When I began looking for statistics, it only took a short while to accumulate 30 pages of data. It is not practical to include all this data on this website. Know that while these statistics indicate the health of our planet is critical, the truth is of our planet is in much worse condition than you think. These are old statistics and the world is continually finding new ways to pollute the planet.
This list is long, but you really should read all of the entries. I’m certain most of the entries will surprise you, and certainly enlighten you. You may even learn why I am a SOB.
All the statistics listed on this page are taken from public information pages from various sites including, but not limited to, National Geographic, Wikipedia and the Mother Nature Network.
Tlobong, Delanggu, Indonesia
The Citarum River in Indonesia is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. It is threatening to any human or animal that comes into contact with it. It poses the risk of disease contraction by contact/consumption. Many fish in the river have already perished because of the sad/poor condition that the river is in.
Japan, Chiba Prefecture Choshi
Japanese commercial fishing companies are harvesting tuna in the South Pacific Ocean at an unsustainable rate. They are using nets that stretch up to 10 miles, and taking upwards of 10tons of tuna A DAY!
Over 1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. 5,000 people die each day due to dirty drinking water.
14 billion pounds of garbage are dumped into the ocean every year. Most of it is plastic.
Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by pollution every year.
The Mississippi River carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year, creating a “dead zone” in the Gulf each summer about the size of New Jersey.
Approximately 46% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming.
Americans make up an estimated 5% of the world’s population. However, the U.S. produces an estimated 30% of the world’s waste and uses 25% of the world’s resources.
Each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, and industrial waste are dumped into U.S. water.
The top 10 sources of toxic pollution are:
Mining & Ore Processing
Artisanal Gold Mining
The following list of sources contains industries that are believed to contribute significantly to problems, but are either unquantifiable because of lack of data, or represent a smaller impact than the above top ten list.
SOURCE: PETROCHEMICAL PROCESSING
SOURCE: ELECTRONIC WASTE RECYCLING
SOURCE: HEAVY INDUSTRY
SOURCE: PESTICIDE MANUFACTURING, STORAGE AND USE IN AGRICULTURE
SOURCE: URANIUM PROCESSING
Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana have lost more than 99 percent of their prairies during the past 150 years.
More than 85 percent of forest habitats have been permanently destroyed or logged in the United States.
400,000 square miles of tall grass prairie once covered the United States (15 percent of the lower 48 states), 95 percent of those grasslands have been permanently destroyed or converted to agriculture.
The Midwestern states have been particularly hard on their marshes and swamps—Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri have drained more than 90 percent of their original wetlands.
Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. Fish harvest of yellow tuna has depleted the Western Pacific population.
The Pacific Ocean is home to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which also is known as the “World’s Largest Landfill,” according to the European Commission. An estimated 3.5 million tons of trash reside in this landfill that are the result of whirling currents in the Pacific Ocean that pull trash and pollution into the ocean. The landfill’s area is the size of Europe, or 3.45 million kilometers squared — that’s a lot of trash.
“Seventy-three different kinds of pesticides have been found in groundwater, which is potential drinking water.”
“Polluted drinking waters are a problem for about half of the world’s population. Each year there are about 250 million cases of water-based diseases, resulting in roughly 5 to 10 million deaths.”
33% of people in China live in such polluted cities, that the air they breathe is equivalent to smoking two packets of cigarettes every day.
Cars are responsible for 40% to 90% of the world’s air pollution.
In China’s 14 largest cities alone, air pollution is responsible for the deaths of 50,000 newborn babies each year.
From 1948 to 1992, the United States conducted a total of 1030 nuclear tests.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.5 billion people living in urban areas throughout the world breathe dangerous levels of air pollution.
The USA releases one-quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. From 1990 to 2002, U.S. CO2 emissions increased 95 percent from 1960 levels.
14,000 citizens of Sweden die each year due to environmental pollutants.
Commercial airlines contribute 3 percent of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions, with a projected increase of 60% more by 2025 (according to CARB).
