Humanity has not always been kind to the environment. In fact, there have been incredible disasters caused by humans in the past decades, centuries, and some are still showing effects. It’s difficult to imagine Earth taking on such a force, but it happens on a daily basis. Millions of pounds of trash pile up, oil spills, smoke pouring into the skies, radiation hitting the ocean, and so much more happen on a regular basis. However, amongst all of that, some disasters are harder on the planet then others. For instance, there are 5 major disasters that have shocked the Earth so hard, that many are still seeing problems associated with it.
5 Terrible Environmental Events
The following is a list that has been compiled of the worst environmental disasters of all time. The criteria used was simple and worth noting, as some may argue with the validity. Even though some other disasters may take the cake, this list utilizes some factors to consider.
- Devastation – Amount of devastation on the planet, whether in 1 or more ecosystems.
- Recovery – Time of recovery, and whether or not it has even been fixed.
- Age – How many years ago has it occurred.
Using the criteria above, and a few historical data banks, the following events are seriously detrimental to the world as we know it, and some, are still rocking humanity on many levels.
Nuclear power is always a point of contention in modernity, and it’s because of what happened on April 26, 1986. The power plant that was located in Ukraine blew up and caused a deluge of radiation towards the earth. The fallout eclipsed the World Wars and created a lot of bad problems, including thousands of children coming down with serious cancers. To this day, 20 miles around in diameter is closed off, and to this day, no major nuclear-power plants can continue to work in the same capacity that Chernobyl once did. Effects are still being felt in the area, as the radiation poured in serious amounts. For more information, check out the Wikipedia page.
The worst thing about environmental disasters is that they can truly be deadly and not just for the environment but for anything living around the problem. In the case of Seveso, a dioxin cloud was released from a chemical plant causing anyone in the area to essentially die off. Animals died first, completely evaporating within a short span of time. Then children felt the effects and eventually people were evacuated as the symptoms started to get worse and worse. To this day, the soil is still contaminated, but those in and around the town live there, despite the danger.
Exxon Valdez (1989)
Alaska doesn’t get a lot of attention at times. In recent memories it is known more for the political arena than anything else, but in 1989 it was definitely on the minds of millions. On March 24, 1989 an oil tanker the “Exxon Valdez” hit trouble and dumped out nearly 11 million gallons of oil through the waters. 500 miles of oil was spread out through the Alaskan coastline and that completely decimated the area, and killed of wildlife into the hundreds of thousands. The clean up effort was massive, but as far as the disaster reach, and some analysts still say that it’s the worst disaster in history. Even with the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill, this is one of the most complex and serious of all time. Effects are still being felt in certain regions.
Aral Sea (2010)
Not a lot of talk is made about waters across the earth drying up. Sure, some talk about global warming, water levels dropping, and rising as a result, but what about severe droughts? What about man made water diversion? In 2010 news broke that in Central Asia, the Aral Sea had nearly dried up. That’s right, what was once one of the largest lakes on earth is completely dry, and is now just a desert of sand and storms. The Soviet Union was initially to blame pulling water from this source to other projects, and what once used to be a fully alive body of water is nothing more than a graveyard of the past.
After surveying the worst environmental disasters, this one has to be one of the worst, and still talked about amidst scholars. December 2, 1984 in Bhopal, India over 40 tons of methyl isocyanate ploughed through the surrounding area. That was enough to kill thousands of people within a matter of hours, but if that wasn’t enough, thousands more fell over the next few months. It didn’t end there, millions of people fell ill with serious problems from blindness, to organ failure, and more. Birth defects and a great deal other problems persisted and still has consequences for people around the area. After a decade of fighting, this environmental and industrial accident is by far one of the worst to effect men, women, children, and animals around the world. You can have a quick look at a short film on YouTube which was uploaded quite recently.