Bill Steigerwald

"... The last gasp of a polar bear before it drowns in the vast waters of the Arctic, unable to reach the increasingly distant ice floes it needs to find food."

"... The muffled cries of newborn polar bear cubs as they are buried alive when their snowy den collapses from unseasonable rains."

"... The exhaustion of a mother polar bear and her young as they succumb to starvation after enduring longer and longer periods without food."

Beinecke's Arctic soap opera blathered and blubbered on and on, ultimately leaving the impression that it was a proven fact many polar bears were starving, drowning and even eating each other in heretofore unseen numbers because global warming is melting more and more of the sea ice they live on and hunt from.

Beinecke didn't use her great imagination to interview any polar bears for NRDC's unintentionally hilarious package of tear-jerky propaganda.

But since it's apparently OK to make up anything you want about polar bears, let's imagine how a wise old bear might react to his proud species being defamed by NRDC as helpless victims and having their allegedly endangered lives exploited for money-raising purposes.

"Dear NRDC," the average Grandpa polar bear might write. "Thanks a lot for your love and concern. But please don't worry so much about us. In fact, please leave us alone.

"We and the Arctic sea ice are doing just fine. We've lived on the frozen top of the world for 250,000 years. We've survived two ice ages and a meteor that killed off the wooly mammoths.

"We've seen a lot of climate change and a lot of pack ice come and go over the eons. Believe us, it's natural. It's cyclical. It's unpredictable. But we'll adapt, as we always have.

"We are not endangered. We are not going to go extinct in 30 years -- or 10,000 years. There are at least 25,000 of us living quite well up here and, trust me, we're going to survive the coming ice age with a lot less trouble than you will."

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald, born and raised in Pittsburgh, is a former L.A. Times copy editor and free-lancer who also worked as a docudrama researcher for CBS-TV in Hollywood before becoming a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a columnist Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Bill Steigerwald recently retired from daily newspaper journalism..