Monday, July 23, 2007

Visions of Excess

If you flip through the August 2007 issue of Harper's Magazine, you won’t be able to avoid the visual impact of Visions of Excess - Photographs of industrial waste __ six pages of surreal patterns of paper mill aeration ponds, bauxite waste, fertilizer production waste, etc. These striking photos, by J. Henry Fair, are also available at Industrial Scars.

Industrial waste and how it’s being dealt with is a by-product of consumption. On May 11, I posted Chris Jordan captures consumption and included his photo of 420,000 cellphones, which are discarded each day in this country. The impact of manufacturing countless products as well as the disposal of these products is not presenting a pretty picture.

The busier I am, the more I consume. Since most of my busyness is related being a citizen in what feels like a democracy-at-risk, I have to question the trade-off. Do I dash off to a meeting, stopping to buy a prepared meal, triple-wrapped for freshness, or do I stay at home and process the vegetables I’m growing?

The Curtis White articles I linked to in last Friday’s post, The Idols of Environmentalism and The Ecology of Work have made me stop and think about my contribution to the “visions of excess.”

(photo of bauxite waste from aluminum production in Darrow, Louisiana, Visions of Excess)

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