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  • Hi, I'm Gina.

  • Welcome to Oxford Online English!

  • In this lesson, you can learn how to talk about environmental issues in English.

  • What's the air quality like in your city?

  • Do you worry about climate change, or how your food is produced?

  • You'll learn how to talk about these, and other topics in this class.

  • To see more free English lessons, visit our website: Oxford Online English dot com.

  • You can also book English classes with our fully-qualified teachers, who can help you

  • with your English speaking, writing, IELTS preparation, or whatever else you need.

  • Now, let's look at our first topic.

  • Wow!

  • It's such a beautiful day!

  • The sky is so blue.

  • I guess...

  • It's been nice all summer, so I don't notice it as much.

  • Maybe I'm getting spoiled!

  • I wasn't expecting it to be like this.

  • My Dad came here a few years ago and he said the air quality was really bad.

  • He's not wrong.

  • It used to be terrible.

  • In summer, you'd often get thick smog covering the whole city, but it's improved greatly

  • in the last decade or so.

  • What changed?

  • I think it was driven by people's attitudes.

  • Ten years ago, no one was interested in environmental issues, but nowadays there's much more awareness

  • of things like air quality and how it can affect your health.

  • Sure, but that can't be the only reason.

  • Well, no.

  • The local government also brought in new laws and regulations.

  • They introduced restrictions on driving in the city centre, made it illegal to use wood

  • or coal fires for heating, and moved a lot of heavy industry away from the city.

  • Plus, there are much tighter regulations nationally, too, like with car emissions: compared to

  • even ten years ago, cars are much cleaner.

  • It's impressive that they could make such a big change in a short time.

  • Ten years isn't long for these things.

  • True, but there's still more to do.

  • It can still get hazy in winter.

  • They're investing in public transport infrastructure, though, so I think it'll carry on getting

  • better.

  • In your hometown, is the air quality good, or do you have problems?

  • Can you remember any of the phrases you heard in the dialogue to talk about air pollution?

  • You heard: 'The air quality was really bad.'

  • 'You'd often get thick smog covering the

  • whole city.'

  • 'It can still get hazy in winter.'

  • 'Smog' is a thick fog, caused by air pollution.

  • If the air is a little dirty, so that you can't see far, you might describe it as

  • 'hazy.'

  • 'Air quality' is a useful phrase for this topic.

  • You can use it with different adjectives.

  • For example: 'The air quality is terrible'.

  • 'The air quality is better than it was ten years ago'.

  • 'The air quality is great for such a large city'.

  • Here's a question: what do you think the government, companies or individuals can do

  • to minimise air pollution?

  • In the dialogue, you heard several possible solutions, such as: 'The government brought

  • in new laws and regulations.'

  • 'They introduced restrictions on driving in the city centre.'

  • 'They made it illegal to use wood or coal fires for heating.'

  • 'They moved a lot of heavy industry away from the city.'

  • 'Restrictions on driving' could mean different things.

  • For example, London has a congestion charge, meaning that drivers have to pay every time

  • they enter the city centre.

  • Some cities have banned vehicles with diesel engines, while others have created large pedestrian

  • zones.

  • Let's practise!

  • Here are three questions for you.

  • One: what's the air quality like in your city?

  • Two: what is your local or national government doing to improve air quality where you live?

  • Three: what do you think is the best way to reduce air pollution?

  • Pause the video, think about your answers, and write them down or say them out loud.

  • If you need more help, review the dialogue and this section.

  • There are many words and phrases you can use.

  • Ready?

  • Let's move on to our next point.

  • Whoa!

  • What are you doing?

  • What do you mean?

  • You can't throw that in there!

  • Why not?

  • It's garbage.

  • Yeah, but it's recyclable.

  • It goes in the blue bin.

  • You mean, I have to put all recyclable stuff in the blue bin?

  • Not all.

  • Plastics go in the blue bin, paper and card in the brown bin, and bio-waste in the green

  • one.

  • 'Bio-waste?'

  • You know, food waste and stuff like that.

  • Is that it?

  • The black bucket is for glass and tins.

  • Do you not recycle?

  • In my hometown you can recycle a few things, like glass, but we don't sort our garbage

  • like this.

  • It seems very complicated!

  • Then what, all of your rubbish just goes into landfill?

  • I guess

  • I've never thought about it.

  • I just throw stuff away and forget about it.

  • It was the same here not so long ago, but now we've got used to sorting our rubbish

  • and recycling as much as possible.

  • It's much more environmentally friendly.

  • I'm sure you're right.

  • In the dialogue, we mentioned several different types of garbage.

  • Quick question: can you remember three of them?

  • By the way, the words 'garbage', 'rubbish' and 'trash' all have a similar meaning:

  • they all mean the stuff which you throw away.

  • If there is recycling in your city, you might need to sort your recyclable garbage, meaning

  • you put different things in different bins.

  • Generally, you can sort garbage into recyclables and non-recyclables.

  • Recyclable garbage might include glass, tins, cans, paper, card, plastic, and bio-waste.

  • Waste which is not recycled is often sent to landfill.

  • This means the waste is buried in a big hole in the ground.

  • Sometimes, waste might end up in a dump.

  • A dump is like a landfill, but it isn't buried, so it's just a big pile of garbage

  • on the ground somewhere.

  • Now it's time for you to practise.

  • Here are another three questions for you:

  • In your city, do you sort your garbage?

  • If so, how?

  • What waste is commonly recycled in your country?

