“This is it. One day, one issue, thousands of voices.
Robin Beck, Lead Organiser, Blog Action Day 09: Climate Change

Blog Action Day has it all: a social experiment on a mass scale, for the good of the planet. And, whilst it’s been pretty awe-inspiring to witness thousands of people write about the same topic in one day, it’s fair to say we’re most excited by that word in the middle: Action.

Antarctica: A Global Warning
Creating a human SOS for 'Antarctica: A Global Warning' (Photo by Sebastian Copeland)

With that and #BAD09’s climate change focus in mind, we’re using our post here to share the work of Sebastian Copeland, the photographer, environmental advocate & polar explorer. (Full disclosure: I’m proud to say Sebastian is also my cousin).

Sebastian Copeland, photographer & board member, Global Green USA
Sebastian Copeland, board member & advocate, Global Green USA

Aside from the fact we’re not-so-secret fans of exploration in all senses of the word here at Labs, the thing we most admire (as we’ve discussed on a more than one occasion) is the killer combination of ground-breaking creativity put to great use.  In Sebastian’s case, it’s one thing to have enviable creative & technical skill as a photographer, director, writer & speaker, it’s altogether another thing when that’s combined with a fearless appetite for physical endurance and a single-minded commitment to putting climate change issues front & centre.

Sebastian is best known for his work on behalf of Global Green USA where, as part of a series of climate initiatives, he has led a series of hard-won, gruelling expeditions: to remote Antarctica, the Arctic and most recently all the way to the North Pole.  In 2006 he also created a book of extraordinary photography called Antarctica: A Global Warning (check out the site where you can find out more and download wallpapers or buy the book here).  Their purpose? To draw attention to the immediate impact of global warming and to urge the adoption of a sustainable economy.

The poles hold 30% of the world's water and Antarctica, 90% of its freshwater
Scale & light in Antarctica (Photo by Sebastian Copeland)

In his own words:

“The goal is to inspire people and to get them connected with that which sometimes can feel very distant… The polar ice is ground zero for global warming.”

“2007 and 2008 saw the largest depletion of summer ice, each year losing near 1/2 million square miles, or the size of Texas and California combined. Scientists now believe that the Arctic could be all but ice free in the summer months by as early as 2013.”

Source: NASA & Natural Resources Defense Council
Source: NASA & Natural Resources Defense Council

For a very personal, entertaining & informative point of view as he trained for his last expedition, watch Sebastian’s film here.

Sebastian chairs a forum at the UN next month, its aim to encourage the creation of an international charter to protect the “fragile & rapidly deteriorating” Arctic environment “from the wanton exploitation of its natural resources.” You can add your support here and follow @sebcopeland and @globalgreenusa for more news.

In the spirit of actions speaking louder than words, we have 10 copies of “Antarctica: A Global Warning” to give away to the first 10 people who help us spread the word amongst their network: just let us know you’ve done so by leaving a comment below and we’ll be in touch.  In the meantime we leave you with more of Sebastian’s work and this, a rallying cry for action, made decades ago:

“There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risk and costs of comfortable inaction.”
John F. Kennedy