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DIALOGUES. — What do you think is the most important environmental issue nowadays?


— What do you think is the most important environmental issue nowadays?

— Well, in my opinion the most serious ecological problem today is the shortage of clean water.

— Why? Don't we have enough water on our planet?

— My answer is "yes" and "no". On the one hand, there is a lot of water on our planet. It is in oceans, seas, rivers and lakes.

But on the other hand, very little water on Earth is good for drinking.

— Really? Why?

— Because rivers and lakes are polluted by factories and farms.

— Is there any solution to this problem?

— Of course, there is, but it requires cooperation of all people.

— So, what exactly can we do to improve the quality of water?

— First of all, we can ban pouring industrial waste into rivers and lakes. Besides, we can install different purifying systems.

— I am with you there. Fresh water is very important for human beings. But we shouldn't forget about the ocean.

— 1 completely agree with you. Because the ocean gives us food, energy and minerals.

— You arc right, but today the ocean also needs help because ships dump toxic waste, tankers leak and spill oil and boaters throw trash overboard.

— The situation may sound hopeless, but I'm sure we can do something about it.

— Yes, of course. For example, we can protect birds and marine life.

— But how can we do it?

— First, we mustn't throw plastic bags or bottles in or near the water, because sea birds, turtles, whales and other sea animals often mistake plastic things for food and die. Besides, we can take part in beach clean-up projects.

— I can't but agree with you. And I want to add that people should understand that their activities can affect oceans and seas.

— Exactly! People should understand that all water usually flows into seas and oceans, so what they do inland can affect marine life.

— I agree with you, but first of all we must learn more about the state of the ocean and what can be done to improve it.

— You are absolutely right!


— Many people think that life was better in the past. The air was cleaner, the water was purer and life was safer.

— No wonder, because there are a lot of environmental problems nowadays. You only have to listen to TV news to realize that they are not solved.

— You arc quite right! However, problems such as the hole in the ozone layer and acid rain often seem unimportant to us. It's difficult to get upset about tropical forests on the other side of the planet.

— 1 can't agree with you. Of course, we can't see ozone holes, but the dangerous rays of the sun get through the atmosphere, causing skin cancer and other diseases. More and more often people are told not to be in direct sunlight.

— To tell the truth, air pollution seems to be much more serious problem. We pollute the air we breathe. Everyone can see smoke coming out of tall factory chimneys. Everyone can smell the gas from the back of a bus. In big cities the concentration of harmful substances in the air is rather high. This can also have disastrous consequences for our health.

— I am of the same opinion. Water pollution is another serious problem. Thousands of fish die every year because factories pour a lot of waste into rivers. If people drink polluted water, they may die too.

— What is more, the seas are also in danger. When I went with my parents to the seaside last summer, I was surprised that the water was not blue but brown with rubbish floating in it.

— But the most urgent environmental problem is nuclear pollution. I am against the use of nuclear energy. The waste products can last hundreds of years.

— And who is to blame for all these environmental pro­blems?

— The answer is simple: all of us. The technological progress of the 20th century resulted in widespread mechanization, atomic powers stations, new roads and highways. But it cannot be denied that the price for rapid industrial development is very high.

— Should we reject the progress then?

— Never! But we must take control of the progress to give it a humanistic direction. We must take into consideration all the factors that people's survival depends upon. The solution of the environ­mental problems requires the cooperation of all nations.

— Are you a Greenpeace supporter?

— Yes, I am. It's a noble aim to keep the planet and cities clean. We want everybody to do his or her best in caring for all human beings and living creatures.

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