The Danger of Global Warming by Leonardo DiCaprio. Learn more about this issue doing this reading comprehension test. Many film stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio support the environmental movement.
It’s a great honour for me to be this year’s American chairman of Earth Day. The primary focus of this years campaign is global warming. Global warming is the single most important environmental threat to the future of our planet and all living things on it. The new millennium is a critical moment in history, If we continue to ignore the danger of global warming, we will almost certainly suffer the drastic effects of climate changes throughout the world.
To give just one example, I recently read a magazine article describing the problems facing the islands of Kiribati in the Pacific ocean. This small group of islands is not only experiencing more cyclones and droughts but the fact is that rising ocean levels are eroding and contaminating the land. The islanders, with their unique culture, may soon become environmental refugees.
Many other places around the world will probably face the same destiny. The predicted effects of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere include climate changes that will cause more severe typhoons, hurricanes and floods, plus the destruction of coral reefs, the melting of polar ice, an increase in tropical diseases carried by insects and much, much more.
Thirty years ago in the USA, Earth Day 1970 and the subsequent Clean Air laws of 1970 helped to stimulate worldwide changes that had a positive effect on the environment. Some governments began to eliminate lead in gasoline and to clean up power plants. Now it is time to take the next step – to do for energy conservation and clean energy what was done for clean air back in 1970. Fortunately there are things that we can do, and that is what Earth Day will try to emphasize.
One of the most important and immediate things we can do is to drive cars that have fewer toxic emissions and produce less carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming. Hybrid cars, which have both electric motors and gasoline engines are coming to the market. Using public transport and sharing cars are other ways that can reduce fuel consumption.
And of course we can be part of the biggest Earth Day ever on April 22. Events will take place in every time zone on the planet, in cities such as New Yoth, London, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Manila and Tokyo creating a continuous 24 hour Day celebration. It’s time to send a message that politicians and corporations can’t ignore.
Read the article and choose the correct answers.
1) What is Leonardo DiCaprio trying to do in this article?
A) Explain why he joined the environmental movement and encourage others to do the same
B) Describe all the environmental threats the world is facing and suggest what we can do.
C) Point out the danger of global warming and encourage people to participate in Earth Day.
2) According to DiCaprio, what does global warming represent?
A) The main danger to the world at the moment.
B) The only serious threat to the future of the planet.
C) Just one of a number of important threats facing the planet.
3) The start of the new millennium is decisive moment because …
A) if we don’t change the climate now, the effects will be drastic.
B) if we continue to ignore global warming, it may mean the end of the world.
C) if we don’t do something about global warming now, there will be terrible consequences.
4) If the ocean level continues to rise on the Kiribati Islands…
A) the islanders will lose their unique culture.
B) the islanders will have to leave their homes.
C) the islands will experience more cyclones and droughts.
5) What are some of the effects of global warming?
A) The climate will change as a result of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
B) Severe typhoons, hurricanes and floods will produce climate changes.
C) The melting of polar ice will cause an increase in tropical diseases.
6) What happened after Earth Day in 1970?
A) There was an improvement in energy conservation and clean energy.
B) All governments around the world decided to eliminate lead in gasoline.
C) There was some reduction in air pollution around the world.
7) What would be one way of consuming less energy?
A) Not buying hybrid cars with gasoline engines.
B) Using public transport instead of private cars.
C) Driving cars which produce more carbon dioxide.
Did You Know…?
• Americans waste $300 billion per year just by not switching off lights and leaving computers, TVs and video-recorders on permanent stand-by.
• Turning down the heating by just one degree, or using one hour less heating a day, can reduce the fuel bill by 10%
• Insulation and double windows in a house can save up to one third of heating costs.
• Taking a bath uses three times as much water as taking a shower.
• We use about 155 litres of water each day on average, 70% more than 30 years ago.
• Leaving a water tap running can waste up to 10 litres of water a minute.
• In half an hour, a garden sprinkler uses as much water as a family of four in a day.
• Every day British people drive over five million miles on short car journeys under one mile.
• Short car journeys cause the worst pollution because the engine is cold and has to warm up.
• Driving at 80 km per hour uses 25% less fuel than at 110 kph.
• The average family throws away 2 kilos of rubbish every day.
• Over 6 billion glass containers are used each year in Britain. Only 25% of them are recycled.
• Each ton of paper recycled saves 15 average-sized trees, as well as the animals they support.
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