after a vicious attack by two anti-gay bigots. After meeting Shepard in a Laramie, Wyoming, gay bar, The Fireside Lounge, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney lured him to the parking lot, where he was savagely attacked and more