Text A. Once again about Ozone Holes

Text A. Once again about Ozone Holes

High above the earth's atmosphere there is a thin veil in the stratosphere called the ozone layer, which protects the earth from the sun's destructive ultraviolet (UV) rays.

This protective layer is being damaged by chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are released into the atmosphere by the daily use of such industrial and household products as refrigerators, air conditioners, foam insulation, cleaning chemicals, and food packaging. The CFCs rise into the ozone layer, where the sunlight decomposes them, releasing chlorine. The chlorine attacks the ozone molecules, thinning or even making a "hole" in the ozone layer. This "hole" allows more UV rays to penetrate to the earth.

Overexposure to UV rays can increase the risk of skin cancer, weaken the immune system, and damage the retina. It is estimated that in the United States alone one in six Americans will develop skin cancer as a result of overexposure to UV rays.

Not only are humans at risk; so, too, are animals, plants, and the environment in general. With the thinning of the ozone layer, UV rays can penetrate the oceans, seriously impairing the growth of plankton, an essential part of the marine-life food chain, and can reduce the yields of economically important crops such as soybeans, cotton, and rice.

The scientists point out that the global ecological crisis cannot be precluded unless all countries join their efforts to render mutual ecological help on a non-governmental basis. Now the planet's "green lungs" are being destroyed, its ozone layer ruined, the global warming sets in, the acid rains fall out, the rivers grow shallo­wer, and the oceans get pol­luted. This is why the major humanistic aim of the Eco­logical International is to change from an uncontrolled development of the machine-based civilisation to a con­scientious development of a society of natural and tech­nological type.

A feature of such a non-govern­mental body is a combination of the social ecological aid with technological activities to con­serve the environment (clean­ing of sewerage and gas exhausts, and utilisation of industrial wastes).

The scientists the world over made a long-term investigation only to come to a conclusion that the Planet's ozone layer is thinning out globally. To save this layer, it is necessary to take measures now and to use only ecologically friendly tech­nologies. It is tackling of this problem which is urgent for the Earthlings that the early efforts of the Ecological International of the Green Cross and Green Crescent will be devoted to. What is implied here is an ex­tensive international project "Resuscitation of Ozone Layer." Materialisation of the project would involve new tech­nologies advanced by the sci­entists and experts from the Russian key aerospace com­panies.

The patching up of the ozone holes is feasible tech­nologically. This would call for the creation of a superpowerful unit flying at the height of 25-30 km and capable of generating several thousand tons of ozone a month. The world community (and isn't this the problem of the mankind's concern) needs as few as 30-45 such units to save our Planet from the "ultra­violet death."

To materialise the project, an international industrial eco­logical consortium is being set up which will take up the solu­tion of scientific, financial and other problems.




poison, v отравлять

disturb, v нарушать

wastes, n отходы

layer, n слой

ray, n луч

damage, v приносить вред, вредить, разрушать

fertilizers, n минеральное удобрение

dangerous, a опасный

on the brink of extinction на грани исчезновения

penetrate, v пронизывать, проникать (в)

acid rains кислотные дожди

greenhouse effect парниковый эффект

ozone depletion истощение озонового слоя

harm, n вред

substance, n вещество

emit, v выбрасывать, выделять

offender, n виновник, преступник

threat, n угроза

pollution, n загрязнение

adopt, v принимать

protect, v защищать

increase, v увеличивать, повышать

destroy, v разрушать

aid, n помощь

environment, n окружающая среда

sewerage, n канализация

come to a conclusion прийти к выводу

do good (harm) приносить пользу (вред)


I. Give the three forms of the verbs:

to grow, to destroy, to fall, to get, to devote, to join, to set, to protect, to know, to make, to come, to take.


II. Suggest Russian renderings for:

1. The scientists the world over made a long-term investigation.

2. It is tackling of this problem which is urgent for the Earthlings that the early efforts of the Ecological International of the Green Gross and Green Crescent will be devoted to.

3. What is implied here is an extensive international project “Resuscitation of Ozone Layer”.

4. The “patching up of the ozone holes” is feasible technologically.

5. It’s necessary to take measures now and to use only ecologically friendly technologies.



III. Give the English equivalents for the following phrases. Consult the text ‘Once again about the Ozone Holes’:

предотвратить экологический кризис; объединить усилия; на неправительственной основе; разрушить озоновый слой; сознательное развитие; промышленные отходы; принимать меры; главные аэрокосмические компании; мировое сообщество; технически возможный.


