Alex MacLean

Books: OVER: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point

OVER: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point.

Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Video Interview with Alex MacLean

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Video by Stone Media Pros

Alex MacLean’s aerial photographs have captured the evolution of the American landscape and the complex relationship between its natural and constructed environments that contribute to climate change. Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point by Alex S. MacLean, Introduction by Bill McKibben (Abrams; October 2008; 336 pages; U.S, $45.00; CAN $48.95) is an ambitious and visually breathtaking catalog of the extraordinary patterns and profound physical consequences brought about by natural processes and human intervention.

“Alex MacLean’s pictures are an irreplaceable document bearing testimony to the precise forces now undermining our only planet. May they help give us the insight to make the changes that we must,” writes Bill McKibben, one of the pioneers of the environmental movement, in the book’s introduction.

The book allows readers to visualize climate change and our culture's excessive use of resources and energy, which account for our oversized carbon footprint. It demonstrates the extent to which the human ecosystem, and our economic and social well being, are dependant upon our wise use of land and its resources.

Over is divided into sections covering such topics as Atmosphere; Way of Life; Automobile Dependency; Electricity Generation; Deserts; Water Use; Sea-Level Rise; Waste and Recycling; and Urbanism. The spectacular photographs featured include large-scale luxury housing developments and golf courses in Nevada; massive highway interchanges in Arizona; and gasoline refineries in Texas. Readers will also see impressive aerial shots of Hurricane Katrina wreckage and coastal damage in Mississippi and Louisiana; a huge municipal compost facility in Chicago; and New York City’s first green building, the Hearst Tower.

MacLean’s powerful photographs and insightful text make it clear that maintenance of the current American lifestyle is incompatible with a planet of diminishing natural resources and a finite atmosphere. Over compels us all to reconsider our basic assumptions about how we live, work, and play; and reveals that, while the challenges we face today are not insurmountable, the future depends on our collective vision, passion, and commitment.

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This book is also available in French, German and Italian language versions. Please contact the for ordering information.

Limited edition prints of these stunning images are also available, please call or the studio for more information.

Needles, CAA dried-out was flows to the Colorade River. Hydrologists predict that in the coming decades the Colorado's flow will sink considerably, and reservoirs could dry up as soon as 2021. Digital Capture, Ref #: 050214-0091
Lake Havasu City, AZRecreational trailers appear to spill out of the hills near Lake Havasu. Digital Capture, Ref #: 050214-0104
Boulder City, NVGolf courses in the Las Vegas metropolitan area account for 5 percent of the region's water usage. Pictured is a section of the 71-hole Cascata Golf Course, which has managed to conserve 60 million gallons of water per year by increasing the aeration of the turf areas and replacing rye with Bermuda grass (which requires less water) in some turf areas.Digital Capture, Ref #: 050309-0288
Galveston, TXGalveston is experiencing subsidence caused by pumping out oil, gas, and water from underground. In addition to changes in global climate that are increasing sea levels, human activities make this already vulnerable area more disaster-prone.Digital Capture, Ref #: 070630_0237
Homestead, FLTurkey Point’s canals act like a giant radiator to cool the water that travels 168 miles in 40 hours before it is circulated back to the condenser for reuse.Digital Capture, Ref #: 070603_0203
Santa Rosa Island, FLParking lots and roads are tempoarily abandoned on this barrier island as a result of succession of tropical storms and hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. Digital Capture, Ref #: 070318-0149
Water Connection Houston, TX 2007Digital Capture, Ref #: 070630-0251
Sunny Isles, FLThe Oceania Property condo towers are located 8 feet above sea level and less than 200 feet from the open waters of the Atlantic. The towers and grounds suffered millions of dollars in property damage from Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Repairs and insurance settlements took more than two years to complete.Digital Capture, Ref #: 070531-0047
Gulf Shores, ALBeachgoers lounge in front of windbreaks, which stabilize sand from wind erosion.Digital Capture, Ref #: 070318_0301
Destin, FLAmerica has a highly active fleet of private aircraft. As of 2006, there were more than 226,000 general aviation aircraft in operation in the country. These small private planes (piston and jet engines) consume 1.3 billion gallons of fuel per year.Digital Capture, Ref #: 070317_0445
Weston, MARush hour traffic stagnates behind the toll plaza on the Mass Pike, a major east-west toll road. This interchange with the circumferential highway Route 128 lies 10 miles outside of Boston and is a main junction for commuters. Despite numerous lane widenings, traffic is still bottlenecked at rush hour. The average commute in Massachusetts is 27 minutes.Digital Capture, Ref #: 060719_0051