235 pages, b&w photos
For thousands of years, humanity has considered itself the earth's custodian. With our vast potential we are capable of preserving the earth for future generations or causing irreparable harm. For the first time here, environmental lawyer and activist Robert Emmet Hernan provides a comprehensive, up-to-date treatment of what happened at fifteen environmental disasters in ten countries across the globe.
'This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from Fifteen Environmental Disasters Around the World, powerfully depicts in simple, transparent prose, the lasting and wrenching impact of some of the major environmental disasters of the last century, which younger generations may only barely remember. But Mr. Hernan's book does much more. It reveals a striking similarity in the genesis of these disasters that can shed light on ways to prevent them in the future -- in particular, the profit-driven development of production technologies with no heed to their health and environmental effects or the environmental fate of their products. One is convinced, after reading Mr. Hernan's book, that the only way to slow the rate of growth of devastating climate change is for governments around the world to assert control over our most basic technology -- the production of energy in ways that can lift the world out of poverty without destroying it in the process.' - Barry Commoner, American biologist
Foreword by Bill McKibben
Minamata, Japan, 1950s
London Fog, England, 1952
Windscale, England, 1957
Seveso, Italy, 1976
Love Canal, New York, 1978
Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, 1979
Times Beach, Missouri, 1982
Bhopal, India, 1984
Chernobyl, Ukraine, 1986
Rhine River, Switzerland, 1986
Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1989
Oil Spills and Fires, Kuwait, 1991
Dassen and Robben Islands, South Africa, 2000
Brazilian Rainforest, 20th Century
Global Climate Change, 20th Century
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ROBERT EMMET HERNAN is senior counsel at the New York State Deptartment of Environmental Conservation, USA.