I. Le vocabulaire
1) Les problèmes écologiques
- pollution : la pollution
- to pollute : polluer ; polluted : pollué.
- the environment : l'environnement ; environmental issues : problèmes écologiques.
- an oil refinery : une raffinerie de pétrole
- a nuclear power plant : une centrale nucléaire
- chemical industries : les industries chimiques
- chemical fertilisers : les engrais chimiques
- household rubbish : les ordures ménagères
- industrial waste : les déchets industriels
2) Les différentes pollutions
- water pollution : la pollution de l'eau
- an oil spill/ a black tide : une marée noire
- endangered species : des espèces en danger
- to become extinct : être en voie de disparition.
- air pollution : la pollution de l'air
- acid rains : les pluies acides.
- the ozone layer : la couche d'ozone.
- the greenhouse effect : l'effet de serre.
- global warming : le réchauffement de la planète
- to alter weather patterns : modifier les climats.
3) Les solutions
- preservation : la sauvegarde
- the ecological balance : l'équilibre écologique
- an awareness-building campaign: une campagne de sensibilisation.
- to develop alternative energy sources : développer des sources d'énergie alternative.
- to ban traffic : interdire la circulation.
- to be ozone-friendly : être sans danger pour la couche d'ozone.
II. Les questions d'expression types
1) Explain why the protection of animals has become such a popular cause. Don't you think such militancy can lead to some excesses?
- The protection of animals has become a very popular cause.
- People are more conscious of the problem thanks to awareness-building campaigns led by environmentalist organisations.
- The role of the media is also essential: pictures of whales or elephants being slaughtered are everywhere in the papers, on television.
- This may be due as well to movies dealing with the issue of endangered species, such as Gorilla in the mist.
- Nevertheless it is true that such militancy can sometimes lead to excesses.
- It can lead to a kind of witch-hunt against people wearing fur, or hunters for instance.
- Some environmentalists are in favour of banning hunting. However it is undeniable that hunting contributes to the ecological balance, since some species are too numerous compared to others.
- Therefore, as with any type of militancy, the protection of animals has to remain reasonable in order to avoid excessive actions.
2) Do you think teenagers nowadays are more aware of the state of the planet? What are they willing to do to protect it?
- Teenagers are more aware of the state of the planet than their parents, thanks to the role played by the media.
- We can see in the papers, on television, on the internet, images of the state of the planet, of species threatened of extinction, of seas drying up.
- Teenagers are therefore often willing to contribute to the preservation of the earth.
- Most of them willingly perform simple gestures, such as sorting out the waste, not letting the water run while brushing their teeth.
- Some teenagers get more actively involved and take part in the cleaning of beaches and ski resorts after the holidays.