Modern Global Ecological Problems (Современные глобальные экологические проблемы)


Экология и защита окружающей среды

Environmental pollution is one of the biggest problems the world faces today. It is an issue that troubles us economically, physically and everyday of our lives. The contamination of the environment is also being linked to some of the diseases that are around currently. Yet, most people do not know about this problem.



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средняя общеобразовательная школа №17 города Липецка


Modern Global Ecological Problems

(Современные глобальные экологические проблемы)

(английский язык)

Учащиеся 9б класса

Учитель английского языка: Комарова Л.М.

Липецк, 2013


I Introduction

(The importance of the topic, actuality)

II Basic part:

  1.  How beautiful our planet is!

     2.  Environmental Pollution

a) Water pollution

b) Air pollution

c)  Global warming is the great environmental crisis of the century

d) Deforestation

e) Soul pollution

        f) Threat of exposures at nuclear power stations 

g) Animals are in danger of extinction

h) The activity of "Greenpeace

   3. The benefits of solving the ecological problems

a)  Solution of the ecological problem would promote better life for people

         b) Solution of the world’s pollution problem and humans’ health

IV Conclusion

(What can be done to protect nature?)

V Literature and sources of information

VI Illustrative materials



I Introduction

Modern Global Ecological Problems

      The word “Ecology” came from the Greek and means “Home”. This idea of “Home” includes the whole planet of ours. Also “Ecology” is a science which studies the relationship between all forms of life on our planet with its environment. The ecology is a science studying interaction of organisms among themselves and an environment. For centuries man lived in harmony with nature until industrialization brought human society into conflict with the natural environment. Today, the contradictions between man and nature have acquired a dramatic character. With the development of civilization man’s interference in nature has increased. Every year the world’s industry pollutes the atmosphere with millions of tons of dust and other harmful substances. The seas and rivers are poisoned with industrial waste, chemical and sewage discharge. People who live in big cities are badly affected by harmful discharge from plants and city transport and by the increasing noise level which is as bad for human health as lack of fresh air and clean water.


II Basic Part

1. How beautiful our planet is!

The Earth is the only planet in the solar system where there is life. If you look down at the Earth from a plane you will see how wonderful our planet is. You will see blue seas and oceans, rivers and lakes, high snow-capped mountains, green forests and fields.

2.  Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is one of the biggest problems the world faces today. It is an issue that troubles us economically, physically and everyday of our lives. The contamination of the environment is also being linked to some of the diseases that are around currently. Yet, most people do not know about this problem. This shows that environmental pollution is becoming an increasingly worse problem that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible, not only for the good of the environment but also for the people that live in it. Many factors are present for why environmental pollution has become such a large issue in the world. However, if the people of the world were to address the issue it would definitely help both the environment and its people. There are many activities that can be done by both the common citizen to the governments of the world, which could severally improve the world’s environmental problem. On the other hand, if the current way the world’s environmental problem is being handled continues, catastrophic consequences can follow for the future population.

Over the years, environmental pollution has become more of a problem for a number of reasons

Among the most urgent problems are the ozone layer, acid rains, global warming, toxic pollution of atmosphere, disappearance of forests, contamination of underground waters by chemical elements, destruction of soil in some areas, threat to some flora and fauna representatives, etc.

a) Water pollution

One of the most important pollution problems is the oceans and rivers. In fact, 70% of the globe is covered with water. Quite a lot, isn’t it? But the people of the Earth need 10 billion tones of clean water a year as they need not only for drinking and washing but also for producing food products, medicine and so on. So the need of clean water is huge. Three percent of water out of 70% is ice. There has been some talk of melting icebergs but it’s not the best way to solve the problem because the ice is not clean. Most people on Earth suffer from limited fresh water and use desalinated water. People living in Cyprus, Algeria, Hong Kong and Singapore bring it from other countries.

The water of rivers and seas is being constantly polluted all over the world by various dangerous chemical and biological wastes.  Mills and factories discharge very harmful waste waters into many rivers and sea.  The water of the Ganges flowing by the side of both Varanashi and Calcutta is extremely polluted and contains all sorts of dangerous bacteria.  It is really very strange and laughable that large number of the Indians regard this water as holy.  They even drink this water

for salvation.  There is no doubt that the fish that grow in such waters are poisonous too.

Many ships sail in the ocean water- fishing ships, some ships carrying people, some carrying oil. If a ship loses some of the oil in the water, or waste from the ships put into the ocean, the water becomes dirty. Many sea birds die because of the polluted water. Many fish are dying in the sea, others are getting contaminated. Fishermen catch contaminated fish which may be sold in markets, and people may get sick from eating them. Lakes and rivers are becoming polluted, too. Some beaches are dangerous for swimming.

