History of the environmental movement

  • 1st Billion

  • 2nd Billion

  • The 1931 Wuhan Flood

    In 1931, China experienced the worst flood in history. The rivers rose onto the land and covered about the size of England and half of Scotland together. Over 2 million people (about one tenth of the population of China) died caused by drowning or the subsequent famine and epidemics.
  • Kyoto

    Kyoto has experienced three damaging large earthquakes from the end of the 16th century to the middle of the 19th century. The city was damaged and destroyed due to building collapse and human casualties.
  • Founding of IUCN

    An international organization, founded in France. Their focus it to analysis the impact of humans on the environment. Today the organization has over 1,300 members, all actively working to help the environment.
  • Minamata

    Minamata was a disease caused by ingesting fish or shellfish that had been contaminated with toxic chemicals dumped by chemical companies. The epidemic spread through a small village in south Japan. The town was near by the Yatsushiro Sea. The members of the town ate the polluted fish and developed methylmercury poisoning
  • 3rd Billion

  • Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Published

    Silent Spring was published on September 27, 1962. Carson’s book was warning readers of the harmful effects of DDT and pesticides. The became very popular and chemical companies Faught against Rachel Carson’s statements. With little success, DDT was banned for all agricultural use.
  • The First Earth Day

    On April 22, 1970, the United States gathered around the celebrated the very first Earth Day. People marched together for the environment, and they participated in rallies. From this point forward people recognize Earth Day.
  • Bhola cyclone

    On November 12, 1970, the cyclone made landfall over east Pakistan, called Bangladesh now. Approximately, 600,000 people were left dead. Due to a lunar high tide, the storm triggered a huge storm surge swiping away the city.
  • Recycling Goes Curbside

    With Americans generating large amount of waste, the government would have to come up with a solution to this problem. In the 1970s, Woodbury, New Jersy became one of the very first cities to place recycling bins on the curb. This helped make recycling easier for people and reduce the amount of waste.
  • Gaia Hypothesis

    states that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. This hypothesis focuses on how the biosphere contributes to the stability of Earth, such as global temperature, ocean salinity, and oxygen. It was created by the chemist James Lovelock and the microbiologist Lynn Margulis back in the 1970s.
  • 4th Billion

  • Whaling (save the whale)

    During April 27, 1975, Greenpeace launched the first ever anti-whaling campaign. Members of the organization began protesting whale hunting around the world.
  • Bhopal

    On December 2, 1984, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India leaked. 30 tons of toxic gas loomed over nearby shantytowns. Residence were exposed to the gas and began having many harmful effects due to the exposer. Over 600,000 people were exposed and nearly 15,000 died. Over 30 years later and the toxic chemicals can still be found in Bhopal.
  • The Discovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole

    In 1985, Antarctic researchers discovered a hole in the Ozone layer above Antarctica. They discovered a chemical compound in the air called chlorofluorocarbons. This chemical was linked to aerosol cans and fridges. This discovery led to huge environmental policies to be enforced.
  • Chernobyl

    The Chernobyl disaster was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel. The resulting steam explosion and fires released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the environment. Many people died.
  • 5th Billion

  • 6th Billion

  • 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

    The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is known as one of the deadliest events in modern times. The tsunami killed over 230,000 people across southeast Asia and south Africa. The tsunami began in Indonesia, then killed thousands in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India.
  • Documentary film An Inconvenient Truth released.

    Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the documentary was meant to educate people about global warming from former United States Vice President Al Gore.
  • Earth Hour

    Earth Hour is an environmental movement created by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The organization encourages people to turn off all the lights on the last Saturday of March.
  • Haiti earthquake

    On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake left Haiti with 220,000 people dead, and thousands injured. The epicenter of the earthquake was 7.5 miles northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud and 6.2 miles deep.
  • 7th Billion

  • Fukushima Tsunami and Earthquake

    In 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake shifted the island of Japan. Moments later, one the deadliest tsunamis swept away costal Japanese cities, such as the main island of Honshu. The tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Nuclear Powerplant, causing a large-scale leak. The radioactive materials began entering the sea and atmosphere.
  • Hurricane Maria

    On September 19th, 2017, the category 4 storm hit Puerto Rico leaving over 3,000 people dead. After 7 months, over 62,000 people still haven’t recovered and are without power in their house. It is said that the aftermath killed over 4,600 people.