THE ENVIRONMENT TODAY
Getting Ready for Exams
We tend to imagine that ancient people were “environmentally
friendly” and lived in harmony with nature. Some people (such as the American Indians)
did indeed respect and protect their environment. But there are many examples of ancient
people who destroyed land they inhabited. In doing this, some of them destroyed their own
The great city of Ur was destroyed by floods after its people removed the trees on the
banks of the river Euphrates to use as fuel for their fires. Although the Bible says that
the cause of floods was the anger of God, the real cause of the flood was probably
environmental damage by man.
The dodo was a large bird, rather like a turkey, that lived on the island of Mauritius in
the Indian Ocean. When the first man arrived in Mauritius in the early 16th century, they
found that the dodos were very tame. The settlers killed the dodos partly for food and
partly for sport. By 1680, less than 200 years after the first man settlement on
Mauritius, the last dodo was dead. Only the expression “as dead as a dodo” lives in
the English language.
1. According to the passage, our ancestors
A. were all environmentally friendly
B. respected and protected their environment
C. were probably as selfish as modern people
D. lived in harmony with nature
2. The passage states that the great city of Ur was probably destroyed
B. removing the trees on the banks of the river Euphrates
C. the anger of God
D. floods caused by earthquake
Listen to Jack’s opinion about using animals for scientific
More people are against cruelty to animals in sports, such as
foxhunting. Some people think that it is also cruel to use animals for scientific
research. I don’t think so. My mum works in a medical laboratory. They create new
medicines and then test them on animals. Mum says it’s necessary. Some animal research
leads directly to the development of important new medicines that save hundreds of lives.
It’s not the same: to kill animals for sport or for life-saving research in medicine.
True or False?
1. More people are against cruelty to animals in sports.
2. More people think that it is also cruel to use animals for
3. Jack’s mum works in a hospital.
4. She cures animals.
5. She creates new medicines and then tests them on animals.
6. Jack agrees with his mum, that it’s necessary to use animals for
1. Match words and expressions from column A with single word
equivalents from column B.
1. to make a prediction
2. to look forward to
3. every day
4. still (adj.)
6. to dislike greatly
7. hotness or warmth
8. to bring about
9. very large in area
10. a heated glass building for growing young plants
11. no longer in existence
12. the seashore
13. easily broken
14. a place where someone or something is usually found
15. to treat medically
16. to ruin
17. to put in danger
18. to make part of
19. that which surrounds
20. to make unclean
21. to remain alive
22. a fence formed by bushes or small trees growing close together
23. characterised by good fortune; successful
24. characterised by a moderate estimation of oneself
25. to do harm to
a. to produce
c. to forecast
e. a habitat
f. to expect
g. to try to cure
h. to endanger
i. to destroy
k. to include
o. to pollute
p. a greenhouse
s. to injure
t. a coast
u. to hate
w. a hedge
y. to survive
2. Complete the sentence below using words from the
1. Our modern life is destroying the _______ environment.
2. What is happening to the _______ today?
3. How can we stop the _______ effect from getting worse?
4. What are the reasons for the _______ of water in the world?
5. “Developments” that have made our lifestyle more comfortable all
_______ the earth’s atmosphere.
6. Nowadays many scientists say that some chemicals can _______ human
7. Many species of animals has become _______.
8. Today people realise that the environment should be kept clean, if
humanity wants _______.
3. Read the text below. Use the word at the end of each line to form a
word that fits in the space in the same line.
The use of animals for (1) _______ purposes is a
difficult (2) _______ issue. Many people owe their
to modern drugs or (3) _______ techniques that were
first (4) _______ on animals. Some of these
(5) _______ would not have been possible without
animal experiments. People who campaign for animal
rights are usually young and (6) _______, and have
not yet needed the benefits of (7) _______ progress.
Perhaps it is ethically (8) _______ to sacrifice animals
for the sake of medical research, as long as the animals
do not suffer. But that (9) _______ standpoint raises two
difficult questions: what (10) _______ as medical
research and second, what counts as (11) _______?
1. Match these tenses with the sentences below.
present simple present continuous future continuous
past simple past continuous
future simple (will) present perfect
going to past perfect
1. He is expected to make a report about mankind’s destructive
influence on the environment.
2. I hadn’t explored the town centre before.
3. Our group is going to take part in an international summer program.
4. Pollution has already caused a large hole in the ozone layer and
increased global warming.
5. Loss of plant species within the rainforests will mean that many
lifesaving drugs will never be discovered.
6. The ancient Romans were pioneers of public health, but they were
very short-sighted about the health of the environment.
7. The rainforests are rapidly being cut down.
8. The volume of both industrial and domestic waste has increased
dramatically over the past 50 years.
9. This time next week I’ll be discussing traffic pollution.
2. Use the correct tense in these sentences.
1. During the past the past two hundred years, humankind (to invent)
2. If we (not to take) action to protect the earth’s atmosphere, it
soon (to become) unable to protect us.
3. Nowadays very many people in Russia (to protest) about polluting the
water with industrial waste.
4. The earth probably (to contain) between 10 and 100 million different
5. By the end of the 19th century, the British people (to learn) that
they should plan the growth of towns and cities.
6. Man (to grow) crops for 10,000 years.
V. Phrasal Verbs
1. Match the phrasal verbs and idioms in list A with their meanings in
1. to make up one’s mind
2. to set up
3. to take up
4. to give up
5. to go up
6. to look up
7. to catch up with somebody for a short while
8. to put up
a. to find information
b. to decide
c. to increase
d. to go in for some-thing
e. to organise
f. to stop doing some-thing
g. to allow someone to stay in your house
h. to come from behind and reach the same place as someone else
2. Complete these sentences using the correct form one of the verbs
and idioms from list A below.
