In his book, “The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis,” photographer J Henry Fair “captures aerial images of pollution and destruction that result from extreme industrial processes.” The photos are “simultaneously beautiful and horrifying” and ask us important questions about the progress of mass consumerism in an advancing post-modern world. The photos in the slideshow (which you can see here) are meant for us to think reflexively about the human effects on the physical environment.
Here’s an excerpt from an APM interview:
RYSSDAL: You are fairly explicit, though, in your aims for this book. You say right out it’s a book about the power that a consumer has to shape the world through the purchase decisions that they make.
FAIR: Yes. And the reason that these pictures are so effective is because they’re both horrible and beautiful. By stimulating curiosity, we can hopefully get people to ask questions and when they get the answers, consider the consequences of a given purchase. When I speak to schoolchildren, I only exaggerate slightly when I tell them that the most important decision that they can make is which toilet paper to buy. And that seems laughable, but one toilet paper promotes deforestation of old growth forests, and another toilet paper promotes the recycling chain that we really want to promote.
RYSSDAL: These pictures are about the environment, obviously; they’re about human behavior. They’re fundamentally, though, about the commercial process, about money.
FAIR: Everything is.
In this photo: ”Wauchula, Florida. The phosphate is washed after extraction, and the by-products are consolidated and pumped out to containment impoundments where the liquids and solids are separated. The green color is presumably algae. The red “barrels” are floats to suspend the hose on top of the liquid. (Courtesy of J Henry Fair)”