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Inside Politics

Gore uses Oscar speech to plug environmental cause

Story Highlights

• Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," wins Oscar for best documentary
• Movie has put the former vice president back into the political spotlight
• Gore spoofs speculation over whether he'll run in mock "announcement"
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Sure, the White House slipped from former Vice President Al Gore's grasp, but how many politicians end up on stage at Oscar night?

"An Inconvenient Truth," which turned Gore's lectures on the threat of global warming into a highly touted theatrical release, won the Academy Award for best documentary feature Sunday night.

Singer Melissa Etheridge also received the Oscar for best original song, "I Need to Wake Up," which was written for the movie.

Gore used the award as another opportunity to plug the environmental cause, telling the Hollywood audience and an estimated 1 billion television viewers that resolving the threat posed by a warming climate is "not a political issue, it's a moral issue." (Watch Gore talk about his cause and his movie Video)

"We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act," he said. "That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."

Gore shared the stage with the film's director and executive producer, Davis Guggenheim, who said the producers "were inspired by [Gore's] fight for 30 years to tell this truth to all of us."

After eight years as vice president, Gore's bid for the presidency ended in 2000 in court battles over recounting votes in Florida. Though Gore led George W. Bush in the popular vote, Florida's electoral votes ultimately decided the race for Bush.

Since leaving office, Gore has advised a Los Angeles,California-based investment firm on biotechnology and computer issues and lectured at Middle Tennessee State University, his father's alma mater. His continuing efforts to raise public concern about the environment led to the presentations that formed the core of "An Inconvenient Truth."

A U.N. report released in January predicted global temperatures increases of 3.2 to 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.8 to 4 degrees Celsius) by 2100. Human activity -- specifically, carbon emissions from fossil fuels -- are "very likely" the culprit, the report found.

Gore's environmental advocacy and his early opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq have raised questions about whether he'll run for president again. He has said he has no plans to mount a new campaign but spoofed the speculation during an earlier appearance at the Oscars.

When actor Leonardo DiCaprio asked him if he planned "any other kind of major, major announcement" Sunday night, he said he hadn't planned on one.

But as he started to read from a piece of paper that he would "formally announce my intention ... " the orchestra started playing -- the signal that an award recipient's time for his acceptance speech is up.


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Former Vice President Al Gore has put global warming on the world's political agenda.

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