Particulate matter (soot) emitted from coal-fired power plants in Maryland, have been blamed for 560 premature deaths and 21,000 asthma attacks annually.
Startling Facts About . . .
Approximately 1/3 of male fish in British rivers are in the process of changing sex due to pollution. Hormones in human sewage, including those produced by the female contraceptive pill, are thought to be the main cause.
Americans buy over 29 million bottles of water every year. Making all those bottles uses 17 million barrels of crude oil annually, which would be enough fuel to keep 1 million cars on the road for one year. Only 13% of those bottles are recycled. Plastic bottles take centuries to decompose—and if they are burned, they release toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals.
The 2011 tsunami in Japan created a 70-mile-long island of debris, which is floating out into the Pacific Ocean. The debris is made up of houses, plastics, bodies, cars, and radioactive waste.
In response to the nuclear crisis after the 2011 tsunami, the Japanese government dumped 11 million liters (2 million gallons) of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. A few days later, radioactive fish were found 50 miles offshore.
One of the more common and dangerous pollutants in the environment is cadmium, which kills human fetal sex organ cells. Its widespread presence means it is in almost everything we eat and drink.
More oil is seeped into the ocean each year as a result of leaking cars and other non-point sources than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
Polluted coastal water costs the global economy $12.8 billion a year in death and disease.
Pollution in China alters the weather in the United States. It takes just five days for the jet stream to carry heavy air pollution from China to the U.S. Once in the atmosphere over the U.S., the pollution stops clouds from producing rain and snow—i.e., more pollution equals less precipitation.
The Ganges River in India is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The pollution includes sewage, trash, food, and animal remains. In some places the Ganges is septic, and corpses of semi-cremated adults or enshrouded babies drift down the river.
Between 1956 and 1968, a factory in Japan released mercury directly into the sea, which contaminated fish with the highly toxic metallic element. More than 2,000 people became seriously ill from mercury poisoning and many of them died.
The ancient Greek Acropolis is believed to have crumbled more in the last 40 years than it has in the previous 2,500 due to acid rain. Nearly 40% of China’s land area is affected by acid rain, and by 1984 half of the trees in Germany’s Black Forest were damaged by acid rain.
Air pollution in Pakistan is nearly 10 times higher than levels considered safe by the World Health Organization. Every car in Pakistan creates 25% more carbon than one car in the U.S.
Though Botswana has only 2 million people, it is the second most polluted nation in the world. Pollution from the mineral industry and wild fires are the main causes.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous in the world, with over 155 million people. It is also Africa’s largest oil producer, accounting for 2.3 million barrels of crude oil a day. However, the UN recently declared that 50 years of oil pollution in the Ogoniland would require the world’s largest and biggest oil cleanup.
The world’s largest heavy metal smelting complex is in the Siberian city of Norilsk. Human life expectancy there is 10 years lower than in other Russian cities.
Between 1930 and 1998, nearly 300,000 tons of chemical waste was improperly disposed of in Dzershinsk, Russia, a Cold War chemicals manufacturing site. Toxic levels are 17 million times the safe limit. In 2003, the death rate of the city exceeded the birth rate by 260%.w
In Rudnaya Pristan, Russia, lead contamination has resulted in child blood levels eight to 20 times higher than allowable U.S. levels.
Each person in the U.S. produces about 4 pounds (2 kg) of garbage a day.
The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion, the world’s worst nuclear disaster, immediately killed 30 people, though as many as 9,000 people may have died from radiation poisoning. The 19-mile exclusion zone around the plant still remains uninhabitable.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the world’s biggest waste producers and water users. In 2007, the World Wildlife Fund said the UAE has the world’s largest per-capita ecological footprint, which means the country puts more demands on the environment than any other country. It also currently consumes 20 billion plastic bags out of a global figure of 500 billion (4%).
In Kabwe, Zambia, child blood levels of lead are five to 10 times higher than the allowable EPA maximum.
A study of 60 beaches in Southern California revealed that water pollution is highest when tides ebb during the new and full moon.
For every 1 million tons of oil that is shipped, about 1 ton is spilled.