IV. a) Give synonyms for the following words:


to prevent, purpose, help, to preserve, to dedicate, to be meant, possible, to require, interest, to implement, to establish.


b) Give antonyms to the following adjectives and verbs:


local, governmental, controlled, short-term, unnecessary, powerless, man-made, to break, to construct, to erect, to exclude, to give up, to do good.


c) Give corresponding nouns:


· to pollute, to control, to develop, to combine, to conclude, to utilize, to waste, to investigate, to create, to set, to solve, to measure;

· international, governmental, global, uncontrolled, natural, necessary, ecological, friendly, urgent, feasible, technological, capable, industrial, scientific, financial.


adjectives nouns
superpowerful ecological scientific mutual ultra-violet global conscientious non-governmental machine-based long-term friendly aerospace companies   efforts development civilization investigation technologies unit problems crisis warming death body  

V. Match the adjectives and the nouns. Consult text A:


VI. ead the text ’Once again about the Ozone Holes’. Answer the following questions:

1. What is the way to preclude the global ecological crisis?

2. Why is it necessary to change from an uncontrolled development of the machine-based civilization to a conscientious development of a society?

3. What does the non-governmental body aim at?

4. Are there any ways of saving the Planet’s ozone layer?

5. What will the early efforts of the Ecological International of the Green Cross and Green Crescent be devoted to?

6. Is the “patching up of the ozone holes” feasible technologically or a fantastic idea only?

7. How many superpowerful units are able to save our Planet from the “ultra-violet death”?


VII. Use the verbs in brackets in the correct tense form.

1. Overpopulation, pollution and energy consumption (to create) some dangerous planet-wide problems recently. 2. If nothing (to be done) about it, many species of flora and fauna (to become) extinct by 2030. 3. The Environmental movement (to gain) a lot of supporters long before our country (to manage) to join it indeed. 4. The problem of environmental protection (to become) a part of political programs in many countries by the end of the century. 5. Our non-governmental body aimed at implementing some useful laws and decisions on the problem which (to be adopted) before.



VIII. Agree or disagree with the following statements. Begin you answer with:

You are right (wrong, mistaken) ...,

How could you say that ...,

That’s true (not true) ...,

I agree with you here ...,

I can’t (don’t) agree with you ...,

Excuse my interrupting you but ...

To my mind ..., in my opinion ...,

It goes without saying, (There is) nothing to argue about ...


1. Though each of us must do everything possible to keep the land, air and water clean, the problem can’t be solved by the only man in the only country.

2. The pollution of the environment is one of the greatest dangers to human beings on earth.

3. The concentration of smoke in the air is so high in some industrial centers that it is deadly dangerous just to breathe there.

4. The ecological harmony is disturbed on earth.

5. Now the planet’s “green lungs” are being destroyed, its ozone layer ruined, the acid rains fall out and the oceans get polluted.

6. Our aim at present is to change from an uncontrolled development of the machine-based civilization to a conscientious development of a society.

7. The world community needs 30-45 superpowerful units at least to generate several thousand tons of ozone a month.


IX. Read the following selections using the dictionary.


"The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers and sea with dangerous and even lethal chemicals."—Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Air pollution is the result of man's use of lethal chemicals, and is a common hazard in both industrial and developing countries. One form of air pollution is acid rain.

Acid rain results from the release into the atmosphere of sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide. Electrical generating plants, industrial boilers, large smelters, and automobiles are among the chief source of these emissions. The gases react with water droplets, forming a diluted mixture of sulfuric acid and nitric acid, and it is this mixture that returns to earth in the form of acid rain, mist, or snow. Pushed by wind currents, the acid rain often falls to the ground far from its point of origin.

Acid rain is killing vast stretches of forest in Canada, the United States, and central and northern Europe. In Europe nearly every species of tree is affected. Symptoms include thinning of leaves and needles, deformed growth, and, in some cases, death. Acid rain has acidified lakes and streams, rendering them unable to support fish, wildlife, plants, or insects. In Sweden at least 40,000 of the 90,000 lakes have been affected, and in the United States one in five lakes suffers from this type of pollution.



Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth surface. Despite the vastness of this area, we know little about it. The oceans are just as diverse as the land. They are interwoven with history, although man has looked upon them as barriers and alien spaces.

