This has been a good run for Al Gore. First, he won an Oscar for his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," and now a shared Nobel Peace Prize.
On Friday, Gore joined the 2,500-member Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as recipients of one of the most prestigious prizes in the world. While some detractors may regard Gore as more scaremonger than prophet, he clearly now ranks as the planet's most effective and best known defender.
Some have quibbled with points of scientific theory in the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and the best-selling book of the same name. But it now is widely accepted as fact in scientific circles that global warming is occurring and that mankind is at least partially responsible for causing it.
The fact that not only scientists but also the public in general now acknowledges the threat of global warming is due in large part to the skill, the passion, the credibility and the hard work of Al Gore. He made it his mission to alert the world to this threat, and he succeeded.
This also is a remarkable personal story. Gore, who won the popular vote for the presidency in 2000 but lost the electoral vote, could have gone into seclusion to lick his wounds or spent the rest of his days playing golf. Instead, he emerged from that shattering experience to pursue a lifelong interest in the environment, which led him to inconvenient truths about global warming. And now it has led him to a Nobel Peace Prize.
Some say it also should lead him to another run for the presidency. He insists that he is not a candidate, but the whispering campaign keeps him in the public eye and helps him promote his cause.
There are, after all, more ways to achieve greatness than being elected president.
Gore has become the most effective advocate for the battle against global warming.