Lake Karachay, located in the southern Ural Mountains in Russia, is considered to be the most polluted spot on earth after it was used for decades as a dumping site for nuclear waste. Spending just 5 minutes near the lake unprotected can kill a person. In the 1960s, the lake dried out and radioactive dust carried by the wind irradiated half a million people with radiation equivalent to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The world’s largest CO2 emitter is China. China emits more CO2 than the U.S. and Canada combined, up by 171% since 2000.
The world’s largest polluter is the U.S. Department of Defense, producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined.
In the United States, people use over 1.8 billion disposable diapers, 220 million tires, and 30 billion foam cups per year.
Factories in the United States discharge approximately 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into the water, air, and land annually.
Today, there are between 300 and 500 chemicals in the average person’s body that were not found in anyone’s body before 1920. Each year there are thousands of new chemicals sold or used in new products. There are more than 75,000 synthetic chemicals on the market today.
For 1.1.billion people around the world, clean water in unobtainable. Almost half of the world’s population does not have proper water treatment.
Americans make up an estimated 5% of the world’s population. However, the U.S. produces an estimated 30% of the world’s waste and uses 25% of the world’s resources.
The amount of plastic waste has been increasing about 10% each year for the past 20 years.
If all the tires Americans throw away each year were stacked on top of each other, the pile would reach 32,000 miles high—a greater distance than the circumference of the earth at the equator (24,901 miles).
The average family in North America, Europe, and Australia throws away more than a ton of garbage each year.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the U.S. generates over 256 million tons of officially classified hazardous waste annually. This does not include toxic and hazardous waste that are not regulated or monitored by the EPA.
Between 1950 and 1975, approximately 5 billion metric tons of highly poisonous chemicals were improperly disposed of in the U.S.
It will cost between $370 billion and $1.7 trillion to clean up hazardous waste in the U.S. The EPA states there are at least 36,000 seriously contaminated sites in the U.S.
In Florida alone, hundreds of thousands of sea turtle hatchlings are killed due to light pollution. Hatchlings gravitate toward brighter lights, and, consequently, crawl toward city lights rather than to the sea. Additionally, light pollution affects the breeding and migration of many types of birds.
Over 51 billion pieces of litter are thrown onto the roads in the United States annually. Litter cleanup costs an estimated $11.5 billion in the U.S. each year.
Scientists report that carbon dioxide emissions are decreasing the pH of the oceans and, in essence, acidifying them.
A single NASA space shuttle launch produces 28 tons of carbon dioxide. An average car generates about half a ton per month. A launch also releases 23 tons of harmful particulate matter, which then settles around the launch site. Additionally, 13 tons of hydrochloric acid kills fish and plants within half a mile of the launch site. Researchers note that the environmental cost of a launch is approximately the same as of New York City over a weekend.
Los Angeles International Airport emits approximately 19,000 tons of carbon dioxide—a month. The roughly 33,000 planes that fly in and out of the airport each month release about 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
Nuclear power plant accidents and incidents with multiple fatalities and/or more than US$100 million in property damage, 1960-2011 Date Location Description Deaths Cost (in millions)
October 10, 1957 Sellafield, Cumberland, United Kingdom A fire at the British atomic bomb project destroyed the core and released an estimated 750 terabecquerels (20,000 curies) of radioactive material into the environment.
October 5, 1966 Frenchtown Charter Township, Michigan, United States Partial core meltdown of the Fermi 1 Reactor at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station. No radiation leakage into the environment.
January 21, 1969 Lucens reactor, Vaud, Switzerland On January 21, 1969, it suffered a loss-of-coolant accident, leading to a partial core meltdown and massive radioactive contamination of the cavern, which was then sealed.
April 26, 1986 Chernobyl, Ukrainian SSR Overheating, steam explosion, fire, and meltdown, necessitating the evacuation of 300,000 people from Chernobyl and dispersing radioactive material across Europe (see Chernobyl disaster effects) 56 direct; 4,000 cancer.