Environmentalists are worried because many coral reefs are disappearing. Today 70% of Jamaica’s coral reefs remain and the reefs in the Philippines and western Indonesia are almost extinct. But they are very important for thousands of fish and sea animals live around coral reefs. It is easy for plants to grow there because the water is warm and shallow. The animals survive by eating these plants. The reef protects the coast from damage by waves or storms. Coral reefs are important for people too. Doctors can use medicine made from coral to mend broken bones.

And what is destroying the reefs? People damage reefs by putting rubbish into the sea. Coral reefs must have a lot of sunlight and clean water to live. Every year thousands of tourists visit coral reefs. This makes money for the country, but tourists leave rubbish and disturb the water around the reef. This damages the plants living there, so there is not enough food for the fish to eat.

b) Air pollution

Another important problem is air pollution.

Pure air is always needed for inhaling.  If we take pure air, our health improves.  On the other hand impure air causes diseases and impairs our health and causes our death.  Smoke pollutes the air.  It is the root of air pollution.  The smoke which is discharged from industries, automobiles and kitchens is the mixture of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane etc.  These are all poisonous gases.  They cause lung-cancer, tuberculosis etc. The glaring incident is the Bhopal gas leak in December 1984.  Thousands of the residents of Bhopal died due to lungs problem which was caused by methylamine gas from the Union Carbide Plant.

The garbage emitting foul smell, the decaying plants and animals also cause air pollution. The doctors advise the patients having lungs trouble to settle in some rural places because the air of villages is pure and free from population.

Cars and factories pollute the air we use. Their fumes also destroy the ozone layer which protects the Earth from the dangerous light of the Sun. Aerosols create large "holes” in the ozone layer round the Earth. Burning coal and oil leads to global warming which may bring about a change in the world’s climate.

c)  Global warming is the great environmental crisis of the century

Since the industrial Age (say, 1800), the concentration of the so-called ‘greenhouse gases’ – carbon dioxide, methane and others – in the atmosphere has risen about 30 per cent. Temperature increased 1 degree Fahrenheit. These tendencies are connected. Industrial and transportation emissions increased carbon dioxide, trapping more heat in the atmosphere and raising temperatures. The next hundred

years, most scientists agree, will see the earth heat up further. How much further is open to debate: hundreds of scientists from around the world predict a rise of anywhere between 1.8 and 6.3 degree by 2100. But some regions will warm much less and others, especially of northern continents, will warm much more. We don’t know what the effects of warming might be. Warmer weather might make some areas more attractive and others less. Because what will happen to the world is still uncertain, what will happen to a particular region is even more uncertain. We don’t know how to prevent warming. Further pollution of the environment can go as far as to cause the complete melting of the polar ice caps, which would flood many coastal areas around the world. It will have apocalyptic consequences if it happens. This shows how serious it has become when it comes to the contamination of the environment, a possible end to the world because of the lack of consideration of the environment.

 Stabilizing emissions isn’t enough. No one knows how to lower emissions without crushing the world economy. That’s why, based on present knowledge, the best way of coping with warming is to adapt to it.

d) Deforestation

The other problem is Deforestation. Our forests are dying from acid rains and destruction. Deforestation, especially destruction of tropical forests, affects the balance of nature in many ways. It kills animals, changes the climate and ecosystem in the world.

e) Soul pollution

Reckless application of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides pollutes the soil.  Vegetables and fruits are quite injurious today, because they contain the poison of insecticides and pesticides.

f) Threat of exposures at nuclear power stations

The growths of industries, cities increase the needs in energy. A number of nuclear power stations have been built in many countries. Though they are considered to be safety but in fact they may cause dangerous situations.

The nuclear accident at Chernobyl, which took place on April 26, 1986 and in Japan in 2011, has seriously aggravated the ecological situation on the planet. These catastrophes can be considered as the largest disasters of the mankind. As the result of the Chernobyl accident 18% of territories of Ukraine and Belarus republics were contaminated by radioactive elements. The agriculture of the countries suffered great losses. More than 20% of the population has also suffered. A death rate among children has increased considerably. The wide researches are carried out, but health state of the people living in polluted areas, is worsened. The level of thyroid gland cancer has increased, the immunity of children and women is weakened, and many diseases appear out only a few years later. Everyone understands that this catastrophe is a threat to health of the nation, and though years have already passed, the results will be shown on the future generations.

