EPISODE 93
LEVEL A1.2/A2.1

READING COMPREHENSION 

 

GLOBAL PROBLEMS

In the past eight lessons we have looked at feelings and emotions – what makes us happy, sad, angry or worried. We talked about personal problems. Today I want to ask you: how do you feel about some global problems?

Are you the sort of person who would join a protest march or a demonstration if you felt strongly about some issue? Are you aware of (= do you know about) the problems that the world and your country face (= have to deal with) today? Which of them are you really concerned (= worried) about?
More and more people these days worry about the destruction (= damage) of the environment by cars and factories that pollute the air, by the effects of global warming and cutting down (= destroying) rainforests. Supporters of environmental protection try to convince people to conserve (= save) natural resources like water, wood and oil, recycle (= use again) bottles and cans as well as protect animals.

So, are you worried? Afraid? Or maybe you don’t care?

More contexts for the new words: 

  • Don’t you think we should cut down on sugar? (= reduce the amount consumed)
  • You can recycle glass by putting it in a bottle bank.

 

EXERCISE 1 

Decide if the statements below are true or false. Correct the false ones.

  1. When you recycle materials, you use them again.
  2. When you face a problem, you have solved it.
  3. ‘Destruction’ and ‘damage’ are synonyms.
  4. Cutting down rainforests is bad for our planet.
  5. When you are concerned about something, you don’t care about it.
  6. Conserving natural resources can mean e.g. saving water.

 

ENGLISH IN USE  

In the text above you have seen a comparative form repeated in the following sentence: 

More and more people worry about the destruction of the planet.

Such repeated comparatives are used to suggest continuing change. The rule can be applied to any other adjective. Look at the examples below: 

The speech seemed to be getting longer and longer.
I’m starting to feel more and more tired.
The prices are getting higher and higher these days.
Everyone is getting older and older all the time. 

As you can notice in the sentences quoted, such repeated comparatives are often used with verbs suggesting change, e.g. 'get' and 'become'.

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP 

A/ How much can you win in this game?
B/ THE SKY’S THE LIMIT.

When you say that the sky is the limit, you think that there are no limits to the possibilities something could have.

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

  1. When you DRIVE something DOWN, you make something fall to a lower level.

With the growing concern for the environment, factories will have to drive down their CO2 emissions.
Big competition among restaurants has driven down prices.

 

  1. When you PHASE something OUT, you gradually stop using it.

Producers have to phase out substances which are dangerous to the environment.
Over the following five years, the drug will be phased out.

 

EXERCISE 2

Match the sentence halves.

  1. The Polonez car will soon be                a) what professional sportsmen can earn.
  2. The sky is the limit to                             b) phased out.
  3. The company’s main concern was       c) to drive down prices.

 

 

NEWS

  

TERRORISM

Global warming is not the only global problem. Quite a different issue, yet definitely a global one, is terrorism. Now everyone seems to be potentially exposed to the dangers of terrorist attacks. Terrorists are known for planting bombs and hijacking planes and buses, which they do in order to make governments meet their demands. They also take hostages, and then – perhaps – release them for ransom. Being totally unpredictable, they are a nuisance to modern societies.

Unlike environmental destruction, we do not know how to fight terrorism, so we live under constant threat.

 

GLOSSARY 

planting – hiding before explosion
hijacking – illegally taking control of
meet their demands – do what the terrorists want
hostages – prisoners
ransom – money paid to release a hostage
nuisance – an annoying, continuing problem
under constant threat – possible to be harmed

 

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>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES  

Ex.1

  1. True
  2. False – you have to deal with it.
  3. True
  4. True
  5. False – you care about it.
  6. True

Ex.2

  1. b
  2. a
  3. c

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