Year
2007

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.”

ALSO ON THIS DAY

USS Cole attacked by terrorists

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The origin of Oktoberfest

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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 ...read more

Terrorists kill 202 in Bali

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Columbus reaches the New World

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Gen. Joseph Stilwell dies

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Thomas Jefferson composes romantic letter

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John Denver dies in an aircraft accident

To those who bought records like “Rocky Mountain High” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by the millions in the 1970s, John Denver was much more than just a great songwriter and performer. With his oversized glasses, bowl haircut and down vest, he was an unlikely fashion icon, ...read more

Fire rages in Minnesota

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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 ...read more