Al Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize Tuesday, announced this morning he will donate the proceeds to a Palo Alto-based nonprofit group he founded and chairs, Alliance for Climate Protection.
Gore won the $1.5 million Nobel Prize jointly with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
He made the announcement at the nonprofit's Hawthorne Ave. office this morning in front of a room packed shoulder-to-shoulder with photographers, videographers and reporters. The approximately $750,000 donation will continue to raise the profile of a growing world-wide emergency, Gore said.
"Scientists at IPCC have been trying to get the attention of the world community. I want to use the honor and recognition of this award as a way of speeding up the change in awareness of the emergency," he said.
Gore appeared with his wife, Tipper, and spoke for about six minutes. He exited the press conference without taking questions.
His announcement was part of a pre-arranged visit to the office of Alliance, an organization of which he is founder and chairman of the board. The organization is dedicated to persuading Americans and others about the importance of fighting global warming, according to Director of Communications Brian Hardwick.
Gore's donation will go entirely to an upcoming campaign to convince the nation of the urgent need to act now on global warming, Hardwick said.
Climate change has put the world in great peril, Gore said on Friday.
"Unless we act with great urgency, the entire polar ice cap could be gone in 23 years," he said.
Gore also credited the scientific community for its previous efforts to educate the public about climate change.
"I will accept this award on behalf of those who have been working so long and so hard to get the word out about this planetary emergency," he said.
He cautioned against optimism in light of his donation.
"That amount of money is very small compared to the challenge ahead," he said.
Gore arrived about half an hour late for a 10 a.m. press conference because of freeway traffic.
Outside, curious passersby and supporters gathered where police had blocked off High Street between Everett and Hawthorne avenues. A black Mercedes with the license plate "Eco 10" idled in front of the back exit.
Children hoping to get a peek of the former United States vice president and 2000 presidential hopeful held aloft hand-painted signs of support.
"Thank you Al," and "Way to go Al," the signs said.
This year the Gore also won an Oscar award for his film about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," and an Emmy for his interactive TV channel, "Current TV."