g) Animals are in danger of extinction

Every living being put at risk on the planet not only people but also animals. Animals are in danger of extinction. The blue whale is the largest animal which has

ever lived. Once there were over 200000 of these creatures living in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Since the seventeenth century they have been hunted for their oil and meat. In fact, so many of them were killed that by 1963 their population had been reduced to just 1000. Today it is even less that that. The African elephant is the world’s largest land animal. Today there are fewer than one million of these animals left. Even though they are now protected, they are still being hunted because of their tusks, which are used to make ornaments and jewelers. There is only one way to save wild animals and wild habitats –conservation. That means protecting animals in danger by law, opening more national parks, building fewer new roads, planting more new forests, cutting pollution. It this doesn’t happen, many wild animals will soon have just one habitat- the Zoo.

h) The activity of "Greenpeace”

Ecological problems have no borders. European states solve these problems together: the necessary measures are taken, congresses and conferences on these questions are organized, and these questions have already the reflection in the legislation of many countries.

The activity of many public organizations is directed to protect environment. One of the most known organizations is "Greenpeace”, whose purpose is prevention of environment degradation. This organization was founded in 1971 by the activists from the USA and Canada and it has representations in 25 countries of the world. "Greenpeace” acts against nuclear tests, radiating threat, pollution of the environment by waste industrial products, to protect the animal world, etc. This organization influences public opinion through mass media, under its aegis manifestations and protest actions are carried solutions for concrete ecological problems.

For example, the "Greenpeace” sent its boats to protect whales, and today commercial whaling is banned. In the North Sea Greenpeace swimmers turned back dump ships carrying chemical waste and a new laws to protect the North Sea have been considered.

When I look around I realize that not all people understand the importance of nature protection. On fine summer days a lot of people go out of town. They have picnics on the shores of lakes and the banks of rivers or on beautiful forest glades and they often leave behind a lot of rubbish- plastic bags and bottles, tins and paper. It makes me feel sad when I see people returning to town with huge bunches of forest or meadow flowers. Many of these plants are included into the Red Book which contains the names of rare plants and animals. Some of them have become extinct and others are on the verge of disappearing. If we don’t realize that we are all responsible for what’s happening around us we will never feel secure about the future of the world we live in.

 3. The benefits of solving the ecological problems

a)  Solution of the ecological problem would promote better life for people

Solving the ecological problems improve the environment itself and the life of people living in it

Addressing environmental pollution in the world will not only do well for the environment but also for the people that live in it. One of the biggest challenges of today’s world is the decrease in jobs. However, by trying to solve the problem of environmental pollution one would be creating more jobs. “For example, it takes an average of 116 people to run a coal fired plant, which obviously produce a great deal of pollution” (Renner). On the other hand, it would take 248 workers to run a solar thermal facility or 542 on a wind farm. Both of these solutions to the world’s energy problem not only produce energy, but also do it by methods which do not pollute the environment when compared to a coal-fired plan. They also in turn produce up to 4 times as many jobs for anyone looking for a job. By helping the environment in this way, one is not only helping the environment but, also himself. As pollution has increased so has the damage it can cause. This is shown by acid rain which is a product of pollution. Acid rain is powerful enough to cause corrosive damage to buildings, statues, and other structures. Since the damage must be repaired taxpayer’s money must be spent to repair the damage. This leads to billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money being spent to repair the statues, buildings, and monuments damaged by acid rain, which could have been spent on schools and other things in the community. This is how bad the issue of environmental pollution has got; a point where the people are loosing there hard earned money to pollution people create. But it is one of the most obvious and best reasons for trying to help.

b) Solution of the world’s pollution problem and humans’ health

With all of the pollution that exist the health of humans slowly decrease as seen by many people throughout the world developing respiratory problem such as asthma and possibly even the new disease SARS. With pollution being a probable cause for such diseases and ailments it can clearly be seen how serious environmental pollution is. All these are very significant reasons for concern in the area of environmental pollution. Yet, it can easily be solved with the help of a few considerate people who want to help the environment and themselves in the process.

IV Conclusion

What can be done to protect nature?

However there are some activities that can be done everyday which not only help the environment and if done by a multitude of people can severally help the environment.

I believe that environment disasters can be avoided if people broaden ecological education and every person understands that the beauty of nature is extremely fragile and people must obey the unwritten laws of nature. Governments must be prepared to take action against pollution. Air pollution could be reduced if plants and factories were made to fit effective filters on chimneys and car exhausts. Green zones around big cities must be protected and extended. Natural resources should be used economically because their stocks are not unlimited. Everyone should be involved in the process of saving the Earth: plant forests and gardens, clean the banks of rivers from rubbish, and use the rule of 3rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) in everyday life.

Literature and sources of information:

  1.  Internet
  2.  Geographical journal
  3.  Reference books
  4.  Textbooks


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