Banks and Money, Automobiles and Roads, Industry in Africa, Two Courses of Action. Агафонова И.Г. - 16 стр.

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ASSIGNMENT 4
Pre-reading task
I. Answer the following questions.
1. What does the environment suffer from?
2. Can people do without oil and coal? Give your reasons.
II. Read text 1.
Two Courses of Action (Text 1)
Interrelations between man and the biosphere are of a fairly complex nature.
Man, like every other living organism, depends for his life on what the biosphere
provides: water, oxygen, food and shelter. On the other hand, the biosphere is
strongly affected by all sorts of human activity.
Technology powerfully amplifies the effects of human beings on the biosphere.
Prehistoric man withdrew from the atmosphere only the oxygen he required for respi-
ration; technological man consumes a far greater amount of oxygen to support fires,
power plants and chemical processes. The carbon dioxide produced by technological
processes has measurably altered the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.
Apart from the amplification of such natural processes in the biosphere, technology
has introduced into the biosphere substances wholly new to it; man-made radioiso-
topes and a wide variety of synthetic materials such as plastics, insecticides, herbi-
cides and numerous industrial materials. These, too, alter the biosphere.
The problem has already been discussed at a large number of conferences,
some of them sponsored by the UN. However, relatively little has so far been done to
check environmental pollution.
The problem of the environment crisis has recently assumed global propor-
tions. Both scientists and politicians agree that unless some radical steps are taken be-
fore long, life on our planet may be irrevocably damaged if not destroyed altogether.
It seems therefore worth, while to consider the fundamental conflict which underlies
the surface manifestation of the present crises. For there undoubtedly exists a con-
flict, an incompatibility between the tenets of an industrial society and those of ecol-
ogy.