March 11, 2011 Fukushima, Japan A tsunami flooded and damaged the 5 active reactor plants drowning two workers. Loss of backup electrical power led to overheating, meltdowns, and evacuations. One man died suddenly while carrying equipment during the clean-up. 0 deaths related to accident.
April 12, 1970 – Bay of Biscay – Loss of a nuclear submarine . The Soviet November-class attack submarine K-8 sank during salvage with 52 sailors onboard after suffering fires in two compartments simultaneously. Both reactors were shut down. The crew attempted to hook a tow line to an Easternbloc merchant vessel, but ultimately failed.
December 18, 1970 – Nevada Test Site – Accidental venting of nuclear explosion. In Area 8 on Yucca Flat, the 10 kiloton “Baneberry” weapons test of Operation Emery detonated as planned at the bottom of a sealed vertical shaft 900 feet below the Earth’s surface but the device’s energy cracked the soil in unexpected ways, causing a fissure near ground zero and the failure of the shaft stemming and cap. A plume of hot gases and radioactive dust was released three and a half minutes after ignition, and continuing for many hours, raining fallout on workers within NTS. Six percent of the explosion’s radioactive products were vented. The plume released 6.7 MCi of radioactive material, including 80 kCi of Iodine-131 and a high ratio of noble gases. After dropping a portion of its load in the area, the hot cloud’s lighter particles were carried to three altitudes and conveyed by winter storms and the jet stream to be deposited heavily as radionuclide-laden snow in Lassen and Sierra counties in northeast California, and to lesser degrees in northern Nevada, southern Idaho and some eastern sections of Oregon and Washington states. The three diverging jet stream layers conducted radionuclides across the US to Canada, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Some 86 workers at the site were exposed to radioactivity, but according to the Department of Energy none received a dose exceeding site guidelines and, similarly, radiation drifting offsite was not considered to pose a hazard by the DOE. In March 2009, TIME magazine identified the Baneberry Test as one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.
December 12, 1971 – New London, Connecticut, USA – Spill of irradiated water. During the transfer of radioactive coolant water from the submarine USS Dace to the submarine tender USS Fulton 500 US gallons were spilled into the Thames River (USA).
December 1972 – Pawling, New York, USA – Contamination. A major fire and two explosions contaminated the plant and grounds of a plutonium fabrication facility resulting in a permanent shutdown.
1975 – location unknown – Contamination. Radioactive resin contaminates the American Sturgeon-class submarine USS Guardfish after wind unexpectedly blows the powder back towards the ship. The resin is used to remove dissolved radioactive minerals and particles from the primary coolant loops of submarines. This type of accident was fairly common; however, U.S. Navy nuclear vessels no longer discharge resin at sea.
October 1975 – Apra Harbor, Guam – Spill of irradiated water. While disabled, the submarine tender USS Proteus discharged radioactive coolant water. A Geiger counter at two of the harbor’s public beaches showed 100 millirems/hour, fifty times the allowable dose.
August 1976 – Benton County, Washington, USA – Explosion, contamination of worker. An explosion at the Hanford site Plutonium Finishing Plant blew out a quarter-inch-thick lead glass window. Harold McCluskey, a worker, was showered with nitric acid and radioactive glass. He inhaled the largest dose of 241Am ever recorded, about 500 times the U.S. government occupational standards. The worker was placed in isolation for five months and given an experimental drug to flush the isotope from his body. By 1977, his body’s radiation count had fallen by about 80 percent. He died of natural causes in 1987 at age 75.
1977 – coast of Kamchatka – Loss and recovery of a nuclear warhead. The Soviet submarine K-171 accidentally released a nuclear warhead. The warhead was recovered after a search involving dozens of ships and aircraft.
January 24, 1978 – Northwest Territories, Canada – Spill of nuclear fuel. Cosmos 954, a Soviet Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite with an onboard nuclear reactor, failed to separate from its booster and broke up on reentry over Canada. The fuel was spread over a wide area and some radioactive pieces were recovered. The Soviet Union eventually paid the Canadian Government $3 million CAD for expenses relating to the crash.
