ТОП 10:

Environmental Education and the Public Ecological Movement



n essential precondition for gaining a sustainable future is forming an ecological view in the general outlook of both individuals and society on the whole. This should be achieved by a system of step-to-step environmental education and by working out ecological thought.

It can be stated that there is a growing interest in Ukraine to environmental education and the ecological way of thought. For this, there exists a certain scientific and methodological basis. An active search is being done for finding ways and methods of forming an ecological view in various age categories and professional groups. However, these activities are irregular, spontaneous, and often are supported by initiative and enthusiasm of particular individuals or groups.

Today there is an urgent need to work out a concept, and later a national program of a permanent and step-to-step educational process backed up by appropriate methods and a legal mechanism of procuring funds for supporting it.

Experience of countries where environmental education is well developed shows that the main burden of day-to-day activities (excluding state educational institutions and programs) is put on nature protection NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations).

In Ukraine the most numerous or active ones are the Ukrainian Society for Nature Protection, the Ukrainian Ecological Association "Zeleny Svit", the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Ecological Academy, the Green Party of Ukraine and some other regional societies.

The economic crisis in Ukraine, lack of financial support naturally have had an impact on the mind of society forcing underestimation of values and causing a withdrawal of many active people from the environmental movement. Today none of the mentioned organizations can totally fulfill all the functions usually carried out by a typical NGO such as raising public awareness, consisting a constructive opposition to governmental institutions, generating and testing new ideas, mechanisms, solutions, etc. Somewhat closer to this are the Ukrainian Ecological Association "Zeleny Svit" (uniting various groups), and the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine, the members of which are mainly scientists, politicians, state employees. In 1992 the Centre started to issue the first in Ukraine environmental journal "Oykumena. Ukrainian Ecological Review".

In Ukraine there is no special mechanism worked out for the interaction of NGOs and governmental structures regarding the solution of ecological problems. This actually depreciates many public activities.

Name anti-pollution protests/campaigns conducted by Ukrainian environmentalists.


GLOSSARY

Acid rains ― precipitation containing acid-forming chemicals, chiefly industrial pollutants, which have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor; ecologically harmful.

Arid ― 1) extremely dry, parched;

2) barren or unproductive due to lack of moisture.

Carbon

dioxide ― gas CO2

Chlorine ― (chem.) greenish-yellow, bad-smelling poisonous gas used as a sterilizing agent in industry.

Collaborate ― work one with another, cooperate.

Conservation ― the controlled utilization or official supervision of natural resources in order to preserve or protect them or to prevent depletion.

Contaminate ― 1) to make impure or unsuitable by contact or mixture with something unclean, bad, etc.;

2) pollute.

Deforest ― disafforest.

Deplete ― to decrease seriously or exhaust the abundance or supply of.

Discharge ― to pour forth.

Drought ― continuous (period of) dry weather causing distress; want of rain.

Ecocatastrophe― a widespread disaster caused by detrimental changes in the environment.

Ecology ― 1) branch of biology that deals with the habits of living things, esp. their relation to their environment;

2) the advocacy of protection of the air, water and other natural resources from pollution or its effects.

Ecosystem ― a system formed by the interaction of organisms with it environment.

Endanger ― 1) to expose to danger; imperil;

2) to threaten with extinction.

Endangered

species ― a species at risk of extinction because of human activity, changes in climate, changes in predator-prey ratios, etc., esp. when officially designated as such by a governmental or international agency.

Environment ― the air, water minerals, organisms and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time.

Environmentalist ― 1) an expert on environmental problems;

2) a person who advocates or works for protection of the air, water, animals, plants and other natural resources from pollution or its effects.

Erosion ― the process by which a surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, winds, waves, etc.

Extinct ― no longer in existence; having died out.

Extinction ― 1) making, being, becoming extinct;

2) act of extinguishing.

Fertility ― the state or quality of being fertile.

Fertilizer ― chemical plant tool, artificial manure.

