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CNN Student News Transcript: October 15, 2007

  • Story Highlights
  • Find out how a former U.S. vice president completed an award treble of sorts
  • See how some young engineers are building tomorrow's homes today
  • Dive in to the debate about sharing fresh drinking water in the U.S.
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(CNN Student News) -- October 15, 2007

Quick Guide

Nobel Peace Prize - Find out how a former U.S. vice president completed an award treble of sorts.

Solar Decathlon - See how some young engineers are building tomorrow's homes today.

Water Politics - Dive in to the debate about sharing fresh drinking water in the U.S.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Thanks for kicking off a new week with CNN Student News! From the CNN Center, I'm Monica Lloyd.

First Up: Nobel Peace Prize

LLOYD: First up-- Former Vice President Al Gore is adding another award to his list of honors and achievements: The Nobel Peace Prize. He's sharing it with a United Nations panel that, like him, is dedicated to raising awareness about climate change. You might've seen Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth." It's won him an Oscar and international praise. And Miles O'Brien explains while the film's not perfect, i's played a near-perfect role in putting Gore back in the spotlight.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN REPORTER: It may be little more than a glorified power point presentation, but it it could not have been more -convenient- for Al Gore and those who agree with him that it is time to turn up the heat on those who doubt global warming:

OLE DANBOLT MJS, NOBEL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.

O'BRIEN: Al Gore struck the right note at the right time, and now wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: Tipper and I will go to Oslo and I will accept this award on behalf of all of those who have been working so long and so hard to try to get the message out about this planetary emergency.

O'BRIEN: Gore shares the honor with the the worldwide organization of scientists that has been sending up warning flags for nearly 20 years.

MARTIN PARRY, IPCC CO-CHAIR: What they've done now is finally established at the global level, there is a man-made climate signal coming through on plants, animals, water and ice.

O'BRIEN: That is the most recent assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC believes in the next century temperatures on earth will increase between 3 and a quarter and 7 degrees, sea level will rise 7 to 23 inches and they say there is a 90 per cent certainty it is a human caused problem.

JAMES HANSEN: The picture has become clear enough that we should be telling people about it. This is not the time for reticence.

O'BRIEN: And in some cases, Gore didn't let the facts get in the way of a good story; saying Pacific islanders have evacuated to New Zealand - a prediction that has not happened yet; that polar bears have drowned for lack of firm ice - there is no proof of that; or implying global warming will generate more tornadoes - no smoking gun there either.

O'BRIEN: A judge in Britain mentioned those exaggerations and six others as he ruled on whether 'An Inconvenient Truth' should be shown to high school students there. But he also said in his ruling that 'It is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion.' The judge said it is a political film, however. Of course the Nobel Laureate, Al Gore believes it is a moral and spiritual issue. Miles O'Brien, CNN, New York.


Planet in Peril I-Reporter: Casey Ehrlich

LLOYD: One teenager who was partly inspired by Gore's film has found a way to make her voice heard years before she'll be allowed to vote! Here's Casey Ehrlich with a prime example of her "Blanket the Globe" project. It pieces together fabric squares designed by people age 18 and under, mostly showing how young folks feel connected to nature, or ways you can help the environment. Ehrlich's goal is to build a blanket that helps draw attention to the issues facing the world today. And you can find out how you can contribute to the project, by visiting Now we found out about this when Ehrlich sent us an I-Report in response to our "Planet in Peril" series-- You can do the same thing! Head to to find out how!

Word to the Wise

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: A Word to the Wise... decathlon (noun) a contest consisting of ten different events


Solar Decathlon

LLOYD: Usually that definition includes the word "athletic," but the 2007 Solar Decathlon in the nation's capital, is more about mind power. Here's what we mean: Ten contests, 20 college teams, One goal: To create the best, most energy-efficient, sunlight-powered home possible. Gary Nurenberg describes how their ideas today, could shape the house you live in tomorrow.


GARY NURENBERG, CNN REPORTER: The International Solar Decathlon on Washington's National Mall is a design competition among 20 college teams. Those are solar panels on the roof of a house designed by students from Madrid. Inside, they built this wall from discarded almond shells. The University of Maryland team has linked its solar house to the Web.

JOHN KUCIA, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: If you forget and leave the closet light on and you're at work, you just log on and turn it off from there.

