NBC Goes to 'Ends of the Earth' to Explore Climate Change

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Former Vice President Al Gore, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his crusade against global warming, thanked NBC's Today show on Monday for going to the ends of the earth to explore the issue of climate change.

In what the Today show billed as a "first," anchor Matt Lauer -- shivering in the bitter cold -- reported live from the Arctic Circle, correspondent Ann Curry reported live from Antarctica and weatherman Al Roker was live at the equator.

"An incredible broadcast from three extreme locations," Matt Lauer said at the top of the show. He also admitted he was "freezing my you-know-what off," as he reported live from a boat off Greenland.

Lauer said the Today show would bring viewers "stunning images" as well as information "that's going to make you stop and think about the state of our planet -- how we're treating it and how it's going to treat us."

Later on the program, anchor Meredith Vieira interviewed Al Gore about what he called a "planetary emergency."

"I've been trying to tell the story for more than 30 years...and I congratulate the Today show on going to the Artic and Antarctic and the Equator and really going all-out to tell this story," Gore said.

Gore said winning the Nobel Peace Prize will allow him to "communicate more effectively about the climate crisis."

He said the climate crisis "is by far the biggest challenge human civilization has ever faced," and he said 70 million tons of global warming pollutants are flowing into the earth's atmosphere every day -- "as if it's an open sewer."

The pollution, Gore said, is trapping the sun's heat, raising temperatures, melting polar ice, making storms stronger, lengthening and deepening both droughts and floods, and moving tropical diseases into temperate latitudes.

He hailed the "very strong scientific consensus" that the climate crisis is real, that human beings are responsible for it, and that there is still time to solve it.

"The good news is, we can stop it, and solving this crisis will lead to positive changes that improve the quality of our lives," Gore insisted.

Gore brushed aside criticism from those who question whether human activity is to blame for global warming.

He also criticized the news media for its "old habit" of giving both sides of the story: "There are still people who believe that the earth is flat. But when you're reporting on a story like the one you're covering today...you don't search out someone who still believes the earth is flat and give them equal time."

At the end of the interview, Gore repeated that he has "no plans to go back into government service" in any position, but calls for him to run for president persist nevertheless.

At a climate change rally in San Francisco on Saturday, activists carried signs reading, "Draft Gore."

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