  • What happens to non-recyclable waste?

  • As before, pause the video and make your answers.

  • Practise them a few times before you continue.

  • Let's look at our next topic.

  • That book looks interesting.

  • What's it about?

  • This?

  • It's by a Japanese writer.

  • It's about farming and how we could make farming more sustainable.

  • OK

  • You're a graphic designer.

  • Why are you reading about farming?

  • It's interesting!

  • Farming produces the food you eat.

  • It's not like it doesn't affect you.

  • What's his idea?

  • He's basically saying that modern farming methods can produce more in the short term,

  • but in the long term they degrade the land and end up costing more.

  • Mmm

  • One thing he talks about is pesticide use.

  • If farmers use pesticides and herbicides, then they create an ecosystem which depends

  • on those artificial products, which are often harmful for the environment.

  • If you grow food organically, using more traditional farming methods, you can grow the same amount

  • of food without using pesticides at all.

  • So he thinks we should go back to mediaeval farming or something?

  • Not exactly.

  • I can see you're sceptical, but I think you should read it, too.

  • It's not just theory, by the way.

  • He's used his ideas to set up several farms in different countries, and they work just

  • like he says.

  • Hmm

  • I have been thinking about these things, actually, especially with meat.

  • I saw a documentary about livestock farming and slaughterhouses, and it was shocking.

  • I guess most people just buy the food and don't think about where it comes from.

  • Right, so you'll definitely like this book, too.

  • You can borrow it once I've finished.

  • What's it called?

  • The One-Straw Revolution.”

  • Do you think about where your food comes from, and how it's produced?

  • Modern farming is heavily mechanisedit depends heavily on machinery, automation,

  • as well as chemical products like herbicides and pesticides.

  • Herbicides kill weeds, meaning unwanted plants.

  • Pesticides kill insects and small animals which might try to eat food crops.

  • Farming needs to be sustainable.

  • 'Sustainable' means that something can continue.

  • For example, if you earn $1000 a month and spend $2000, that isn't sustainable.

  • Maybe you can do that for a few months, but you can't do it long term.

  • In the same way, some farming methods are unsustainable.

  • In this case, farming can degrade the land, meaning that, over time, it becomes more and

  • more difficult to grow anything.

  • On the other hand, some farming is organic.

  • 'Organic' means that food is grown without using any artificial chemical products.

  • Of course, farming isn't just about growing plants.

  • There is also 'livestock farming': raising animals for meat, eggs or milk.

  • Animals which are raised to provide meat are generally killed in a slaughterhouse.

  • What about in your country?

  • Think about these questions:

  • Are farms usually bigger and more mechanised, or are they mostly smaller, using more traditional

  • methods?

  • Do you think it's worth paying extra to eat organic food?

  • Why or why not?

  • Is it important to know how your food is produced?

  • Give a reason!

  • Pause the video and think about your answers.

  • Write them down, say them out loud, or do both.

  • Let's look at our last section.

  • Do people ever talk about global warming in your country?

  • For sure!

  • It's a big issue.

  • We have a long coastline, and a lot of the land is close to sea level, so the dangers

  • feel very real.

  • I feel like people often don't pay attention to these things until it's too late.

  • It's already happening, though.

  • There's more flooding than there used to be, and older people, like my grandparents

  • for example, all say that summers have got much hotter than they were 50 years ago.

  • That's kind of scary.

  • I read somewhere that even if we cut carbon emissions to zero, global warming would continue

  • for at least fifty years, because of the greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere.

  • The big topic for us is sea levels.

  • If the ice caps melt, they say sea levels will rise by two or three metres.

  • For some countries, that wouldn't be a big deal, but we'd lose almost half of our land.

  • I don't think any country will be immune from the problems if it continues.

  • So, do you think there's a solution?

  • It doesn't look optimistic from what I've heard.

  • I mean, people talk about things like carbon taxes and reforestation programs, which are

  • helpful, but I don't think there'll be any real progress until there's true international

  • cooperation.

  • So far, I don't see any sign of that.

  • In the dialogue, you heard us talking about climate change.

  • Can you remember phrases we used to describe the causes and effects of climate change?

  • By the way, you can use the terms 'global warming' or 'climate change'.

  • People use them with the same meaning.

  • Climate change is caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  • The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, or CO2.

  • Sometimes, instead of talking about carbon dioxide or CO2, people will just refer to

  • 'carbon'.

  • You can hear things like: 'We need to cut carbon emissions significantly.'

  • Climate change may lead to several problems, particularly flooding caused by rising sea

  • levels.

  • Although there aren't clear solutions, some people suggest that carbon taxes or reforestation

  • programs are good ways to combat climate change.

  • A 'carbon tax' means that companies would have to pay the government if their operations

  • released CO2 into the atmosphere.

  • Let's see: can you use some of this language?

  • Here are three questions for you.

  • Are you worried about global warming?

  • Why or why not?

  • How would your country be affected if sea levels rose significantly?

  • What do you think is the best way to deal with climate change?

  • Pause the video and make your answers now!

  • How was that?

  • There's a lot of language in this lesson, so don't forget to review any sections that

  • were difficult for you.

  • Finally, we have a question for you: what's the biggest environmental issue in your country?

  • Let us know in the comments and practise talking about these topics with other learners!

  • Thanks for watching!

  • See you next time!

Hi, I'm Gina.

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英語で環境について話すには? (How to Talk About the Environment in English - Spoken English Lesson)

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    Courage に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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