The Beast And The Beauty

They look like they belong in a modern art museum.

 But this isn’t an oil painting.  The kaleidoscope above is actually “red mud” waste from processing bauxite ore, the world’s main source of aluminum.

For years, J Henry Fair, a photographer and activist, has been taking aerial photographs of industrial sites, capturing how humanity affects the numerous interlocking systems that make up our environment.

In Louisiana, that red mud is channeled to large, shallow pools like this one, where it slowly evaporates and dries out.

 The mud can be highly alkaline and contain elements such as arsenic and mercury. Most of the time, the mud is kept contained, but an industrial accident in 2010 near Budapest, Hungary, sent more than a million cubic meters of toxic waste into the Marcal river.In Canada, gigantic tanks hold millions of gallons of tar sand oil.

Once you extract oil sands, you need to “upgrade” it by removing particulate matter. This gigantic tank in Canada, seen from above, stores 400,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil. The inspection catch can be seen in the center.

 

click here to finish this superb article by James Gains at upworthy.

 

also…

Fair is turning the project into a book.

Titled “Industrial Scars,” it’s being published by Papadakis and features a foreword by Bill McKibben of 350.org. You can also find more of Fair’s work on his website.

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