In contrast to a natural disaster, a man-made disaster results from human activity and can cause harm to people, animals and plants. The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and the British Petroleum oil spill in 2010 are two prominent examples of man-made disasters.
Emphasis on environmental responsibility has contributed to increased public awareness of man-made disasters. Global warming is widely viewed as a man-made disaster resulting from the use of chemicals that cause an increase in airborne pollutants. Excessive harvesting of trees for manufacturing has contributed to reduced oxygen levels and a shortage of trees in some parts of the world.