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A piercing look at the worst environmental disasters of the 20th century with a foreword from environmental guru Bill McKibben
Humanity has the potential to preserve the earth for future generations or cause 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.
Over the last century mankind has irrevocably damaged the environment through the unscrupulous greed of big business and our own willful ignorance. Here are the strikingly poignant accounts of disasters whose names live in infamy: Chernobyl, Bhopal, Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, Love Canal, Minamata and others. And with these, the extraordinary and inspirational stories of the countless men and women who fought bravely to protect the communities and environments at risk.
Robert Emmet Hernan is senior counsel at the New York State Deptartment of Environmental Conservation. He was the trial counsel for New York State in the infamous Love Canal Case. He lives in New York City.
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"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
“Lets the facts and the victims speak for themselves. Again and again, we see polluters hiding or denying information, threatening those impacted by pollution, and putting profits before people. Hernan’s stories show that each of these disasters were avoidable; we can only hope that by reading of them we all learn and avoid future ones.”--Peter Lehner, Executive Director, Natural Resources Defense Council