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Global problems

The environment
Look at these ext ract s from letters to an i nt ernat i onal magazi ne.
Your article on climate change was excellent. Rising
sea levels and the increase in greenhouse gases
are the result of our actions. We are disturbing t he
ecological balance everywhere, as can be seen in the
decrease in fish stocks
in the oceans.
gases which cause the greenhouse effect,
especially carbon dioxide
the number of fish
It is clear thai we must tackle pollution before it is
too late. Exhaust fumes from millions of vehicles
cw\ci the burning of fossil fuels are causing
damage to our environment.
fuels such as gas, coal and oil
which cannot be repaired (also irreversible)
We must accept that we have seriously depleted
t he ozone layer in the last few decades by our
selfish actions. Embracing green politics may be
our best hope in the long term, but we Deed
urgent short-term measures too.
reduced something in size or amount,
especially supplies of energy, money, etc.
Crops fail year after year in some of the poorest
parts of the world. This has brought devastating
famines to some regions and equally devastating
floods to others. We call these natural disasters,
but it is human beings who are causing them.
causing a lot of damage or destruction
Look at this radio interview with Pascal Delrio, an international expert, talking about poverty.
Interviewer: Mr Del ri o, do you believe we can solve the probl em of wor l d poverty?
I am more optimistic now t han before. Millions of people have succeeded in
escaping povert y in t he last decade, but it is also t rue t hat in some regions,
mor e peopl e t han ever are living bel ow t he povert y line, and we must help
these people to lift them out of povert y.
But how can we achieve t hat ?
I accept t hat there is no simple solution. The wi deni ng gul f between rich and
poor in some countries is often due to external forces beyond their cont rol .
Some of the most deprived regions have large popul at i ons living on the
margi ns of society, and it is for these specific groups t hat we can do most.
But poverty is not just an issue for developing count ri es, is it? We have
t housands sleeping r ough
every ni ght in cities like London and New York,
and street children in a lot of big cities ar ound t he worl d.
I agree, and I accept t hat children and adul t s who live on t he streets are in
desperat e need, and t hat these social condi t i ons breed cri me. But so much
depends on the global economy. Right now, we have a golden oppor t uni t y to
combat povert y. Perhaps we cannot eradi cat e
povert y altogether, but we can
certainly alleviate
povert y, and t hat is our challenge.
Mr Del ri o, t hank you very much.
an important difference between the ideas, opinions, or situations of t wo groups of people
in the open, without shelter
get rid of completely
make less serious
Ot her global problems
Thousands of people seek political asylum in ot her count ri es every year. Most are genui ne
asylum seekers, but some are economi c mi grant s looking for a better life.
Hundr eds of peopl e t ook t o the streets t o demonst r at e about t hi rd-worl d debt repayment s.
A terrible ear t hquake hit the region last year. The deat h toll was massive.
The sexual expl oi t at i on of children is a wor l d- wi de pr obl em, as is child l abour .
82 English Collocations in Use
39. 1 Compl et e t he col l ocat i ons.
1 a rise in t he number of asyl um
2 to deplete t he ozone
3 bad social condi t i ons crime
4 increasing amount s of greenhouse
5 a golden to combat poverty
3 9. 2 Mat ch sentences 1-5 with sentences a- e.
1 Ther e was a big prot est against child
2 Ther e is new evidence of a wi deni ng gulf
bet ween t he weal t hy and mor e deprived
sectors of society.
3 Ther e has been some small success in
tackling mari ne pol l ut i on.
4 The probl em of street children in big
cities has become a gl obal crisis.
5 A spokesperson for one of t he biggest
chari t i es said access for economi c
mi grant s should be made easier.
3 9. 3 Fill in the gaps in this announcement .
6 people who r ough
7 a massive toll
8 to be in desperat e
9 to people out of poverty
10 bel ow t he povert y
a) Ther e is some evidence to suggest t hat
fish st ocks are begi nni ng to rise slightly
in t he Nor t h Sea.
b) People want i ng t o come t o this count r y
t o escape povert y shoul d be wel comed.
c) Large number s of people t ook to t he
streets yesterday to demonst r at e agai nst
the increasing empl oyment of children in
appal l i ng condi t i ons.
d) A wor l dwi de st udy of young peopl e who
sleep r ough has raised universal al ar m.
e) Figures published t oday indicate t hat t he
divide bet ween the rich and the poor is
getting bigger.
Environment Concern is a new magazine f or people interested in
(1) politics. The fi rst issue includes an article on what
happened to local crops when t he earthquake (2)
Santa Graziela last year. Anot her feature looks at t he problems
whi ch (3) repayments are causing f or (4)
countri es and how thi s affects peopl e who live on t he
(5) of society there. We appreciate t hat there is no
simple (6) to the probl em of poverty in today's wor l d
but we have asked f our experts what they woul d do t o
(7) poverty. Their answers make sti mul ati ng readi ng.
3 9 . 4 Answer these quest i ons about t he col l ocat i ons i n A.
1 Wha t will happen if cr ops fail in an i mpor t ant agri cul t ural area?
2 Na me t wo fossil fuels.
3 Name three types of nat ural disaster.
4 What mi ght a devast at i ng flood do to an area?
5 What coul d government s do in response to a devast at i ng famine?
6 What are green politics concerned wi t h?
7 What is t he cause of rising sea-levels?
8 Why are exhaust fumes an increasing probl em?
There are many articles on global problems in the New Internationalist magazine. Choose one
f r om thei r websi te (www.newi nt.org/) and not e any i nteresti ng collocations t hat you fi nd.
The magazine also has special articles wr i t t en in an easy style f or learners of English. Go to its
Teaching Global Issues page.
English Collocations in Use 83