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 is a remarkable collection of stories that cover nuclear explosions, oil spills and fires, chemical spills, polluted air, toxic substances causing awful injuries to children, destruction of rainforest and entire ecosytems. The names associated with these disasters - e.g., Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Minamata, Love Canal, Seveso, Bhopal and others - will haunt future generations. At the same time, the stories provide a moving tribute to the courage and persistence of ordinary people who struggled to understand what was happening to them and to protect their families and their environment against these onslaughts.Poignant, moving, and inspirational, the events narrated here show how individuals can counterbalance the negligence and criminality of narrow economic interests that threaten our planet. Their stories will provide inspiration for a new generation committed to protecting the environment, and humanity.