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Beginning with the 1960s the pollution problems have received great publicity. Recently the environmental movement has gained widespread support. Environmental activists, organisations of volunteers do their best to stop pollution of our planet. Due to such groups many laws aimed at environmental protection have been passed. Such laws as the Clean Air Act, Water Pollution Control Act, Endangered Species Act led to considerable specific improvements in the environment. Numerous chemicals, fertilisers and gases that were once used in agriculture and industry are banned today. Standards for food have become strict, because agricultural chemicals, used for growing crops, may poison people and end up in food and water supply. In many countries purifying systems for treatment of industrial waters have been installed, measures have been taken to protect rivers and seas from oil waters.
Greenpeace organisation was created in 1987. This organisation carries out numerous campaigns against the global environmental pollution. The protection of natural resources and wild animals is becoming a political programme in every country.
Public attention to the problem of pollution has now become part of the contemporary life. The solution of this global problem requires the co-operation of all nations. People also worry about the dangers resulting from massive releases of radioactive materials from nuclear weapons, which, if used on a major scale, could seriously endanger the humanity. Another concern is accidents at nuclear power plants. In 1978 a nuclear power plant in the United States suffered a severe accident leading to radioactive contamination of water and atmosphere. In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Kiev suffered a fire and a serious breakdown that led to a radioactive explosion. The contaminated air was soon carried to northern and eastern European countries that suffered radioactive rains.
To protect nature people should change their attitude to it. Man should stop taking from nature everything he needs and give it his love instead. Otherwise the price that mankind will have to pay will be too high. It is good that at last people started to realise that they should keep air and water clean by establishing strict pollution control. Efforts are made to reduce pollution from automobile engines by developing pollution-free engines, which may eventually eliminate the more serious air pollution problems. Certain countries have already agreed to limit their carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, the strong public reaction can facilitate the exercise of absolute pollution control in various contamination industries.
- Why do some species of animals and plants disappear from the Earth?
- The disappearance of some species of animals and plants from the Earth is the result of the pollution of air, land and water. City and industrial waters, chemicals and fertilisers exhaust natural resources, endanger stocks of fish in the lakes, rivers and ponds. Moreover some animals were exterminated because of the people's greediness. These animals were hunted for the sake of fur or ivory, horns or tusks. In their everyday activity people needed timber turning the areas of thick forests into barren deserts.
- What can you say about global warming?
- Over the past two decades, the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere has gradually increased. Global warming is one of the climatic effects of polluted air. It worries a lot of people.
- What caused the "greenhouse effect"?
- The "greenhouse effect" is caused by carbon dioxide, which prevents heat from escaping. Global warming or the "greenhouse effect" can cause melting of the polar ice caps, raising of the sea level, and flooding of the coastal areas of the world. There is every reason to fear that such a climatic change may take place.
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