I'm trying to figure out how Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize win (which he shared with UN climate change scientists) last week might affect the green car world. The general theme from the articles I've read on the win over the weekend (the ones that aren't rightwing hit pieces or speculations on a possible Gore 2008 presidential run) seem to agree that the value in Gore's win is that it finally moves the whole global warming/climate change/is it happening debate off to the side. Take this, for example, from today's Chicago Tribune:
Over the last year, views on climate change seem to have transformed faster than the weather itself.
In almost impossibly rapid fashion, a once widely disputed theory has become a mainstream worry. There are waiting lists for hybrid cars.
In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, the prize committee gave much of the credit for that shift to this year's winners...
Humans are affecting the environment, the new widespread conventional wisdom goes, this causes conflict, and people (Gore, scientists, and individuals) now know how to take action to affect it for the better. For those of us who read and write about the environment (and cars, natch) every day, this might not really seem like a big shift, but I get the feeling that there is something changing out there that's larger than what has come before. Certainly, there is a lot of distance yet to cover, but I think Gore's win is a big step forward towards getting our less eco-conscientious brothers and sisters to take a longer look at just what that hybrid premium is worth, whether biodiesel is the way to go, calculating the carbon impact of corn ethanol or - maybe - starting to save up for a Tesla WhiteStar. Or even learning for the first time what the Tesla WhiteStar is.
What does the win mean to you?
UPDATE: Ford exec says Oscar win was more important for hybrid sales. Via Automotive News (subs req'd).