September 18, 1980 – At about 6:30 p.m. an airman conducting maintenance on a USAF Titan-II missile at Little Rock Air Force Base‘s Launch Complex 374-7 in Southside (Van Buren County), just north of Damascus, Arkansas, dropped a socket from a socket wrench, which fell about 80 feet (24 m) before hitting and piercing the skin on the rocket’s first-stage fuel tank, causing it to leak. The area was evacuated. At about 3:00 a.m., on September 19, 1980, the hypergolic fuel exploded. The W53 warhead landed about 100 feet (30 m) from the launch complex’s entry gate; its safety features operated correctly and prevented any loss of radioactive material. An Air Force airman was killed and the launch complex was destroyed.
August 8, 1982 – While on duty in the Barents Sea, there was a release of liquid metal coolant from the reactor of the Soviet Project 705 Alfa-class submarine K-123. The accident was caused by a leak in the steam generator. Approximately two tons of metal alloy leaked into the reactor compartment, irreparably damaging the reactor such that it had to be replaced. It took nine years to repair the submarine.
January 3, 1983 – The Soviet nuclear-powered spy satellite Kosmos 1402 burns up over the South Atlantic.
August 10, 1985 – About 35 miles (56 km) from Vladivostok in Chazhma Bay, Soviet submarine K-431, a Soviet Echo-class submarine had a reactor explosion, producing fatally high levels of radiation. Ten men were killed, but the deadly cloud of radioactivity did not reach Vladivostok.
1986 – The U.S. government declassifies 19,000 pages of documents indicating that between 1946 and 1986, the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington, released thousands of US gallons of radioactive liquids. Many of the people living in the affected area received low doses of radiation.
October 3, 1986 – 480 miles (770 km) east of Bermuda, K-219, a Soviet Yankee I-class submarine experienced an explosion in one of its nuclear missile tubes and at least three crew members were killed. Sixteen nuclear missiles and two reactors were on board. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev privately communicated news of the disaster to U.S. President Ronald Reagan before publicly acknowledging the incident on October 4. Two days later, on October 6, the submarine sank in the Atlantic Ocean while under tow in 18,000 feet of water.
October 1988 – At the nuclear trigger assembly facility at Rocky Flats in Colorado, two employees and a D.O.E. inspector inhaled radioactive particles, causing closure of the plant. Several safety violations were cited, including uncalibrated monitors, inadequate fire equipment, and groundwater contaminated with radioactivity.
1997 – Georgian soldiers suffer radiation poisoning and burns. They are eventually traced back to training sources abandoned, forgotten, and unlabeled after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. One was a 137Cs pellet in a pocket of a shared jacket which put out about 130,000 times the level of background radiation at 1 meter distance.
February 2003: Oak Ridge, Tennessee Y-12 facility. During the final testing of a new saltless uranium processing method, there was a small explosion followed by a fire. The explosion occurred in an unvented vessel containing unreacted calcium, water and depleted uranium. An exothermic reaction in the vessel generated enough steam to burst the container. This small explosion breached its glovebox, allowing air to enter and ignite some loose uranium powder. Three employees were contaminated.
Top 13 Oil Spills:
13. The Torrey Canyon Oil Spill
When: March 18, 1967
Where: Scilly Isles, UK
Amount spilled: 25-36 million gallons
The Torrey Canyon was one of the first big supertankers, and it was also the source of one of the first major oil spills. Although the ship was originally built to carry 60,000 tons, it was enlarged to a 120,000-ton capacity, and that’s the amount the ship was carrying when it hit a reef off the coast of Cornwall.
The spill created an oil slick measuring 270 square miles, contaminating 180 miles of coastland. More than 15,000 sea birds and enormous numbers of aquatic animals were killed before the spill was finally contained.
Toxic solvent-based cleaning agents were used by Royal Navy vessels to try to disperse the oil, but that didn’t work very well and instead caused a great deal of environmental damage. It was then decided to set fire to the ocean and burn away the oil by dropping bombs.