Fossil fuel ― any combustible organic material, as oil, coal or natural gas, derived from the remains of former life.

Geo-thermal ― of or pertaining to the eternal heat of the earth.

Greenhouse

effect ― heating of the atmosphere resulting from the absorption of certain gases as carbon dioxide and water vapor, of soda energy that has been captured and reradiated by the earth’s surface.

Habitat ― usual natural place and conditions of growth; home.

Hazard ― something causing danger, peril, risk or difficulty.

Insecticide ― a substance or preparation used for killing insects.

Junk food ― food as potato chips or candy, that is high in calories but of little nutritional value.

Leukaemia ― any of several cancers of the bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of white blood cells in the tissues, resulting in anemia, increased susceptibility to infection and impaired blood closing.

Menace ― something that threatens to cause evil, harm.

Nourish ― 1) to sustain with food or nutriment;

2) supply with what is necessary for life, health and growth.

Perish ― 1) to pass away or disappear;

2) to suffer destruction or ruin.

Pesticide ― a chemical preparation for destroying plant, fungal or animal pests.

Phenol ― a white, crystalline, water-soluble, poisonous substance C6H5OH, used chiefly as a disinfectant, as an antiseptic and in organic synthesis.

Poach ― to take game or fish illegally.

Pollutant ― 1) something that pollutes;

2) any substance as a chemical or waste product that renders the air, water or other natural resource harmful or generally unusable.

Pollution ― the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment.

Purify ― make pure; free from pollutants or contaminants.

Rainforest ― a tropical forest, usually of tall, densely growing, broad-leaved ever-green trees in an area of high annual rainfall.

Reclaim ― to bring (uncultivated areas or wasteland) into a condition for cultivation or other use.

Recycle ― 1) to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse;

2) to alter or adapt for new use.

Sewage ― the waste matter that passes through sewers.

Sewer ― an artificial conduit, usually underground, for carrying off waste water and refuse, as in a town or city.

Waste ― garbage, refuse.

Wildlife ― undomesticated animals living in the wilds, including those

hunted for food, sport or profit.


APPENDIX

FLOWER THIEVES

Video ComprehensionDuration: 3 minutes and 3 seconds

onservationists are worried that highly organized thieves could wipe out some species of Britain's rarest wild flowers. Rare plants and seeds are being stolen to meet an increasing need from gardeners and collectors. In Oxfordshire, volunteers are keeping a twenty-four hour guard on a field of rare orchids. They want tougher laws to protect the region's countryside. Chris Bishop reports.

In Oxfordshire's Chiltern Hills they're on the alert. People here are trying to protect one of Britain's rarest wild flowers. The monkey orchid, so called because of its shape, once carpeted the fields of southern England, but after years of ploughing and picking there are just two small patches left, in the Chilterns and south-east Kent. They're protected by law, and a £2,000 fine for damaging them, but their dwindling numbers are still under constant attack from rabbits, collectors, and thieves. Conservationists are paying these wardens to stop people stealing the last of the orchids, but in two months time the money runs out and these rare plants could be at the mercy of thieves.

I presume it's either motivated by greed because they think they can make money by selling these plants which they then find out they can't, or it's some sort of obsessive collecting notion they have; they just want to possess a rare British orchid. It all seems clearly pointless to me.

And what damage is it doing?

If you steal the flowering plant, the seeds are then not set. We don't get new plants coming in and the whole population just goes down.

It's not just the rare plants that are under attack. At this nature reserve in Surrey, conservationists are running patrols to protect more common wild flowers like bluebells and cowslips. They believe organized crime is plundering the nature reserves for wild flower plants and seeds. Recently, thirty acres of wild flowers here were stripped of seeds in a morning, setting back their spread.

There are gangs going out doing it early in the morning before the normal population gets up and takes their dogs for a walk and so on. And these gangs, what they must be doing is growing them on, growing them on to small plants and then selling them to nurseries and so on and so forth. Not the large reputable garden centres, but smaller, backstreet nurseries and so on. And these types of plants can sell £1.00, £1.50, £2.00 a time.