NURENBERG: Designers at Texas A & M used solar hot water tubes on the patio.

JOHN CANEZ, TEXAS A&M: We put them vertical to create a privacy wall to create this nice space on the west side and it also protects this nice glass visage that we have.

NURENBERG: The University of Colorado at Boulder is basing its design on a converted shipping container, which contains all the key mechanical elements of the house.

CHAD CORBIN, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER: So that we can ship that to a site and have that be the living system of the building. The user can then customize the building anyway they like.

NURENBERG: It's a long way from a design class in a sterile classroom.

NURENBERG: The houses are judged on innovation and on livability, one reason the competition was created.

SOT: The cost of solar products were coming down, but we didn't know how to integrate them or get them designed aesthetically into buildings.

NURENBERG: The houses costs between 500,000 and a million dollars, and drew big crowds over the weekend. But solar is attracting more than just gawkers.

SECRETARY OF ENERGY: It is the first time that I have seen the venture capitalists of the United States putting big money into energy projects. They're putting big money into solar energy...

NURENBERG: Solar currently contributes to less than one percent of America's energy supply. With rising oil prices, competitors here are convinced that is about to change. Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.



AZUZ: Time for the Shoutout! Which of these is a renewable resource? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Natural gas, B) Coal, C) Minerals or D) Wind? You've got three seconds -- GO! Natural gas, coal and minerals can be used up so much faster than they're consumed, so they're considered nonrenewable. Wind, on the other hand, is renewable. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Water Politics

LLOYD: There's a lot of debate about whether freshwater should be considered a renewable or non-renewable resource. It definitely seems non-renewable when there's a drought. And according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, almost 60 percent of the U.S. is under dry or drought conditions! So should states that have water, share it with those that don't? Carol Costello explores how that question is making waves.


COSTELLO, CNN REPORTER: Beautiful, sparkling water. It's a resource that's becoming so scarce---it's sparked a new kind of war. The latest 'bomb' thrown by New Mexico Governor and presidential candidate, Bill Richardson, who told a Las Vegas Newspaper: "I want a national water policy. We need a dialogue between states to deal with issues like water reuse technology, water delivery and water production; States like Wisconsin are awash in water.

GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM, (D) MICHIGAN: The minute someone starts talking about a national water policy, watch your lakes. That's all I can say.

SOUND ON TAPE: Dem's fighting words!

COSTELLO: Michigan's Governor says what Governor Richardson really means is my state needs water---gimme some!

GRANHOLM: No. That's my response. This is exactly why we need someone in the White House who understands Michigan's concerns.

COSTELLO: Her mission is to keep the water in the Great Lakes---in them. She fears water-needy states like Governor Richardson's New Mexico, will raid Lakes Michigan, Superior, Erie, Huron, and Ontario---siphoning off huge amounts of the Midwest's water for themselves. This fear of western American cities coveting someone else's water has long been an issue. Remember the movie Chinatown?

FROM THE MOVIE CHINATOWN: You see Mr. Gittes, either you bring water to LA or you bring LA to the water.

COSTELLO: It was about LA's secret attempt to siphon off water from unsuspecting farmers. Some say that's a scenario not so far fetched when you consider peristent water shortages out west, and severe droughts in states like Georgia. Lake Lanier, which supplies water to metro Atlanta's 5-million citizens, will run dry in three months. But, if it wants help from Michigan, forget it. If Atlanta or New Mexico wants to dip into the Lakes--

HUGH McDIARMID, MICHIGAN ENVIRONMENTAL: We invite Governor Richardson and his constituents to come to the Great Lakes and share the water, but to do it in the basin where it is not being lost forever.

COSTELLO: In other words, move on over to Michigan where drinking water is plentiful.


Before We Go

LLOYD: In keeping with the water theme, here's mud in your eye! At first, it looks like an obstacle course until you see what's on the ground. Getting down and dirty part of the fun in the "Mud Run," when competitors go toe to toe, and get covered head to toe, in fresh, California mud. Getting through the gross, grueling glop gives them a sense of accomplishment and helps out the Toys for Tots charity!



LLOYD: We hope you'll stay cleaner in P.E.! For CNN Student News, I'm Monica Lloyd. We'll see you tomorrow online, on iTunes, or on Headline News. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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