12. The Sea Star Oil Spill
When: Dec. 19, 1972
Where: Gulf of Oman
Amount spilled: 35.3 million gallons
The South Korean supertanker, Sea Star, collided with a Brazilian tanker, the Horta Barbosa, off the coast of Oman on the morning of Dec. 19, 1972. The vessels caught fire after the collision and the crew abandoned ship. Although the Horta Barbosa was extinguished in a day, the Sea Star sank into the Gulf on Dec. 24 following several explosions.
11. Odyssey Oil Spill
When: Nov. 10, 1988
Where: Off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada
Amount spilled: 40.7 million gallons
This large oil spill occurred about 700 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland and spilled more than 40 million gallons of oil into the ocean.
10. M/T Haven Tanker Oil Spill
When: April 11, 1991
Where: Genoa, Italy
Amount spilled: 45 million gallons
This oil tanker exploded and sank off the coast of Italy, killing six people and leaking its remaining oil into the Mediterranean for 12 years. The source of the explosion was thought to be the ship’s poor state of repair — supposedly the Haven was scrapped after being hit by a missile during the Iran-Iraq War, but was put back into operation.
9. ABT Summer Oil Spill
When: May 28, 1991
Where: About 700 nautical miles off the coast of Angola
Amount spilled: 51-81 million gallons
This ship exploded off the coast of Angola, discharging massive amounts of oil into the ocean. Five of the 32 crew members on board died as a result of the incident. A large slick covering an area of 80 square miles spread around the tanker and burned for three days before the ship sank on June 1, 1991. Subsequent efforts to locate the wreckage were unsuccessful.
8. Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill
When: March 16, 1978
Where: Portsall, France
Amount spilled: 69 million gallons
The massive Amoco Cadiz was caught in a winter storm that damaged the ship’s rudder. The ship put out a distress call, but while several ships responded, none were able to prevent the ship from running aground. On March 17, the gigantic supertanker broke in half, sending its 69 million gallons of oil into the English Channel. The French later sunk the ship.
7. Castillo de Bellver Oil Spill
When: Aug. 6, 1983
Where: Saldanha Bay, South Africa
Amount spilled: 79 million gallons
The Castillo de Bellver caught fire about 70 miles north west of Cape Town, and drifted in the open sea until it broke in two 25 miles off the coast. The ship’s stern sank along with the 31 million gallons of oil it was carrying. The bow section was towed and deliberately sunk later.
6. Nowruz Oil Field Spill
When: Feb. 10, 1983
Where: Persian Gulf, Iran
Amount spilled: 80 million gallons
The oil spill was the result of a tanker collision with an oil platform. The weakened platform was closed, and it collapsed upon impact, spewing oil into the Persian Gulf. The ongoing war between Iran and Iraq prevented the leak from being capped quickly.
5. Kolva River Oil Spill
When: Aug. 6, 1983
Where: Kolva River, Russia
Amount spilled: 84 million gallons
A poorly maintained pipeline caused this massive oil spill. The pipeline had been leaking for eight months, but a dike contained the oil until sudden cold weather caused the dike to collapse. Millions of gallons of accumulated oil were released that spread across 170 acres of streams, fragile bogs and marshland.
4. Atlantic Empress Oil Spill
When: July 19, 1979
Where: Off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago
Amount spilled: 90 million gallons
This Greek oil tanker was caught in a tropical storm off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago when it collided with the Aegean Captain. The damaged ship started losing oil and continued to leak it into the ocean while it was towed. The oil tank finally sunk into deep water on Aug. 3, 1979, where the remaining cargo solidified.
3. Ixtoc 1 Oil Spill
When: June 3, 1979
Where: Bay of Campeche off Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico
Amount spilled: 140 million gallons
Like the Gulf oil spill, this spill didn’t involve a tanker, but rather an offshore oil well. Pemex, a state-owned Mexican petroleum company was drilling an oil well when a blowout occurred, the oil ignited and the drilling rig to collapse. Oil began gushing out of the well into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 10,000 to 30,000 barrels a day for almost an entire year before workers were finally able to cap the well.
