Influential People Essay

Submitted By harrietbromley2
Words: 1084
Pages: 5

Al Gore understands the science of global warming better than anyone else in the world of politics. His interest was sparked when he was a student at Harvard, studying with the legendary geochemist Roger Revelle, who realized that humanity's pell-mell burning of fossil fuels could make the earth a vastly different—and warmer—place.
Almost as soon as Gore was elected to Congress in 1976, he began conducting hearings on global warming. He investigated the science, holding roundtable discussions in his office with climatologists. Just as important, he learned how hard it would be to overcome the resistance of special interests, whose strategy would be to cast doubt on global-warming science, just as cigarette manufacturers cast doubt on the link between smoking and cancer.
After the 2000 election mess, Gore, now 59, might have had an easier life. Instead he took up an even tougher battle. An Inconvenient Truth, his movie and book, has moved the global-warming debate like nothing else before it. But as the planet edges closer toward environmental tipping points from which we could never recover, there is much more to be done. The most important chapters in Gore's story may remain to be written.
Hansen is director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies

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Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2007
Queen Elizabeth II
By Catherine Mayer
Helen Mirren may have scooped an Oscar for her portrayal of the Queen, head of state of Britain and 15 Commonwealth countries, but it is Elizabeth Windsor who continues to define the role. It was thrust upon her in 1952 by the premature death of her father, and she has not left the stage since. Yet unlike the celebrities and politicians with whom she regularly exchanges pleasantries, the most famous woman in the world has never given an interview.
That reserve was interpreted as indifference in the turbulent months after Princess Diana died, when Britons contemplated burying their monarchy. A decade later the institution is solid, thanks largely to Elizabeth's steady hand. At 81, Her Majesty is still cutting ribbons, laying wreaths, greeting dignitaries and making speeches in a voice that has resisted the temptation to seek acceptance through reinvention. That's the secret of the Queen's success: she understands the need for reforms, such as slimming the costs of her family to the taxpayer and opening her accounts to public scrutiny, but she has never compromised her identity. However, like her beloved corgis and dorgis (a dachshund cross), she occasionally slips the leash, says her second son, Prince Andrew. Once, on a walk, she encountered one of her subjects, who exclaimed, "You look just like the Queen!" "How very reassuring," Her Majesty replied. Many Britons feel the same way.
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Tuesday, May. 01, 2007
Martin Scorsese
By Richard Schickel
He has, at last, his long-deserved Oscar. And the picture for which he won it, The Departed, is the largest commercial success Martin Scorsese has ever enjoyed. Can we imagine Marty, happy at last, resting on his belated laurels? Not really. At the moment he is working on three scripts and a pair of documentaries. He's editing a film about the Rolling Stones before heading to the Cannes Film Festival to announce an expansion of his Film Foundation, devoted to the preservation of ever deteriorating movies.
Movie history is one of his grand passions, but at some early point in his 65-year-old life someone pushed Scorsese's fast-forward button, and it has been stuck there ever since. He can do serene (Kundun), and he can do elegant (The Age of Innocence), but when we summon up a typical