Al Gore just finished his keynote speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors gathering in Seattle. He addressed the nearly 120 mayors via satellite about global warming. He didn't need a Nobel Prize to sound authoritative on the subject, but it certainly didn't hurt. He lavished praise on mayors for leadership on this issue. (More than 700 have now signed on to the carbon limits in the Kyoto Protocol.) "What a wonderful movement you have started," he said. It's something he proudly points out whenever he speaks on this issue overseas. "It is a rallying cry and a moment of uplift," he noted, especially since the U.S. government is not a signatory. The former vice president gave a few updates about just how bad the problem really is, but he also offered some hope, including noting that just today the Warner-Lieberman Bill on this subject just passed out of subcommittee back in D.C. "I'm encouraged," but he noted that it was going to take a lot more than that to make a difference at the federal level. He also took a shot at the media. Just recently, Gore said, when scientists announced that the north polar ice cap had melted more than at any other time, the TV news he watched that evening had two stories about Britney Spears' child custody problems. Not a mention of the ice issue. Tackling this problem, he reminded the mayors, is not just about eating broccoli and sacrificing our lifestyle. There's a positive side to the solution, including allowing people to have higher take-home incomes (because of lower electricity bills, for instance) and better jobs that are going to come when the green industry takes off. What's next for Gore? Certainly more slide shows. He gave his now-famous presentation eight times in the past several days. "Some weeks that's about all I do, he noted with a smile. He also let it be known that right after he picks up his Nobel Prize in Europe next month he will be flying to Indonesia to help work on the new international agreement on global warming. It's the successor to Kyoto. This time around, he hopes the U.S. will sign. So why didn't he come speak to the crowd in person? He said he couldn't leave Nashville because his wife, Tipper, had a photo exhibit opening that evening. (Who knew she was a photographer?) That's about all that would have held him back from coming, he said.