19. Choose and read aloud the words and word combinations on the topic “The Earth in Danger”.
An influence, a shower, a rainbow, pollution, misty, nuclear weapons, a shortage of food, a reptile, a government, a poisoned river, the Statue of Liberty, industrial waste, radiation, heat, a greenhouse, the greenhouse effect, sunlight, acid rain, a rainstorm, an ozone hole,1 coast, health, a population, an environment.
20. Read the texts and give them titles.
THIS FRAGILE PLANET
The word environment means simply what is around us. Some people live in a town environment; for others, their environment is the countryside. But the air we breathe, the soil2 on which we stand and walk, the water we drink are all part of the environment.
Nowadays people understand how important it is to solve the environmental problems that endanger people’s lives. The most serious environmental problems are:
pollution in its many forms (water pollution, air pollution, nuclear pollution);
noise from cars, buses, planes, etc.;
destruction of wildlife and the beauty of the countryside;
shortage of natural resources (metals, different kinds of fuel3);
the growth of population.
“Water, water everywhere, not any drop to drink,” said the sailor from Coleridge’s4 poem describing to a friend how awful it was to be without drinking water on a ship in the middle of the ocean. It is strange to think that the water around his ship was probably quite safe to drink. It was salty — but not polluted. Sea water today is much more dangerous.
There is no ocean or sea which is not used as a dump. The Pacific Ocean, especially, has suffered from nuclear pollution because the French Government tests nuclear weapons there. Many seas are used for dumping industrial and nuclear waste. Britain alone dumps 250,000 tons of industrial waste straight into the North Sea. This poisons and kills fish and sea animals. “Nuclear-poisoned” fish can be eaten by people.
Many rivers and lakes are poisoned too. Fish and reptiles can’t live in them. There is not enough oxygen in the water. In such places all the birds leave their habitats and many plants die. If people drink this water they can die too. It happens so because factories and plants produce a lot of waste and pour it into rivers. So they poison the water. Factories use clean water. After the water is used it can become poison which goes back into rivers and seas.
18. When the Americans decided to clean up the Statue of Liberty in 1986, the first thing they had to do was to make a hole in her nose and take away the acid rain5 that had collected inside. The polluted air of New York had mixed with the rain and damaged the Statue badly. And you certainly know that most of the pollution in big cities comes from cars and buses.
More and more often people are told not to spend too much time in direct sunlight, because ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer.6 Normally the ozone layer7 in the atmosphere protects us from such radiation, but if there are holes in the ozone layer ultraviolet radiation can get to the earth. Many scientists think that these holes are the result of air pollution.
Nuclear power stations can go wrong and cause nuclear pollution. This happened in Windscale in Britain, in Three Mile Island in the USA and Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. Nuclear pollution cannot be seen but its effects can be terrible.
To make air clean again we need good filters at nuclear power stations, at factories and plants and also in cars and buses.
Both clean air and clean water are necessary for our health. If people want to survive they must solve these problems quickly. Man is beginning to understand that his environment is not just his own town or country, but the whole earth. That’s why people all over the world think and speak so much about ecology.
1 a hole — дыра
2 soil — почва, земля
3 fuel — топливо
4 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772—1834) — an English poet and critic, one of the leaders of the Romantic movement in England. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of his best known poems.
5 acid rain — кислотный дождь
6 skin cancer — рак кожи
7 layer — слой
21. Find in the text and read out English equivalents of these words and word combinations:
жить в условиях города;
решать проблемы окружающей среды;
угрожать жизни людей, подвергать жизнь людей опасности;
загрязнение водной среды;
разрушение, уничтожение живой природы;
красота сельского ландшафта;
нехватка природных ресурсов;
пригодная, не опасная для питья (о воде);
использоваться в качестве мусорной свалки;
проводить испытания ядерного оружия;
промышленные и ядерные отходы;
рыба, подвергшаяся радиационному заражению;
покидать места своего обитания;
сливать (отходы) в близлежащие реки;
сильно испортил статую;
испортиться, выйти из строя.
22. Answer these questions on the text.
What does the word environment mean?
What are the most serious environmental problems? Which of them are described in the text?
What makes sea water dangerous nowadays?
Why is it dangerous to dump industrial waste in the sea?
Why was the Statue of Liberty in New York damaged?
Where does air pollution in the cities mostly come from?
Why is it not safe to be in direct sunlight in certain places?
Why are nuclear power stations dangerous?
23. Choose the best way to define these.
1) dirty water, air and atmosphere;
2) making water, air, atmosphere dirty and dangerous for people and animals to live in;
3) people who make water, air and atmosphere dirty and dangerous.
1) air, water and land, in which people, animals and plants live;
2) an organization that wants to protect the natural world;
3) something that we do to prevent air and water pollution.
1) natural balance between plants, animals, people and their environment;
2) plants growing in some area;
3) part of medicine that helps people to lead a healthy life.
1) a building in a garden or park which has glass walls and a glass roof in which you grow plants;
2) a salad made mainly with green vegetables;
3) the problem of temperature rise in the Earth’s atmosphere.