Ecology

The problems of ecology are very important now. Which problem is the most urgent, in your opinion? What can you and the people around you do to protect the planet?

Environmental problems have become exceptionally acute in the modern

world, and environmental protection has become a vital necessity for

all people.

Our planet is in serious danger. One of the most important

environmental problems in the world today is the shortage of clean

water. Industrial pollution has made many sources of waater

undrinkable. Rivers, lakes and even seas have become poisonous.

Thousands of fish die every year as a result of the illegal dumping

of waste in rivers by factories all over the world.

Lake Baikal is one of the worlds’ largest and most beautiful lakes.

It contains a rich variety of fish and plants, including 1,300 rare

species that do not exist anywhere else in the world. However, they

are being killed by massive industrial waste, which some factories

still pour into thhe lake every day. A few years ago people thought

that the supply of clean water was unlimited. Now clean water is

scarce, and we are beginning to respect this precious resource. We

must protect the clean water that remains fo

or the sake of our

children and grandchildren.

Air pollution is another important problem. In hundreds of cities

and towns the concentration of harmful substances in the air is over

ten times the admissible level. Every day a huge number of plants

and factories emit lots of harmful substances into the atmosphere of

big cities. The great increase in the use of motor cars in the last

quarter of the twentieth century has caused an increase in a new

kind of air pollution. Pollution from factories and cars poison the

air we breathe, and is the main reason for the greenhouse effect and

acid rain.

Acid rain can damage life in lakes and rivers and destroy forests.

The greenhouse effect may allso have disastrous consequences for our

planet. It is already affecting several areas of the world with

unusual weather causing droughts or heavy storms. The world’s

temperature is going up and the climate is changing. Cutting down on

emissions from large combustion plants and exhaust fumes from

vehicles would help solve the problem. I think we should try and use

alternative energy, such as solar energy and wind energy, and design

plants and cars that run on electricity, a much cl
leaner fuel than

petrol.

One of the most alarming environmental problems is depletion of the

ozone layer, which protects the Earth from the dangerous ultraviolet

rays of the sun. Because of the ozone holes, the dangerous rays get

through the atmosphere, causing skin cancer and other serious

diseases. Many scientists think that these ozone holes are the

result of air pollution.

In my opinion, the most urgent ecological problem today is the

environmental safety of nuclear power stations. Nuclear pollution

can’t be seen, but its effects can be terrible. We all know how

tragic the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are. Nuclear waste

also endangers people’s lives. People all over the world protest

against nuclear tests and nuclear weapons. If we do not take any

action, the possibility of a global nuclear disaster is very real.

Of course, we can’t help mentioning such burning issues as

destruction of tropical forests and wildlife, overpopulation, and

shortage of natural resources. The list of serious ecological

problems could be continued.

Today environmental issues are much spoken and written about on TV,

radio, and in the newspapers. If people want to survive, they must

do their best to solve these problems. Fortunately, it’s not too

late to sa
ave our planet. We understand that our environment is not

just our hometown, but the whole earth. The protection of the

environment requires the cooperation of all nations. Governments

should take measures that will help improve the environment.

There are a lot of environmental groups and international

organizations, whose main goal is to strengthen cooperation among

environmentalists from different countries. The most famous of them

is Greenpeace, which combines the people’s efforts for peace with

the huge and ever mounting movement for nature conservation. The

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the name of another international

organization that appeared in 1961. It has created or given support

to National Parks on five continents.

However, there are a lot of simple things we should all do to stop

the destruction of the environment. First of all, we mustn’t drop

litter in public places. Besides, we shouldn’t dump our rubbish

without thinking which things, such as bottles and paper, can be

recycled. We must stop using aerosol sprays, because the stuff they

contain destroys the ozone layer. We should take care of birds and

animals. We can help to plant trees and create parks for endangered

species. We can clean rivers and canals and create fo
ootpaths. But

first of all we must change people’s attitude towards the

environment.

If we take action now, there might be some hope for the future. If

we do nothing, we are heading for disaster!

Questions:

1. What ecological problems are urgent now?

2. What is the influence of pollution on people’s health?

3. What is happening to our forests?

4. What are the consequences of nuclear disasters?

5. Was life better a hundred years ago? Why do you think so?

6. What ecological problems exist in your hometown?

7. How can people protect our planet?

8. What is the aim of ecological organizations? What ecological

organizations do you know?

9. What can you personally do to keep the world healthy?

10. Should we reject technological progress?

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