“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
Industrial Scars is the work of environmentalist and photographer, J Henry Fair, who brings our attention to the tragic effects created by the human impact on our planet. At first, his photographs are mesmerisingly beautiful: taken at bird’s eye perspective from a small plane, their shapes, colours and details give them an aesthetic quality that entrance and capture the imagination, yet concern and horror creep in on the realisation of the true reality of the subject. Our ever-increasing demand for energy, regularly-changing eating habits and rampant consumerism are rapidly leading to the degradation of our planet. Industrial Scars reveals unseen views of the effects of such production on our environment, exposing the secrets from oil drilling, hydro-fracking and
coal-ash waste, to large scale agricultural production and abandoned mining operations. Each of Fair’s striking images are accompanied by detailed explanations from award-winning science writer, Lewis Smith, who writes about the effects of rampant consumerism on our environment and describes the development of industries through time and across the world. The overall message is clear – Fair is committed to reveal the evidence of the devastating costs of our choices on our planet. It is up to us to accept a consumer responsibility and environmental awareness, and to change our habits if we want to ensure a better world for future generations to enjoy.
AROUND KAYFORD MOUNTAIN, WEST VIRGINIA, USA. Coal must be crushed, sized and washed with water before it can be burned in a power plant. This creates tremendous volumes of fine coal particle ‘slurry’ which is stored in impoundments created by building an earthen dam across the end of a valley. On numerous occasions, impoundment dams have failed, releasing large quantities of toxic slurry to devastate the valley below.
LAUSITZ, GERMANY. When coal is burned, various filters and scrubbing apparatus are used to remove pollutants that cannot be removed from the combustion flue gases. These captured solids and ashes are stored in giant holding pond impoundments, which are potentially massive human and environmental hazards.
HUGER, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA. Self-propelled slag disposal ‘ladle’ truck dumps molten electric-steelmaking furnace slag into a disposal pit. This steel ‘mini-mill’ recycles scrap steel into steel beams for the construction industry. Slag consists of unwanted impurities that float to the top of molten metal during the smelting process. The slag is splashing around a ‘skull’ of solid cooled slag that forms in the ladle during transport.
SPRINGVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA. Collection pit for drilling waste containing ground rock, drilling muds (the lubricants and chemicals used during drilling), and in some cases radioactive material existing in the target shale layer. The overspray at the top is a violation and a danger to any water bodies downhill.
FORT MCMURRAY, CANADA. The first step in the oil sands process after extraction is ‘upgrading’, in which particulate matter is removed from the bitumen and its viscosity reduced so that refineries can process it. This is a photograph of the top of a petroleum tank, with a walkway out to the covered inspection hatch in the centre. This tank stores 400,000 to 500,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil, obtained by excavating large areas of Canadian tar sands.
GULF OF MEXICO, USA. Oil floating on the Gulf of Mexico from BP Deepwater Horizon spill at the Macondo well.
GULF OF MEXICO, USA. Oil collected from BP Deepwater Horizon spill being burned in the Gulf of Mexico. The skimmers that collect the oil often capture marine fauna such as turtles and dolphins that are also burned in this disposal process.
GULF OF MEXICO, USA. Drill rig Q4000 with flare burning gases captured from the leaking BP Macondo well a mile below the surface. Another ship is spraying water on the flare to keep the heat from damaging the equipment or injuring personnel.
GRAMERCY, LOUISIANA, USA. Waste impoundment at aluminium refinery. Aluminium is the most widely mined and used metal after iron. It is soft, light, durable, corrosion-resistant and an excellent conductor of temperature and electricity. It is vital to world aerospace, construction, container and transportation industries. Its mining, production and consumption has global reach.
DARROW, LOUISIANA, USA. This ‘red mud’ waste from the processing of bauxite ore is the same type of toxic material that spilled south of Budapest in 2010, flowing into the River Marcal, killing all the wildlife there, before flowing into and poisoning the Danube. The more than one million cubic metres of waste could only be completely neutralized by one million cubic metres of strong acid, an ironic thing to have to pour into a river in an attempt to save it.
LACEYVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA. After drilling is complete, the second stage of hydrofracking involves arraying multiple high-pressure compressors around the well head and pressurising the drill holes with millions of gallons of water and toxic chemicals to fracture the shale layer far below the ground in order to release the natural gas trapped there.
KIRUNA, SWEDEN. Waste impoundment at Kiruna Iron Mine. The Kiruna Mine draws on the world’s largest underground deposit of magnetite, a rich ore containing 60 per cent iron as well as unwanted rock that is separated and disposed ofin large waste impoundments.
SHIPPINGPORT, PENNSYLVANIA, USA. This coal ash dump on the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border is the largest in the USA. It is one of the ‘high hazard’ coal ash impoundments. If it fails, like the smaller one in Kingston Tennessee did in 2008, it would cause loss of life and property.
BURNS HARBOR, INDIANA, USA. The iron ore, coke fuel and limestone flux at upper left are processed and blended in the buildings connected by conveyor belt housings in the foreground. Then they are transported to the tops of the two tall blast furnaces at right via the long diagonal conveyors and charged into the furnaces for smelting to molten iron.
WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA, USA. Hydro-fracking compressor trucks and trailers of fracking fluids arrayed around well head at Bakken shale oil well. Here they are fracturing the shale layer for oil instead of natural gas.Flight services provided by Lighthawk and Southwings See the trailer for Industrial Scars on Youtube