Al GoreThe Nobel Prize Committee announced early Friday morning that it was awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change.

Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won “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,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

They were chosen to share the $1.5 million prize from a field of 181 candidates.

“Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control,” the citation said of rising temperatures that could bring more droughts, floods, rising seas.

“He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted,” the committee said of Gore.

“The IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming,” it said.

Al Gore has dedicated much of his life to informing the world that the planet faced a serious threat from global warming and urging the world’s leaders to begin taking immediate steps to reverse the trends. Update: Gore released the following statement (h/t Oliver Willis):

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis–a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

On CNN this morning, John Roberts, the White House shill who is embedded at CNN, spent the entire discussion trying to discredit Gore, by asking his guest expert about the recent British judge who ruled that if British schools show Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, they must point out several “errors” in the film. To her credit, Robert’s guest said the “errors” were trivial, that the judge apparently had an ideological bias, and that scientists agreed on the basic message of the film. [Update: see this dKos diary by Meteor Blades about the misreporting, repeated by CNN, on these so-called "errors."] But that didn’t stop Roberts from asking question after question about how “controversial” this would be. John Roberts: first class jerk and shill.

CNN’s running poll on whether Gore deserves the Peace Prize was running about 57 percent in favor. You might want to visit.

America can be very proud this morning that one of its most admirable statesmen — a Democratic standard bearer — just won the Peace Prize. Congratulations to Al Gore.

MarkfromSF has a dKos diary on Gore’s appearance at a fundraiser last night.

Photo: Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore waves to the media at the Japanese premiere of his documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in Tokyo in this January 15, 2007 file picture. (Kiyoshi Ota/File/Reuters)