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J Henry Fair
Photographer J Henry Fair is finishing a new book, Industrial Scars: The Hidden Costs of Consumption, a story about how things are made and what are the consequences left behind. It is available for pre-sale on Kickstarter.

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Entries by J Henry Fair

Wildfire Redux

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 5:52 PM

The headlines about the fires of northern Canada have disappeared. Nothing remains for the media but the charred houses and mangled swing sets of the residents of Fort McMurray, the oil boom town that serves the Tar Sands. These mines, where vast regions of the bitumen-saturated earth are excavated to...

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Unfinished Projects

(2) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 6:04 PM

We all have unfinished projects.

One of mine is the documentation of the churches and music of people of color in Charleston.

I grew up in what was then a virtually unknown town on the South Carolina coast. The racial divide was so omniscient that it was invisible to someone...

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South Carolina Coast Panorama

(1) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 11:13 AM

Sometimes an idea is so good and obvious, that the only question becomes why hasn't it been done. A little painful trial and error might soon reveal why it has not been done.

Climate change and ocean rise are a political football in the USA, stimulating volumes of rhetoric and...

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The True Cost of Turning on the Lights

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 11:49 AM

Turning on the lights as we walk into a dark room might be one of the most automatic acts of living in the modern industrial / post-industrial world. If we thought about the process and consequence of each act of our daily lives, we would not get out the door,...

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Bakken Trains

(2) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 3:48 PM

There has been an alarming rise in the incidence of train accidents in the last two years involving the derailment of tanker cars carrying crude oil, spilling large volumes of toxic crude oil into waterways, and, in the most extreme incident, exploding and literally blowing the middle of a Canadian...

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Albrecht Dürer

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 9:41 AM

Art and technology are cautious dance partners. Starting with cave painting, every means of expression beyond the voice and log drum required the development of a medium for its embodiment. This desire for expression is the essence of art, and drives artists to explore new media, which can be anything...

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Individual Acts

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 12:21 PM

Several years ago, an editorial in Orion Magazine started me thinking: One of the greatest obstacles to positive action is the feeling of futility. What can I -- as one caring person -- do in the face of the catastrophic directions of our economy? Forget shorter showers, it...

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Sunset of American Hegemony

(1) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 5:22 PM

The sunny days of unrivaled U.S. world domination after the implosion of the Soviet cloud could not last forever.

For years the creeping erosion of American hegemony has been evident, from the offshoring of manufacturing jobs which ultimately led to the demise of the middle class, to the defunding of...

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Heaven Help Us

(8) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 5:33 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

The German word for sky, Himmel, is also the word for heaven. Heaven is the place God resides, to which the "worthy" will ascend upon succumbing...

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Disaster Economy (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 4:13 PM

Between the payback presidential visits, the signs, and the advertising campaigns, one quickly gets the message that it takes more than a little hurricane to get New Jersey down. And on the first weekend of June, the casual over-flyer could have certainly almost missed the few remaining stick piles, bisected...

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The Gas Bubble

(56) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 4:49 PM

Market bubbles come and go, but they all have things in common: a few people get rich, a lot of people get taken, and a mess is left for the taxpayers to clean up. To understand the hydro-fracking bubble, there are some things one must know: each well only produces...

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(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 12:58 PM

It's often been observed that one must leave the country of birth to see it more clearly, a truism that applies to politics, but also to art. The exhibit of Walker Evans at Die Photographische Sammlung in Köln is a perfect case in point. Evans was a multi-talented photographer whose...

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The Flowback

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 3:35 PM

One could lament the fact that the burden of proof is greater on the injured, and thus they must be ever more careful in their assertions, or just proceed accordingly. When the anti-fracking magazine The Flowback contacted us, wanting pictures to illustrate its well-founded arguments against hydro-fracking, we should have...

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(14) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 3:39 PM

Recently I went to a party with eminent scientists, mostly geologists and climatologists, from a major institute. A gathering of scientists is my dream scenario: Go from conversation to conversation with people who actually have some answers, and no small talk. They are a cautious lot by nature, always couching...

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Documenta 13

(1) Comments | Posted July 5, 2012 | 6:00 PM

Documenta is a decadal European art fair that attempts to give an overview of the contemporary world art scene, or at least those aspects of it that the given curator (this year, Carolyin Christov-Bakargiev) finds most important. I recently attended the Venice Bienale, a similar event, and went away feeling...

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Heartland Furor

(55) Comments | Posted February 27, 2012 | 4:19 PM

Peter Gleick is a hero, and a man of gumption. It's amusingly ironic that he is being lambasted for using a slight deception to obtain documents from one of the foisters of the grand deception of our day -- the denial of climate change. The Heartland Institute has been doing...

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The Journey East (PHOTOS)

(1) Comments | Posted November 1, 2011 | 12:00 AM

It's autumn in the very east of Germany, just along the border with Poland. The train is a small regional, stopping in every town. They are generally picturesque, with small houses in the quaint German style, with a town center. The area seems not much changed since reunification.

This is...

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The Coal Ash Dilemma

(5) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 4:16 PM

The East Coast of the USA is a fairly agreeable place in the politico-geography of the planet. There are no wars, little crime, comparatively stable economy, and relative prosperity. People are accustomed to this calm and prosperity, and disruption unnerves and upsets. The media, of course, play to this, and...

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This Little Piggy Went to Market...

(20) Comments | Posted June 14, 2011 | 5:13 PM

In a seminal piece of writing, and a turning point in American journalism, Upton Sinclair exposed the atrocities of the meat-packing industry, which constituted a threat to public health, an extreme danger to the workers in the industry, and deplorably cruel treatment of animals. His monumental opus involved undercover research...

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All the Gas in Texas

(5) Comments | Posted June 1, 2011 | 1:34 PM

Flying from El Paso to Atlanta, the ground below appears to be covered with a patchwork quilt of white squares with white connecting lines between them. Thousands upon thousands, continuing endlessly into infinity. All gas drilling pads. And why should I care what they do in Texas? The land of...

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