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U.N. Climate Panel Member Details Nobel-winning Work

Former Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. Michael Oppenheimer, a member of the U.N. panel, discusses the honor and how the group's work has furthered the debate on climate change.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    The Nobel Peace Prize takes up climate change. Kwame Holman begins our coverage with some background.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    This year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the former vice president and a U.N. panel of scientists for creating greater consciousness and a growing consensus about climate change and the dangers it poses.

    Speaking in Palo Alto, California, Gore thanked the Nobel committee for elevating awareness.

    AL GORE, Former Vice President of the United States: It is the most dangerous challenge we've ever faced, but it is also the greatest opportunity that we have ever had to make changes that we should be making for other reasons anyway.

    This is a chance to elevate global consciousness about the challenges that we face now. It truly is a planetary emergency, and we have to respond quickly.

    There's an old African proverb that says, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We have to go far, quickly, and that means we have to quickly find a way to change the worlds' consciousness about exactly what we're facing and why we have to work to solve it.

    I'm going back to work right now. This is just the beginning.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    Today's award capped a year of accolades for the former vice president. Since winning the popular vote but losing the presidential election in 2000, Gore's primary mission has been traveling the world to raise awareness on climate change. His PowerPoint lectures became the basis of the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," released last year.

  • AL GORE:

    The arctic is experiencing faster melting. If this were to go, sea level worldwide would go up 20 feet. This is what would happen in Florida, around Shanghai, home to 40 million people, the area around Calcutta, 60 million. Here's Manhattan. The World Trade Center Memorial would be underwater. Think of the impact of a couple hundred thousand refugees, and then imagine a hundred million.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    The film catapulted Gore onto Hollywood's red carpet, winning two Academy Awards.

  • AL GORE:

    I don't think there's any pageant in the world that matches the Oscars.

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