Global Warming Is the 'Real Thing,' Says Ad Featuring Polar Bears

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - "Polar bears may soon be extinct because of global warming." That's the message from Greenpeace USA, which is launching a national television advertising campaign to raise awareness of the polar bear's "plight."

Greenpeace said the 30-second ad, featuring a "polar bear mother and cub cuddling on ice," is intended to remind viewers of the popular holiday ad featuring polar bears drinking Coca-Cola.

Greenpeace said its ad coincides with the filing of a federal lawsuit seeking to place polar bears on the endangered species list.

According to Greenpeace, the polar bear may become the first mammal to make the endangered species list because of global warming.

The ad says the pack ice where polar bears live is melting because the earth's temperature is warming.

"As the ad demonstrates, when the floating pack ice the bears are on disappears, they can only swim so far until they succumb to exhaustion," Greenpeace said. "As large areas of pack ice continue to disappear, so will the polar bear's habitat-threatening them with extinction."

The ad mimics a Coca-Cola ad, Greenpeace said, but instead of drinking a bottle of Coke, the polar bear cub in the Greenpeace ad drinks from a bottle of water as the ice around him breaks apart.

The bears drop into the ocean, then drop, exhausted, into the depths.

At the end of the ad, the announcer says, "Global warming, it's the real thing -- and it's a bigger problem than you think."

Greenpeace said its ad is intended to send the message that polar bears face a dire future, far from the party atmosphere depicted in the soft drink ads.

"If immediate steps are not taken to stop global warming and protect polar bears, one of this country's favorite animals could disappear by the year 2050," Greenpeace said.

Greenpeace is among the environmental groups that believe industrial activity is causing global temperatures to rise. Global warming believers -- and a number of skeptics -- recently gathered in Montreal, Canada, for a U.N.-sponsored conference on climate change.

At that conference, a founding member of Greenpeace, who left the organization because he viewed it as too radical, praised the United States for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Patrick Moore noted that many of the industrialized nations that ratified the treaty limiting greenhouse gas emissions are now failing to comply with those emission limits.

Moore, who now promotes nuclear energy, rejects alarmist predictions of human-caused "global warming." (see earlier story)

Other skeptics also believe that human impact on the climate is minimal compared with natural, cyclical climate variations.

See Related Stories:
Men Warm the Globe, Women Feel the Heat, Group Claims (6 Dec. 2005)
Canadian Scientists Dismiss Threat of Climate Change (27 June 2005)
Study Claiming Rapid Arctic Ice Melt Refuted at Climate
Group Using Polar Bear to Force Greenhouse Gas Reduction (17 Feb. 2005)

Subscribe to the free daily E-Brief.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.