Sebastian Copeland is a photographer and environmental activist. Copeland grew up in France and Britain, and graduated from UCLA in 1987 with a major in film. Throughout the 1990’s, Copeland directed commercials – everything from soft drinks to sportswear – as well as music videos. He is also known for his celebrity portraiture; he’s taken pictures of Sandra Bullock, Kate Bosworth, and Orlando Bloom (who is also his cousin), among others. In recent years, Copeland has focused on environmental activism. He serves on the Board of Directors of Global Green USA and recently published Antarctica: The Global Warning
Question: What is the gap between understanding and action?
Copeland: Well because there is a process of assimilation, and a process of individual accountability which admittedly has not taken place yet. I mean look. Again two years ago we were still as environmentalists more or less in the tree hugging business. Even though environmental has been a science where people have committed a tremendous amount of personal sacrifice, and research, and knowledge, and expertise in the subject; but that in the collective consciousness somehow it was a luxury and it was an ideal. It’s only been really two years since, you know, I can literally measure the difference in awareness between, you know, Katrina and “Inconvenient Truth”. And today it is a world apart just in the . . . in the simple area of fundraising for our different activities and programs. It’s a lot easier now to access people’s sensibility and awareness, you know, in a span of two years alone. So we have to be patient, and understanding that the paradigm is that we can’t have too much patience because time is running out. But we are . . . We have made incredible forays into the . . . into the awareness of our collective consciousness. And I think that this is a very positive thing, but it’s gonna be a process. And so we are . . . We have begun a process of intellectual assimilation as to the nature of our carbon footprint. But we haven’t translated that quite yet into a change into our individual actions. And this is the natural progression of where we are, and we need to basically put the foot on the pedal and accelerate that process. Recorded on: 12/3/07