The Earth is our Home
The Earth is our home, but much of it is dirty and dying. By the year 2030, they say, 25 % of all animals, birds, fish and insects may be extinct. Every year man cuts down more trees to provide paper, wood, medicines, mineral fuel. But it’s not only trees which are disappearing. Every rain-forest also contains millions of animals, insects and flowers. These are destroyed, too. Is there any solution? Governments in rain-forest countries need to plan and work together. They should protect certain areas and plant new forests. Cars and factories are very dirty. They can also be dangerous for people, wildlife and environment. One of Europe and North America’s most serious pollution problems is ‘acid rain’. This happens when factories send gases and chemicals into the air. There they mix, and the mixture is carried for hundreds of miles by the wind and finally, it falls back to earth. This ‘acid rain’ kills fish and trees. It slowly destroys everything. Industrial countries should control their level of pollution and try to reduce it. At the moment, 94 % of the world’s energy comes from oil, gas and coal. But these ‘fossil fuels’ won’t last for ever. There’s only enough oil and gas for the next 50 years. Coal will last longer — perhaps about 300 years. And then? Well, one answer is nuclear energy. But, today, after Chernobyl, many people think it’s too dangerous. There are four solutions. They all use natural energy in the environment: wind energy, solar energy, wave energy (from the sea), and geothermal energy (from ‘hot’ rocks under the ground. It’s clean and natural, but there’s another problem: they all are rather expensive. Today, many scientists and world leaders realize that the Earth is in danger. It’s really very simple. Either we stop killing the Earth or we kill ourselves. We need a cleaner, healthier planet. Millions of ordinary people — both young and old — understand this too. Some of them belong to...
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