An environmental disaster is a disaster that is due to human activity and should not be confused with natural disasters. In this case, the impact of humans' alteration of the ecosystem has led to widespread and/or long-lasting consequences. It can include the deaths of animals (including humans) and plant systems, or severe disruption of human life, possibly requiring migration.

Difficulty in categorizationEdit

Some might view, for example, the Three Gorges Dam as an environmental disaster, requiring the migration of 1 million people. Others might see it as beneficial to stop flooding.

Some might see the destruction of most of the North American forests as beneficial, as it cleared land for farming and other uses. In Ireland, the clearing of forest led to the formation of bogs, which some people like for their beauty, as well as their products such as peat moss. Others might see this deforestation as negative.

More cynical examples would be, for example, that Saddam Hussein felt it was beneficial to get rid of the Madan people by draining the Al-Hawizeh marsh, because they had joined the United States in the first Gulf War. Another example is the depopulation of the American Bison. It was thought by General William Sherman and others to be a good way to get rid of the American Indians living in the Great Plains, and would make way for the exploding population of the United States of America to take over the area. The pulverization of the Twin Towers with the Collapse of the World Trade Center and the release of Ground Zero dust propelled fine toxic dust into the vicinity; some have challenged whether this was an industrial disaster since this was a commercial site.

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ka:ეკოლოგიური კატასტროფა nl:Milieuramp oc:Catastròfa ecologicafi:Ympäristökatastrofi th:ภัยพิบัติต่อสิ่งแวดล้อม tr:Çevre felaketleri