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Environmental Problems

4.1 Read the following international words and translate them:action, concentrate, principles, public, local, national, resources, station, acre, traffic, neutralize, chemicals, distance, ecological, balance, factor, synthetic, toxic, insecticides, pesticides.


4.2 Read the following words, paying attention to the pronunciation:abundant, sustainable, trouble, scientific, dioxide, sulphur, major, exhaust, nitric, enormously, insoluble, artificially, measurable, residual, release, near- demise, behavioral, exposure, mercury, contaminant, persistent, annually, pollutant.

4.3 Translate the following word-combinations into Russian:food supplies, power stations, road traffic, air current, plant and animal life, disease control and prevention, genetically modified crops, garden sprays, household pest control products.

Read and translate the following texts with the help of a dictionary.

Part 1

“A Double-edged Sword” of Chemistry

Chemistry is important – there is no doubt about that. It lies at the heart of our efforts to produce new materials that make our lives safer and easier, to produce new sources of energy that are abundant and nonpolluting and to understand and control the many diseases that threaten us and our food supplies. Although a strong case can be made that the use of chemistry has greatly enriched all of our lives, there is also a dark side of the story. Our society has used its knowledge of chemistry to kill and destroy. It is important to understand that the principles of chemistry are inherently neither good nor bad – it’s what we do with knowledge that really matters.

Although humans are clever, resourceful, and concerned about others, they also can greedy, selfish, and ignorant. In addition we tend to be shortsighted, we concentrate too much on the present and do not think enough about a long-range implication of our actions. This type of thinking has already caused us a great deal of trouble – severe environmental damage has occurred on many fronts. However, it is less important to lay blame than to figure out how to solve this problem.

The environment excites growing public concern due to realizing that at present time human activity has become varied and complex that it effects not only at local and national resources and build up of waste threaten to destroy Nature irreversibly. To preserve the environment of our planet development and growth in the world must be sustainable. Sustainable means not sacrificing tomorrow’s prospects for a largely illusory gain today.

Solution to environmental problems cannot be found without their scientific understanding. An important part of the answer must rely on chemistry. One of the hottest fields in the chemical sciences is environmental chemistry – an area that involves studying our environmental ills and discovering creative ways to address them.

Part 2

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