Industrial Scars

The Hidden Costs of Consumption

J Henry Fair

Foreword by Bill McKibben,

Industrial Scars is the work of environmentalist and photographer, J Henry Fair, who brings our attentions to the tragic effects created by 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.

252 × 310 mm

204 pages


ISBN: 978-1-906506-61-2


IPPY Gold Medal 2017 - Outstanding Book of the Year: Book most likely to save the planet

Bronze Medal 2017 - Art & Design, Motovun Group of International Publishers

Subjects: Environment / Human impact on our planet, Climate change, Toxic waste / Aerial photography

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Our ever-increasing demand for energy, rapidly 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, presented here in exquisite detail, are accompanied by detailed explanations. Award-winning science writer Lewis Smith writes about each of the processes in captivating detail, describing the development of each industry 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.   Watch the youtube trailer for Industrial Scars

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J Henry Fair

J Henry Fair is an American photographer and environmental activist, based in New York. With his images, Fair has called attention to environmental and political problems in different regions of the world. He is best known for his “Industrial Scars” series, abstract-expressionist photographs of detritus and externalities, which has been been exhibited around the world at major museums, galleries, and educational institutions. His work has been featured on The TODAY Show, CNN, NPR’s Marketplace, and WDR German TV, as well as in most major publications, including The New York Times, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Die Zeit, Le Figaro, Harper’s, Smithsonian, and Scientific American.

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"The vivid color photographs of J Henry Fair lead an uneasy double life as potent records of environmental pollution and as ersatz evocations of abstract painting ... information and form work together, to devastating effect."
Roberta Smith, The New York Times

"Chillingly beautiful"
Audubon Magazine

“Think of these images as a surveillance camera for the planet, recording the biggest crimes against nature we’ve ever imagined. Images like these will be the standards around which we muster.”
Bill McKibben,

"A vital collection, exposing the state of crumbling landscapes all too often kept from public eye."

"A collection of beautiful, sometimes abstract, usually ominous photographs… Fair is a lone wolf: a hunter in his own way, combing the landscape for the tracks of the most dangerous animal on earth."

“The most interesting and unsettling book of the year, and is a necessary antidote to the typical natural photography book.”
Chris Packham