Gore Hiring Gives British PM Hopeful Star Support in 'Greening' Effort

Former Vice President Al Gore, who has become one of the world's most visible advocates for green politics, was appointed Monday an adviser on climate change to the British government.

Gore's appointment was announced by British Treasury secretary Gordon Brown, the likely successor to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Gore's hiring to help reshape the British economy — make it more "pro growth and pro green" — is viewed by British political observers as a move to give Brown's campaign some much-needed star quality.

It also is sure to raise some eyebrows in the Bush administration.

Since losing the presidential election to George W. Bush nearly six years ago, Gore has gradually assembled a portfolio of jobs and contacts that stretch from television to banking, from technology to academia, all in the name of saving the planet from the worst effects of climate change.

This summer, he was seen criss-crossing the globe, promoting his documentary and book, "An Inconvenient Truth," which spelled out the dangers and opportunities posed by the looming catastrophe of the greenhouse effect.

Gore has become somewhat of a cultish figure in environmental politics. In 1980, as a young member of the House of Representatives, he organized the first congressional hearings on the subject.

David Milliband, Britain's Environment Secretary, called Gore an inspiration in a recent entry on his ministerial blog, describing his dedication to the environment "humbling" and calling one of his books, "Earth in the Balance," "the best book I have ever read by a politician".

Gore, 58, has not gone quietly into the political night, and though he has repeatedly denied any intentions to run for the presidency in 2008, there are plenty of Democratic supporters who would welcome it he ran for the White House, especially if Hillary Clinton is the only other serious candidate.

Earlier this month, Gore stepped back into domestic politics, making his first campaign advertisement since his election defeat in 2000, as part of the drive to pass "Proposition 87," a measure to impose new taxes on California's oil companies.

Gore also has taught on climate change at Columbia University and UCLA, and remains a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

He is founder and chairman of Current TV, a cable television network that encourages its viewers to send films they have made to its website. The films which receive the most votes on its website are then broadcast. Gore serves on the board of Apple, the computer giant, and is a senior adviser to Google.