From our line of sight on the earth’s surface, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the things we’ve constructed, the sheer complexity of the systems we’ve developed, or the devastating impact that we’ve had on our planet. We believe that beholding these forces as they shape our Earth is necessary to make progress in understanding who we are as a species, and what is needed to sustain a safe and healthy planet.’
Benjamin Grant Stepping back and appreciating the enormity of the planet presents a paradoxical view; while our individual scale is small, our collective impact is vast. Benjamin Grant’s Overview project was inspired by the Overview Effect – the sensation felt by astronauts when looking down at the earth from space. His series of stunning images, now captured in a book, presents us with a moment of humility and pause as we view the bigger picture: the beauty and fragility of our planet and the impact of humankind.
Tailings are the waste and by-products generated by mining operations. The tailings seen here were pumped into the Gribbens Basin, next to the Empire and Tilden iron ore mines in Negaunee, Michigan, US. Once the materials are pumped into the pond, they are mixed with water to create a sloppy form of mud known as slurry. The slurry is then pumped through magnetic separation chambers to extract usable ore and increase the mine’s total output. For a sense of scale, this overview shows approximately 2.5 square kilometres (1 square mile) of the basin.
Cargo ships and tankers – some weighing up to 300,000 tonnes – wait outside the entry to the Port of Singapore. The facility is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of total tonnage, shipping a fifth of the world’s cargo containers and half of the world’s annual supply of crude oil.