Environmental Disasters

Topics: Human, Natural disaster, Petroleum Pages: 2 (606 words) Published: January 8, 2011
2] A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard (e.g., flood, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake, or landslide). It leads to financial, environmental or human losses. The resulting loss depends on the vulnerability of the affected population to resist the hazard, also called their resilience.[1] This understanding is concentrated in the formulation: "disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability."[2]

Environmental disasters are occurring with alarming regularity. But the management of such disasters has not kept pace at the required level. Major environmental disasters such as the 1952 London smog disaster began happening from the mid-20th century. However, we have yet to develop industrial standards that nip environmental disaster in the bud and prevent major mishaps.

Till date the biggest cause of environmental disasters has been emission of carbon smoke from aircraft and vehicles and oil spills. In order to limit and bring down carbon levels in the atmosphere we must either reduce use of aircraft and vehicles or advance technology to bring down carbon emission to tolerable levels. Apart from the 1991 Gulf war where over 650 oil wells were set afire, the cause of major oil spills have been accidents and collisions involving oil tankers.

The recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a frightening commentary on the corporation's incompetent and callous approach to environment concerns. Hundreds of thousands of marine life and birds lost their lives in the oil spill. The beaches of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana suffered extensive damages due to the oil spills.

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine in 1986 and the Bhopal gas leak of 1984 also highlight environmental disasters caused due to industrial irresponsibility with severe loss of lives and damages to physical organs for hundreds of thousands of people living in the vicinity of the disaster occurring areas for decades to follow.

Such disasters could...
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