The Day After Tomorrow, by J Henry Fair, also contains personal essays from writers such as Jack Hitt, Roger D. Hodge, and John Rockwell. Pictured here: Tremendous amounts of “red mud” bauxite waste are produced through the smelting of aluminum (which contains many contaminants, heavy metals, and impurities). It is pumped into vast storage “impoundments” and allowed to settle. Once dry, the dust is blown by the wind, dispersing the contaminants and covering everything nearby.

Zachary, Louisiana

Waste from a paper mill is agitated by aerators, producing steam and foam, which are pushed by the wind.

Kayford Mountain, West Virginia

Mountaintop removal in Appalachia begins with the clearing and burning of the old-growth forest. The earth is blasted away to reach the coal and then dumped in the next valley, inevitably covering the stream there. To date, more than 500 mountains have been destroyed and 1,200 miles of streams buried in the MTR process.

Geismar, Louisiana

This and the following image:
An excavator removes solids from the effluent pumped into the impoundment at this chemical plant, spreading them on the dike to increase its height and, thus, capacity. The principal product of this plant, hydrofluoric acid, is the essential building block of refrigerants and propellants and is a major ozone depleter and global warming contributor.

Geismar, Louisiana

This and the following image:
An excavator removes solids from the effluent pumped into the impoundment at this chemical plant, spreading them on the dike to increase its height and, thus, capacity. The principal product of this plant, hydrofluoric acid, is the essential building block of refrigerants and propellants and is a major ozone depleter and global warming contributor.

Zug Island, Michigan

A waste pit near Detroit auto factories

Texas City, Texas

This and following image:
Petroleum coke is a solid, high-carbon material produced as a by-product of the oil refining process. It can serve as either an energy source or a carbon source. Fuel-grade petroleum coke is burned to produce energy used in making cement and lime, and for other industrial applications. Products that utilize petroleum coke as a carbon source include aluminum and steel.

Texas City, Texas

This and following image:
Petroleum coke is a solid, high-carbon material produced as a by-product of the oil refining process. It can serve as either an energy source or a carbon source. Fuel-grade petroleum coke is burned to produce energy used in making cement and lime, and for other industrial applications. Products that utilize petroleum coke as a carbon source include aluminum and steel.

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.

Gulf of Mexico

Many different compounds are emerging from the subaqueous Macondo well, including different types of oil. Here, two are interacting.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aerators violently agitate the waste from a pulp mill, turning the liquid to a foam, which makes patterns on the surface. This plant manufactures popular brands of paper towels and printer paper.

Co.Design

Photos Reveal The Shocking Beauty Of Earth's Destruction [Slideshow]

With a new photo book documenting the catastrophic effects of industrial processes, J Henry Fair hopes to turn readers into consumer activists.

Photographers have long trained their lenses on the atrocities of war, and even influenced the outcomes of few major battles. J Henry Fair is a member of that politically motivated tribe, though his focus is on the war we seem to be unwittingly waging against our own planet. In the Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis (powerHouse Books), he offers disquieting pictures of environmental disasters. Some have been well-publicized, like the BP oil spill, but Fair reveals the ones that have not received their fair share of media attention, such as the pools of contamination left behind by a rusted, abandoned aluminum refinery.

Fair hopes that his pictures will help revise our buying habits.

"Because of the subject the pictures are inherently political," Fair writes in the introduction, "but my first goal was to create compelling images." That he does: The photos are uncannily beautiful, in much the same way that satellite pictures of Earth can be, but they also bring into sharp relief the catastrophic damage wreaked by the production of oil, coal power, and paper -- the products most of us consume, in some form or other, on a daily basis.

And that awareness, Fair hopes, will drive us to revise our buying habits: "If we all demanded toilet paper made from old newspapers instead of blithely purchasing brands made from old-growth forests, those forests would be saved as would all of the animals who live there." If we all forgo the Charmin, the plastic water bottles, and the car rides to the grocery store, we could hand Earth at least a fighting chance.

View the slideshow for selected images from Fair's book, and buy the book for $26 at Amazon.

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