Key Words:
pollution, environment, the ozone layer, global warming, acid rain, car exhaust fumes, dumping industrial waste in seas and rivers, aerosol can, CFCs, to recycle, natural resources, human resources.

Pollution - загрязнение окружающей среды;
environment - окружающая среда;
the ozone layer - озоновый слой;
global warming - глобальное потепление;
acid rain - кислотные дожди;
car exhaust fumes - автомобильные выхлопные газы;
dumping industrial waste in seas and rivers - cброс промышленных отходов в моря и реки;
aerosol can - аэрозольный баллончик;
CFCs - химикат, содержащийся в аэрозольных баллончиках, способный разрушать озоновый слой;
to recycle - перерабатывать;
natural resources - природные ресурсы;
human resources - человеческие ресурсы.

Important definitions of the key words:
People are more worried about the environment (the air, water, and land around us) as a result of the harmful (dangerous/damaging) effects of human activity. Some of these activities cause pollution (dirty air, land and water) and some are destroying the environment (damaging it so badly that soon parts will not exist).
The Greens is a short name of the organization called Green Peace. It's an international organization whose members work actively to protect the environment from damage caused by industrial processes or military activities. It is known especially for using its own boats to try to prevent governments from testing nuclear weapons, to prevent companies from pouring poisonous chemicals into the sea, and to try to save whales and other sea animals from being killed.

Here are some of the problems:

  • the ozone layer: a layer of gases. It stops harmful radiation from the sun reaching the earth; recent research shows that there is now a hole in parts of the ozone layer;
  • global warming: an increase in world temperature caused by an increase in carbon dioxide;
  • acid rain: rain that contains dangerous chemicals; this is caused by smoke from factories;
  • smoke from factories;
  • car exhaust fumes;
  • dumping (throwing away) industrial waste (unwanted material) in seas and rivers;
  • aerosol cans (usually called sprays); some of these contain CFCs (a chemical) which can damage the ozone layer;
  • cutting down tropical rainforests (e.g. The Amazon); this increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

How can we help?

  • Don't throw away bottles, newspapers, etc. Take them to a bottle bank or newspaper bank, and then they can be recycled (used again).
  • Plant more trees.
  • Don't waste (use badly) resources, e.g. water, gas. Try to save them.
  • Note: a resource is a valuable possession. There are natural resources, e.g. water or gold; and human resources, e.g. knowledge and skills. The word is usually plural.

The given text is a sample text and we recommend you to use it while getting ready with your own stories on the topic.

Environmental Protection.

          Economists have long thought of the environment as an unlimited source of resources. For thousands of years people lived in harmony with the environment but with the industrial revolution our negative influence on Nature began to increase. Large cities with thousands of steaming, polluting plants and factories can be found nowadays all over the world. The by-products of their activity pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink, the fields where our crops are grown.
          There are many consequences of damaging the environment. One of them is "acid rain". Cars with their engines and factories have become the main source of air pollution in industrial areas. When factories send gases and chemicals into the air, they mix and the mixture is carried for hundreds of miles by the wind and finally, it falls back to earth. This "acid rain" kills fish and trees and slowly it kills everything.
          Another consequence is destroying the ozone layer of the Earth.
          The third problem is damage to wildlife. Vast forests are cut down in Africa, South America and Asia for the needs of industries in Europe and in the USA. As a result, some species of animals, birds, fish and plants have disappeared and keep disappearing.
          Another problem is damage to water and soils. Dumping wastes into lakes, rivers, seas and oceans causes water pollution. Harmful wastes may also get into the soil or drain off fields that have been sprayed with pesticides.
          There is another aspect of the environmental problem, the importance and urgency of which steadily grow. How country disposes of its waste may have a major effect on its future and the future of the world, too. Recycling waste and rubbish receives ever-greater care in Europe. Cans, paper and empty bottles and other things we call rubbish are accumulated in every home. Recycling process has double effect, the other part of it being - saving energy, which would have been necessary for producing new things.
          In Russia and the former Soviet republics there are some areas where the environment is in a poor state. Some of them are the Aral Sea, Lake Baikal, the Kuzbass, Semipalatinsk and Chernobyl. Cotton growing in the region of the Aral Sea has used huge quantities of water, and the level of the sea has fallen by 14 yards. For decades nuclear weapons were tested near Semipalatinsk, and the ground is contaminated with radiation there. More than twenty years ago a pulp-and-paper factory was built on the shore of Lake Baikal. As a result of the pollution, more than 50 per cent of the world's purest water has been ruined. The whole ecological system of the lake has changed greatly. After the disaster in Chernobyl the inhabitants of the nearby towns and villages had to be evacuated. Some of them died and some became invalids.
          Problems of environment are no longer problems of one particular country or one particular region of a country.
          One of the most serious environmental problems in large cities in Britain is sick fog, which the British so often have in autumn and in winter. In London the fog is sometimes so thick that cars run into one another. For many centuries, during the cold time of the year, the English people used coal in their fireplaces in private houses, though smoke from factories contributed a great deal to the trouble too. This kind of fog the English people used to call smog. Unusually thick smog in London in 1962 caused the death of some 4000 people. A Clean Air Act was passed in 1956, which prohibited the use of open coal fires at homes and in the city area.
          Today, many scientists and ordinary people realize that the Earth is in danger. Either we stop killing the Earth or we kill ourselves. The protection of the environment is a universal concern. Active measures should be taken to create an international system of ecological security. Some progress has been made in this direction. Many people belong to Green organizations in countries all over the world. Groups like "Green Peace" have already helped to stop some animals hunting but there are so many things to be done on our planet and our life on the Earth depends only on ourselves.

Рекомендации к теме

Цель теоретических материалов к Теме 12 "Pollution and the Environment" - дать Вам необходимые для общения на эту тему слова и выражения, а также познакомить Вас с основными проблемами, касающимися охраны окружающей среды от загрязнения.

В скобках Вы найдете пояснения к некоторым словам и выражениям, они даются на английском языке с той целью, чтобы Вы привыкали пользоваться англо-английским (толковым) словарем. Это поможет Вам увеличить Ваш словарный запас и развить понимание.

Ключевые слова и выражения нужно выписать в тетрадь и выучить. А также полезно учить наизусть целые предложения, в которых встречаются новые для Вас грамматические конструкции или идиоматические обороты.

Текст "Environmental Protection" поможет Вам разобраться в современной экологической обстановке и положении дел в сфере охраны окружающей среды и Вам будет легче выполнять задания.

Задания к теме 12 включают в себя упражнения как на знание ключевых слов и выражений, так и на развитие разговорных навыков, умение высказать свое мнение по данному вопросу.