Gore, UN climate panel to accept Nobel Prize Monday

"It is a question of the survival of our civilization," Gore told reporters Sunday at the Nobel Institute in downtown Oslo.

al gore 88 298 (photo credit: AP)
al gore 88 298
(photo credit: AP)
Al Gore and the UN climate panel's chief scientist accept the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Monday for sounding the alarm over what the former US vice president called the "planetary emergency" of global warming. "That phrase may sound shrill to some ears but it is accurate," Gore said at a news conference Sunday. Gore shared the coveted prize with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, which will be represented at the awards ceremony in Oslo by its leader, Rajendra Pachauri. The other Nobel awards - in medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and economics - will be presented at a separate ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. Each Nobel Prize includes a gold medal, a diploma and a 10 million Swedish kronor (€1.1 million; US$1.6 million) cash award. The Nobel Prizes, first awarded in 1901, are always presented Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of their creator, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel. During the gala ceremony in Oslo's city hall, Gore and Pachauri will accept the peace prize before Norway's royalty, leaders and invited guests. Before the ceremony, Gore said the prize has already had an impact on their efforts to draw the world's attention to the serious and immediate threat posed by global warming. "It is a question of the survival of our civilization," Gore told reporters Sunday at the Nobel Institute in downtown Oslo. Governments, meanwhile, are meeting in Bali, Indonesia, to start work on a new international treaty to reduce climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions. The governments hope to have the new pact, which succeeds the Kyoto accord, in place by 2012, but Gore has said the urgency of the problem means they should aim to come to an agreement by 2010. Pachauri said that new data since the panel's last report led him to fear that "the future could very well be far more dire than we believe it is today." Gore and Pachauri arrive at the ceremony directly from an audience at the royal palace with Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja. Both winners plan to fly to Bali on Wednesday to join the climate talks. In Stockholm, the winners of the science Nobels receive their awards Monday from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf before being treated to a lavish white-tie banquet at City Hall. The 2007 awards in medicine, chemistry and physics honored breakthroughs in stem cell research on mice, solid-surface chemistry and the discovery of a phenomenon that lets computers and digital music players store reams of data on ever-shrinking hard disks. Three US economists shared the economics award for their work on how people's knowledge and self-interest affect their behavior in the market or in social situations such as voting and labor negotiations. One of the economics winners, Leonid Hurwicz, 90, and the literature prize winner, 88-year-old British writer Doris Lessing, could not travel to Stockholm. They will receive their awards at later ceremonies in Minnesota and London, respectively. ___ On the Net: www.nobelpeaceprize.org