1. Did you _______ Alan at the bus stop yesterday?
2. Has he _______ what to do next?
3. Ann _______ writing articles for this newspaper.
4. He _______ the genetic resources within the rainforests for many
5. They _______ a meeting yet, so you can ask them to organise it in
Here is a model answer to the question, ‘What can governments do to
help the environment nowadays?’ Read the composition and title each paragraph.
The state of the environment today is connected with humankind’s
efforts to make their lives more comfortable and more satisfying. Technological, social
and economic changes (sometimes called “progress”) can have devastating effects
on the environment. That’s why governments should pass laws to change policies on
agriculture, energy, transportation and trade. Unfortunately, I believe they fail to do
this in many ways.
Firstly, although it is often said that each town should feed its population from the
surrounding countryside and should rely as much as possible on local industry, a lot of
trucks carry food from one end of a country to another. A high proportion of all traffic
pollution today is caused by these trucks.
Trees and flowers in public parks make a town more pleasant and also help to counteract
the greenhouse effect. Local authorities should carefully plan their towns and find the
right balance between industrial and residential areas, between building new roads and the
surrounding countryside. They should remember about the science of town planning.
Finally they should encourage alternative forms of transportation and build extensive
networks of bicycle paths, which make cycling a safe and enjoyable form of transportation.
In conclusion, I think that governments and local authorities should invest in new
technologies and industries that won’t badly damage the environment.
devastate опустошать, разорять
VII. Write a composition: cars: the pros and cons. The table below
will help you.
A comfortable and convenient means of
The biggest single cause of air pollution
Give freedom and independence
Roads destroy countryside
Sitting in traffic jams is stress-ful and
probably causes high blood pressure
|Require parking space
Read the text.
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
The greenhouse effect is very important; if it didn’t exist at all,
the temperature of the planet would be 40 degrees lower and the oceans would freeze. But
an increase in the greenhouse effect may lead to global warming with disastrous
The higher average temperatures produced by global warming could cause dramatic changes in
the weather. Less rain might fall over large land masses. Central Africa, south Asia and
some parts of the United States could risk severe drought and famine. More rain might fall
in coastal areas and over the oceans, there might be more storms and hurricanes in the
Pacific. A rise in the earth’s average temperature of only one or two degrees would
probably melt the polar ice caps and raise sea levels. Sea levels throughout the world are
already rising by about two millimetres a year. If the polar ice caps melt, sea levels
could rise by more than a meter over a few decades.
1. According to the text which two of the following statements are
a) The greenhouse effect only leads to disastrous consequences.
b) Without the greenhouse effect the climate on the earth would be much
c) Because of global warming there is now a risk of drought and famine
in parts of Africa and Asia.
d) If there is a rise in temperature of one or two degrees, the sea
level will rise by about two millimetres a year.
Choose the right answer. Only one answer is correct.
2. He never does his best. He spends _______ time preparing for his
b) a little
d) a few
3. Life is _______ boring in the city.
d) a few
4. Do you know what you _________ at this time tomorrow?
a) will be doing
b) will do
c) will have done
d) would do
5. If I _______ more about the ozone layer I ________ a better mark.
a) will know … will get
b) knew … will get
c) knew … got
d) knew … would get
6. We haven’t made up our _______ where to go next.
7. When he came _______ this book, he bought it immediately.
8. That is good news. Tell me more about _______.
9. Many people think that Chinese is the world’s _____ language.
b) more difficult
c) much more difficult
d) most difficult
10. They won’t continue their work until he _____.
a) will ask them
b) will ask they
c) asks them
d) asks they
I. 1. C; 2. B
II. 1. T; 2. F; 3. F; 4. F; 5. T; 6. T
III. 1. 1. c; 2. f; 3. x; 4. v; 5. d; 6. u;
7. l; 8. a; 9. n; 10. p; 11.b; 12. t; 13. q; 14. e;
15. g; 16. i; 17. h; 18. k; 19. m; 20. o; 21. y;
22. w; 23. r; 24. j; 25. s
2. 1. fragile; 2. environment; 3. greenhouse; 4. shortage;
5. pollute; 6. endanger; 7. extinct; 8. to survive
3. 1. scientific; 2. ethical; 3. surgical; 4. tested; 5. developments;
6. healthy; 7. medical; 8. acceptable; 9. theoretical;
10. counts; 11. suffering
IV. 1. 1. present simple (passive); 2. past
perfect; 3. going to; 4. present perfect; 5. future simple; 6. past
simple; 7. present continuous (passive); 8. present perfect; 9. future
2. 1. has invented; 2. do not take, will soon become; 3. are protesting;
4. contains; 5. had learned; 6. has been growing
V. 1. 1. b; 2. e; 3. d; 4. f;
5. c; 6. a; 7. h; 8. g
2. 1. catch up with; 2. made up his mind; 3. gave up; 4. has been
taking up; 5. haven’t set up
VI. 1. Introduction; 2. Each town should
feed its population itself; 3. Local authorities should remember about the science of
town planning; 4. Alternative forms of transportation; 5. Conclusion
1. a, d; 2. a; 3. a; 4. a; 5. d; 6. c; 7. b; 8. c;
9. d; 10. c
By Youdif Boyarskaya,
Moscow, School No. 814