There seems to be a ready market for the pickings. Six bags of this sphagnum moss were seized before thieves had a chance to take it away for sale. It would have fetched around £400.00. One of the ironies of the situation is that the green revolution has made wild flower gardens very fashionable, so many of the people who claim to care for the countryside could indirectly be helping to destroy it. Conservationists are pressing, during National Environment Week for tighter laws. Among other changes, they want a ban on the taking of seeds, which is still legal. They fear otherwise, the organized thefts will increase, creating even more endangered species like the south-east's dwindling monkey orchid.

 

SALMON RETURN TO THE THAMES

Video Comprehension Duration: 2 minutes and 16 seconds

he king of freshwater fish, the salmon, continues its slow but steady return to the waters of the Thames. Centuries ago they were abundant, but pollution drove them away from their ancestral spawning grounds. Today, the fish received a helping hand from the National Rivers Authority with the opening of two new salmon ladders to help the fish overcome man-made obstacles in the Surrey stretch of the river. But while many are claiming that the return of the Thames salmon is a sure sign that the battle against pollution is being won, some environmentalists remain unconvinced. Shireen Wheeler reports.

The National Rivers Authority is banking on salmon to clean up their image. More than a million of the young salmon smelts have been released into the Thames since the programme began to promote their population in 1979. These fish will swim out to sea, some returning as adults, hopefully to spawn. But many are becoming trapped in weirs as they make their way up the river. The NRA has planned twenty-two special salmon ladders to help them along the Thames. Two of these were opened at Chertsey and Sunbury today.

Salmon are regarded by a lot of people as a very important monitor of water quality. They have very strict requirements in terms of dissolved oxygen levels and also river temperature and fresh water flow. They have strict requirements, and if those requirements aren't met, then the salmon aren't going to be able to navigate – well, it could be the most precarious part of the river, which is the tideway.

Two hundred years ago this river was full of salmon. But by 1834, their home had become so polluted that the species completely died out. And then, in 1974, some stray salmon were sighted. The then keepers of the river, Thames Water, seized on this as proof of the success of their clean-up policies. But environmentalists are not so sure.

We mustn't allow ourselves to be blinded to the fact that, the salmon being present in the river is an indication of improvement, but it's also an indication of perhaps how much more we have to do. The animals don't yet breed in the Thames, and they don't go through their full life-cycle there. It's really at this stage, a cosmetic exercise.

But the final proof of how successful the NRA's programme has been, will be seen in how many of the adult fish return and stay to breed.

 

CHANGING WEATHER

ark Twain once said "The weather is always doing something... always getlng up new designs and trying them on the people to see how they will go."

Weather is blue skies, and puffy white clouds; torrential rains with gale force winds; twisters; flashes of lightning; or snow gently falling to the ground. The weather is the state of the atmos­phere at any given time, it is experienced every­where on Earth, it varies considerably from place to place, day to day, and season to season.

The long-term look at the weather in a place or region, the averaging of rainfall, the maximum and minimum temperatures is called climate. Climate in addition to the "averages" in the weather also includes the occurrences and frequencies of "extremes" in the weather. One such occurrence affecting the climate globally is El Nino.

El Nino, means "little one" in Spanish and refers to the Christ child – it is the phrase coined by Peruvian fisherman for the abnormally warm ocean current that appears off the northwestern coast of Peru around Christmas. El Nino, when pronounced and persistent, results in rainfall and temperature anomalies over certain areas of the globe. An El Nino event is caused when the Pacific trade winds that normal­ly blow east to west begin to diminish and some­times even reverse. Without these trade winds, warm tropical water from the South Pacific creeps toward South America, raising ocean tempera­tures near Peru by as much as 7 degrees. As these normally chilly waters heat up, masses of warm air soar into the atmosphere and alter weather pat­terns globally.