2. Gulf oil spill
When: April 22, 2010
Where: Gulf of Mexico
Amount spilled: An estimated 206 million gallons
The Gulf oil spill is officially the largest accidental spill in world history. It began when an oil well a mile below the surface of the Gulf blew out, causing an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 people. BP made several unsuccessful attempts to plug the well, but oil flowed — possibly at a rate as high as 2.5 million gallons a day — until the well was capped on July 15, 2010. Oil gushed from the broken well for more than 85 days, oiled 572 miles of Gulf shoreline, and killed hundreds of birds and marine life. The long-term effects of the oil and the 1.82 million gallons of dispersant used on this fragile ecosystem remain unknown, but experts say they could devastate the Gulf coast for years to come.
1. Arabian Gulf/Kuwait
When: Jan. 19, 1991
Where: Persian Gulf, Kuwait
Amount spilled: 380-520 million gallons
The worst oil spill in history wasn’t an accident — it was deliberate. During the Gulf War, Iraqi forces attempted to prevent American soldiers from landing by opening valves at an offshore oil terminal and dumping oil from tankers. The oil resulted in a 4-inch thick oil slick that spread across 4,000 square miles in the Persian Gulf.
How does the Exxon Valdez oil spill compare?
When the Exxon Valdez supertanker hit a reef off the Alaskan coast, 11 of its cargo tanks ruptured, dumping 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound. But the spill could have been much worse — the Valdez was carrying 53 million gallons.
In terms of sheer volume, the Exxon Valdez spill ranks as the 36th worst oil spill in history; however, the spill was far from small. Despite attempts to use dispersing agents and oil skimming ships, oil washed onto 1,300 miles of Alaskan coastline. Today, oil remains a few inches below the surface on many of Alaska’s beaches.
Responders found carcasses of more than 35,000 birds and 1,000 sea otters, which was considered to be a fraction of the animal death toll because carcasses typically sink to the seabed. It’s estimated 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales died along with billions of salmon and herring eggs.
The repaired Exxon Valdez was renamed the SeaRiver Mediterranean, and, although it is banned from Alaskan waters, the tanker still carries oil around the world.
That is a long list of statistics right? Wrong! This is just a small sampling of the total list of statistics. Much of the pollution which occurs is not even in statistics. Do you now understand our planet is in dire straits?
As a bonus, just for taking the time to read the list, whether or not you change your ways, I am going to reward the first 10 people who email me at email@example.com with a free autographed copy of my book, How to Be a Smart SOB Like Me. Just send me your name and mailing address, and tell me you read this list of statistics on my website.
Thank you for taking the time.
In addition to the above statistics, I found some interesting posts from people who are feeling the pressures exerted by a stressed planet. These posts are included below:
Chicago, IL 60654, USA
I have a drug Problem. I constantly smoke meth, shoot heroin, and dabble with crack. I could really use a friend, some advice, and directions to the nearest rehab. I will say, I’ve been to rehab before, and it didn’t work. So unique solutions to my problem would be greatly appreciated. They might even save my life.
Detroit, MI 48207, USA
More and more gang members have been showing up on the streets. They stand around on corners, harass people that walk by, and are up to no good. They sell drugs, guns, and commit various crimes. It’s time to get them off OUR streets!
I am suffering from depression. I feel tired, angry, and constantly think about killing myself. Why do I feel this way?
Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
More than 1,400 criminal street gangs exist in Los Angeles County. Gang crimes – from graffiti and quality of life problems to murder and extortion – devastate a community’s well-being and sense of security.
Historic Core, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The population of California is growing each year and we need to find a way to sustainably support the new growth. In 2010 the population was estimated to be 38,067,134. In 1970, it was only 19,971,069. It has doubled in the last 40 years. We need to plan for the future NOW!
The root cause to all these problems is overpopulation. Overpopulation is why I am a SOB. Too many people generates too much government. Now you know. I really don’t think armageddon is right around the corner, but our kids, and certainly our grandkids, will face some serious problems. Armageddon? Maybe, maybe not.
Now it’s time to go to the Blog page and tell me what you think.