Dozens of eyewitness reports indicated that former vice president Al Gore deliberately attempted to raise the earth's temperature in order to boost box office receipts for An Inconvenient Truth, his documentary film about global warming that was released in May.

<p><b>DESPERATE MEASURES</b><br> Former vice president Al Gore takes a flamethrower to the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to boost weekend ticket sales for <i>An Inconvenient Truth</i>.</p>

"We have accounts from concerned citizens that Mr. Gore purchased a Cadillac Escalade SUV several months before [his film] opened in theaters," said Kimberly Blume, spokeswoman for the California-based environmental group Friends Of The Earth. "Not only did Mr. Gore use his new gas-guzzler to make short trips to the grocery store, he also left the vehicle running 24 hours a day in the driveway of his Tennessee home with the air-conditioning on full-blast."

In the weeks following the film's release, witnesses reported additional sightings of Gore engaging in activities such as discharging can after can of 1980s-era, CFC-laden aerosol into the air, and single-handedly clear-cutting over 6,000 acres of Amazon rain forest.

Gore is also rumored to have set a four-acre tire fire outside Akron, OH, and ordered his Secret Service detail to shoot on sight anyone who attempts to put it out.

"It's sad to see a man we thought was a passionate defender of the environment despoiling it for his own monetary gain," Blume said.

Blume said that she and many environmentalists had momentarily expressed relief in late November when Gore appeared to cease his months-long practice of dismantling old refrigerators in order to release ozone-destroying freon into the atmosphere. Blume soon learned, however, that Gore had resumed the activity in Antarctica, where the earth's ozone layer is most fragile.

Environmental groups have called for the federal government to step in and put a stop to Gore's actions, but officials say they do not have the power to stop him.

"There is no legal recourse anyone can take against the former vice president," Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said. "Mr. Gore is well within the emissions standards set by the current administration."

By year's end, Gore failed to slow his assault on the planet's delicately balanced climate systems. Satellite surveillance revealed what many believe to be a snowshoed Gore jumping up and down on an ice shelf in Greenland, chainsawing glaciers in the Alaskan wild, and urinating in the Gulf Stream waters off the coast of Newfoundland.