Scientists who are tracking this event say that the El Nino this season will be the "climactic event of the century." This El Nino is affecting portions of Chile, normally one of the driest areas in the world, with torrential rains. Snowstorms and heavy rains have blanketed the Peruvian Andes, causing flooding and mudslides. Drought conditions now exist in Indonesia and eastern Australia and are expected in northeast Brazil, southeastern Africa and the west Pacific. The west coast of North America will have more rain and snow, and the number of hurricanes will be reduced in the Atlantic.

Aside from the weather, El Nino will also affect the global economy: droughts will decrease crop yields, causing prices to rise and starvation. Fish migrations will be disrupted, and damage to coral reefs will reduce marine life and hinder those dependent on its ecosystems for their livelihood.

The last big El Nino (sometimes referred to as the worst in the 20th century) occurred during 1982-83 and caused extensive damage through­out North and South America. A typical El Nino occurs every four to seven years and can last from three to four years.

Volcanic eruptions can also have an effect on world climate. Erupting volcanoes, although not a frequent occurrence, can emit huge quantities of gases and fine debris into the atmosphere causing short-term effects on the weather. For instance, the eruption in June 1991 of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines caused average temperatures worldwide to fall by 1°F (0.6°C) over a 12-month period. Another effect is in the orange and red colours of a sunrise or sunset. The colours are intensified by the smoke and ash of an erupting volcano.

THUNDERSTORM

oisture, instability and lift are the three main ingre­dients needed: rain, strong winds, accompanied by bright flashes of lightning and the crack or thunder – a thunderstorm is born. There are more than 40,000 thun­derstorms happening around the world everyday. The most severe thunderstorm can produce hail and spawn tornadoes.

The life cycle of a thun­derstorm occurs in three stages: developing, mature, and dissipating. In the devel­oping stage, a cumulus cloud (low-level and puffy) begins to grow and vigorous updrafts develop which pre­vent any precipitation from falling. The mature stage sees downdrafts developing and occurrences of lightning, thunder and violent down-drafts called "microbursts;" rain showers or hail may fall also. In the final stage, the cooler downdraft increases cutting off the supply of warm moist air to the thun­derstorm. Rains begin to cease and altocumulus (mid-level) and cirrus (high-level, wispy) clouds may appear over the shrinking cumulus clouds. Thunderstorms may last from 15 minutes to several hours.

STORMS

ropical storms, known as typhoons in the Pacific and hurricanes in the Atlantic, claim more lives each year than any other storm. Hurricanes are formed from thunderstorms developing over the ocean or sea. Several thunderstorms come together to form a swirl of clouds. As the winds begin to grow, a distinct center will form in the cloud swirl and thisbecomes the "eye" of the storm. The storm continues to move, gaining energy from the warm air it sucks in. As the storm approaches land, winds are able to reach an excess of 150 mph and span path of damage from 200 to 500 miles across. Massive amounts of rainfall, and even tornadoes are formed as the storm makes landfall. The greatest threat to human life is the "storm surge" that follows the hurricane. After making landfall hurricanes turn into low-pressure systems or “rain depressions” which often bring heavy rains to inland areas and cause widespread flooding. Hurricanes are rated on the Saffir-Simpson scale in categories from 1 to 5.

PRECIPITATION

recipitation occurs when some of the millions of tiny water droplets or ice crystals that constitute a cloud grow large enough and heavy enough to fall to the earth. Rain, hail, sleet, and snow are all forms of precipitation.

Precipitation that reaches the ground in liquid form is often referred to as rain. The lightest form is drizzle, which occurs as fine drops failing closely together. Mist is even finer and does not fall, so therefore is consid­ered a light form of fog.

Precipitation is also classi­fied as intermittent or steady. Usually steady rain and snow fall from clouds such as stra­tus (flat, layered, low-level) or altostratus (flat, layered, mid-level). Showers or inter­mittent precipitation will fall from cumulus (blossoming or puffy) clouds.







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