Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. - Al Gore
Al Gore never became president of the United States, but he certainly left an indelible mark on the world. Born March 31, 1948 in Washington D. C., Al Gore grew up in Tennessee and in the Capital, where his father was a U.S. Representative and Senator. After graduating Harvard with a degree in Government, Gore served in the Army for two years during the Vietnam War, despite his objections to the conflict. Upon his return, he attended Vanderbilt Law and then entered politics. He served as a Representative (1976-84), Senator (1984-93), and finally as Vice President under Bill Clinton (1993-2001). From his time at Harvard through his political career, Gore was already an outspoken critic of unjust energy and ecological policies. After a highly controversial presidential election loss in 2000 in which he won the popular vote, Gore began to work outside the government to raise awareness on Global Climate Change. With his speaking tour and Academy Award-winning documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, Gore stirred up the American and worldwide consciousness on environmental issues. In 2007, he and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." He continues to campaign actively, and lives with his wife Mary Elizabeth (Tipper) in Tennessee.
"Our world faces a true planetary emergency. I know the phrase sounds shrill, and I know it's a challenge to the moral imagination."
"The heart of the security agenda is protecting lives - and we now know that the number of people who will die of AIDS in the first decade of the 21st Century will rival the number that died in all the wars in all the decades of the 20th century."
"The scientists are virtually screaming from the rooftops now. The debate is over! There's no longer any debate in the scientific community about this. But the political systems around the world have held this at arm's length because it's an inconvenient truth, because they don't want to accept that it's a moral imperative."
"We sometimes emphasize the danger in a crisis without focusing on the opportunities that are there. We should feel a great sense of urgency because it is the most dangerous crisis we have ever faced, by far. But it also provides us with opportunities to do a lot of things we ought to be doing for other reasons anyway. And to solve this crisis we can develop a shared sense of moral purpose."
"The struggle to save the global environment is in one way much more difficult than the struggle to vanquish Hitler, for this time the war is with ourselves. We are the enemy, just as we have only ourselves as allies."