Life began in the ocean. More than 31/2 billion years ago there evolved simple single-celled organisms. Today the oceans support a wealth of simple and complex sea life, from phytoplankton (drifting plants) to crustaceans (shrimp, crabs) to marine mammals (whales, dolphins). But through ignorance and misunderstanding we are placing these resources in jeopardy. There is widespread pollution and disruption of our coastal waters, whales and dolphins are hunted to near extinction, and many fishing areas are being depleted.

The oceans do not belong to a single nation, but are free, open territory to be enjoyed and shared. However, too often nations are overly aggressive in taking the resources the oceans have to offer. A tragic result has been the systematic hunting of whales from one species to another for whalebone, blubber, and oil. In 1985 whales were given a reprieve when the International Whaling Commission imposed, a moratorium on killing whales.

Unfortunately, some harvesting of whales continues. Also, the tuna industry has put the dolphin population at risk and onto the endangered species list. In the past 30 years the tuna-fishing industry has killed more than 6 million dolphins. In the United States steps have been taken to protect the dolphins with the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act of 1990, a ban on all drift-net catching of tuna beginning in July 1991 and on the importation of all drift-net-caught fish products beginning in July 1992.



When a plant or animal is gone forever, we say it is extinct. Although extinction is a natural process, in today's world it is happening at an alarming rate. Some experts estimate that one species—plant, animal, or insect— becomes extinct every day. At that rate, within the next 20 years one-fifth of all species could be extinct.

To prevent wildlife in the United States from becoming extinct, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973. This law established two categories for species in trouble: endangered and threatened. A species is listed as endangered when there are so few members of the species left that it is on the brink of extinction. A species is threatened when, if not protected, it is likely to become endangered.

The African elephant is one of approximately 1,117 species on the endangered species list, and there are more than 4,000 species waiting to be put on the list. Sadly, some may become extinct while waiting to be listed.

The African elephant is the largest land mammal on the earth. In the 1970s African elephants numbered in the millions; today there are only about 609,000. This decline has been brought about by loss of habitat (through encroachment by people), drought, and the ivory trade.

To reduce elephant poaching and collapse the market for ivory, in 1989 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) banned the ivory trade. However, poaching continues. “What is the solution? On the road from Makuti to Kariba, far from the preserves, in the Zambezi valley, vast stretches of savanna bear the scars left by giants. Will they be left to proliferate, even if ivory loses its value?" —Corinne Denis, L’Express, 27 October 1989.


X. Write out all the words you don’t know. Look them up in the dictionary.


XI. Make a written translation of the selections given above.


XII. Suggest a headline for each selection.


XIII. Translate into English:

1. Перенаселение, загрязнение воды и воздуха, а также использование атомной энергии создали опасную ситуацию на планете.

2. Результатом неразумной деятельности человека явились такие вредные явления, как истощение озонового слоя, парниковый эффект и кислотные дожди.

3. К концу тысячелетия человечество не сумело сохранить здоровье и красоту планеты.

4. Если мы ничего не сделаем, то исчезнут многие виды фауны и флоры к 2030 году.

5. Ученые во всем мире провели долгосрочные исследования и пришли к выводу, что озоновый слой истощается в глобальном масштабе.

6. Все страны мира должны объединить усилия, чтобы воплотить в жизнь законы и решения, которые были приняты ранее.

7. «Залатать озоновые дыры» технически возможно. Это потребует создания сверхмощных установок, способных вырабатывать несколько тысяч тонн озона в месяц.

8. Промышленно развитые страны не могут и не должны игнорировать проблему загрязнения окружающей среды.

9. Неуправляемое развитие техногенной цивилизации является одной из причин загрязнения окружающей среды.

10. Чтобы спасти озоновый слой, необходимо срочно принять меры и использовать только экологически дружественную технологию.

11. Неправительственные организации должны сочетать социально-экологическую помощь с технической деятельностью, чтобы сохранить окружающую среду.

12. Технологическая деятельность включает в себя очищение стоков и выхлопных газов, утилизацию промышленных отходов и сокращение использования минеральных удобрений до минимума.

13. Сверхмощные установки, способные вырабатывать тысячи тонн озона в месяц, спасут нашу планету от «ультрафиолетовой смерти».

14. Достижения человечества в механизации и автоматизации промышленных процессов, в создании автономных электростанций и кораблей принесло как большую пользу, так и большой вред.

15. Когда все страны уделят необходимое внимание проблеме охраны окружающей среды, человечество войдет в новую эру своего развития.


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