Top

Top 10 Environmental Disasters Caused by Humans

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

April 3, 2011
Filed Under Environment 

Tags:

A list of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humansContributed by Cara Hartley, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

Although many environmental disasters can controversially be blamed on human beings, there are a few catastrophes that without a doubt remain the fault of our species.

Here is the sad list of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans:


10. Bhopal Disaster

Bhopal disasters is in the list of to ten environmental disasters caused by humans

20,000 people have died to date as a result of the chemical gas spill in Bhopal, India. In 1984 catastrophe struck after a cloud of methyl isocyante gas erupted from a Union Carbide (a recent subsidiary of Dow) pesticide factory. None of the six systems in place to detect the leak were operational at the time of the accident, and over 120,000 people still suffer from potentially fatal health problems due to the poisonous gas that has seeped into ground and well water sources. Today the effects of this disaster are still felt by the citizens of the area, who continue to suffer from cancers, respiratory disorders and ill health.

9. Overfishing

Overfishing is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

Overfishing has had many detrimental effects on the environment, from changing the ecosystem to polluting the waters that so many creatures depend on for life. The climate of our world depends on the health of the ocean for stability, and overfishing has caused the populations of all fish to decrease over the last twenty years.

8. Rainforest destruction

Rainforest destruction is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

Over 50% of the world’s animals and plants come from Brazil’s rainforests, which also create 40% of the world’s oxygen. Ranchers, farmers and loggers are responsible for the majority of rainforest destruction, mowing down over 10,000 acres of forest each year. Deforestation releases green house gases, which are readily contributing to climate change on a global level. As oxygen is crucial to the ability of all species to survive, rainforest destruction presents a threat of epic magnitude to every being on the planet.

7. Tennessee coal ash spill

Tennessee coal ash spill is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

The Tennessee Coal Ash Spill was the largest industrial spill in North America. In December of 2008, the dike surrounding an 80-acre mound of fly ash, the remnants of coal production, collapsed. The result was a horrendous flood of one billion gallons of coal slurry that covered 3,000 acres of Tennessee countryside. The ash contained arsenic, lead and selenium which poisoned the air and water. The failure of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant is an admonition to those who believe that our continued reliance on fossil fuels has no consequences.

6. Garbage Island

Garbage island is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, this island of floating garbage in the Pacific Ocean is roughly the size of Texas. The patch is 80% plastic and is estimated to weigh some 3.5 million tons. It is located between San Francisco and Hawaii, at the cross-center of the North Pacific Gyre, which is a set of revolving currents. The island of trash is a striking reminder that what we choose to throw away can come back to haunt us for generations.

5. Love Canal

Love Canal is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

Love Canal was originally meant to be a trench between the upper and lower Niagara Rivers that would supply energy to the inhabitants of a small Niagara Falls community. However, when Nikola Tesla discovered how to transmit electricity over large distances, Love Canal became a deserted dream. In the 1920′s the canal was turned into a chemical dump-site. The canal was covered in dirt and sold to the city by the appropriately named Hooker Chemical Company. 100 homes and a school were built on the site in the late 1950′s, but in 1978, the site exploded. The families on the site were eventually evacuated, but not before an alarming rate of miscarriages and birth defects brought on by proximity to toxic chemicals occurred.

4. Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

The most serious nuclear emergency in U.S. history occurred near Middletown, Pennsylvania on March 29th, 1979. Safety mechanisms put in place to prevent meltdown failed, and the result was a change in the way the nuclear industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspected nuclear plants. Although there have been no reports of increased cancer rates or ill health effects due to radiation exposure, the meltdown changed forever the way the public view the cost and benefit of nuclear power.

3. Exxon-Valdez oil spill

The Exxon Valdez is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

On March 24th, 1989, the Exxon-Valdez oil tanker struck a reef off the coast of Alaska, causing a total of 11,000,000 gallons of crude oil to leak into the Prince William Sound. The leaked oil spread across 470 miles of water, killing countless wildlife. The clean-up cost was $2.1 billion, and took three years. Exxon has thus far paid $925 million of the $5.125 billion in damages that courts have attempted to charge the company for.

2. BP Oil spill

The BP oil spill is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

In April, 2010, a blowout on the Deep Horizon rig killed 11 men and caused an oil leak that spread towards Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida coastlines. Millions of gallons of oil spilled into the ocean, killing turtles, fish and birds. The oil spill also had a negative impact on communities that made their living off of fishing and tourism. The BP oil spill was a tragedy that should never have happened, particularly not twenty years after the lesson of the Exxon-Valdez spill.

1. Chernobyl

Chernobyl is one of the top ten environmental disasters caused by humans

Chernobyl was the worst man-made environmental disaster in history. On April 25th, 1986, an explosion at Reactor #4 caused a fire that burned for 10 days. The radioactive fallout from the explosion covered tens of thousands of square miles, and caused the permanent evacuation of more than a million people. Over 100,000 people have died as a result of this disaster, and birth defects, thyroid cancer and tumors continue to plague the inhabitants of surrounding areas.



Catalogs for Eco-Friendly Living

Comments

15 Responses to “Top 10 Environmental Disasters Caused by Humans”

  1. tay on April 20th, 2011 9:25 am

    this is soo sad

  2. tay on April 20th, 2011 9:26 am

    this is so sad

  3. tay on April 20th, 2011 9:26 am

    this is so sad and disturbing

  4. tay on April 20th, 2011 9:27 am

    and weird

  5. alex on April 20th, 2011 10:03 am

    this is very sad

  6. justin on April 20th, 2011 10:06 am

    this is disturbing and very very very very very very very very sad

  7. alex on April 20th, 2011 10:07 am

    why man kind

  8. justin on April 20th, 2011 10:07 am

    Why man kind Why

  9. Dakota pugh on April 20th, 2011 10:08 am

    who did this to earth

  10. justin on April 20th, 2011 10:08 am

    Why man Why

  11. justin on April 20th, 2011 10:10 am

    :(

  12. BIg Al on April 20th, 2011 10:12 am

    soooooooooo sad

  13. eric on April 20th, 2011 10:18 am

    omg man kind

  14. gege on March 15th, 2012 3:37 am

    very sad :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( please help

  15. Michael Sanchez on May 1st, 2012 9:40 am

    This is the most disaster of mankind? The human race makes me sick, all we are is just a virus. What realy pisses me off is those cermershals about saving animals or world hunger and how if you pay them, then you can help them. Ain’t that a lie!!! All you pay for is for their t-shirts and magezines and a fake document saying that you saved a life on telivision. >:(

Bottom