– THE OZONE LAYER –
The end of the human race cannot be put before the interests of aerosol manufacturers. This important decision was reached by the top brains of twenty-four countries in Montreal this September.
It was a historic decision, because, for the first time, governments from different countries all over the world put aside political and national differences to ensure that pollution does not bring disaster on the multinational companies which are causing il.
In 1985, a hole the size of the United States appeared in the ozone layer above the Antarctic. Without the ozone layer, more UV-B rays from the sun penetrate the atmosphere with various inconvenient results, such as a massive increase in skin cancers, reduced crop productivity, depletion of fish stocks, and climate changes resulting in floods and famine.
The scientists rushed to the conclusion, over the next few years, that the depletion of the ozone layer was due to chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are used in such things as aerosols, hamburger packaging and refrigerators. Most scientists agree that a reduction of 85 per cent in CFC emissions is needed immediately – just to stabilise conditions.
In Montreal, however, the top brains from twenty-four countries decided on a reduction of only 50 per cent, and then not until 1998. Moreover, they were talking only about consumption of CFCs. In fact, they’ve actually agreed to let the big companies increase their production of CFCs.
I’m sorry, I’d better repeat that. Faced with the extinction of the human race by depletion of the ozone layer owing to the manufacture of CFCs, the top brains of twenty-four countries agreed to increase the production of CFCs.
But who cares?
As the Secretary of the Interior of the United States put it, ‘So what if the ozone layer does go? We’ll all just have to wear hats, dark glasses and barrier cream whenever we go out-of-doors.’
1. Lines 2-3, ‘the top brains’ probably means .
2. Line 7, ‘if refers to .
B. Mark the best choice.
1. The author sympathizes with .
a) the aerosol manufacturers b) the governments c) the human race d) the multinational companies
2. Which of the following is not a result of UV-B rays from the sun without the ozone layer?
a) Increase in skin cancers. b) Reduction of crop productivity. c) Climactic changes. d) Increase in the use of CFCs.
C. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).
1. The hole in the ozone layer is as big as the area of the United States.
2. In Montreal it was decided that a reduction of 50 percent in the use of CFCs would start immediately.
3. According to the author, the Secretary of the Interior of the United States really cares about the ozone layer depletion problem.
D. Complete the following.
1. According to the text, the human race will be extinct because of
2. CFCs are used in and 3. It can be understood from the text that until 1998 there will be a(n) in the production of CFCs