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Being Eco-friendly

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English Matters - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 1/2020 vom 29.11.2019

Environmentalism is one of today’s most prominent ideologies. Everyone is talking about sustainability, ecology and conservation. If these things matter to you, you’d better be up to speed on the lingo. Summon your inner nature-lover and reviewEnglish Matters ’ guide to going green.

environmentalism ɪnˌvaɪrənˈment(ə)lˌɪz(ə)m| Umweltschutz, Umweltbewusstsein
sustainability səˌsteɪnəˈbɪləti| Nachhaltigkeit
conservation | Naturschutz
to summon sb to do sth | jdn. herbeirufen, etw. zu tun

Phrasal Verbs Tied to Preservation

• Manufacturers are cutting down too many trees.
• Rising temperatures ...

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• Manufacturers are cutting down too many trees.
• Rising temperatures are causing many rivers to dry up.
• Yesterday’s smog totally blotted out the sun.
• We need to cut down on our use of plastic.
• Various animals feed on this plant, so we must protect it.
• Arctic species are at risk of dying out because of climate change.

Noteworthy Nouns

• We have to boost public awareness.
• This area is rich in biodiversity.
• There is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
• Local residents use this field as a dumping ground.
• Exhaust fumes from cars should be heavily tested.
• Her hometown is suffering from a heat wave.

awareness | Bewusstsein
biodiversity ˌbaɪəʊdaɪˈvɜː(r)səti| Biodiversität
carbon dioxide ˌkɑː(r)bən daɪˈɒksaɪd| Kohlendioxid
dumping ground | Müllkippe
exhaust fumes ɪɡˈzɔːst fjuːmz| Abgase
heat wave | Hitzewelle

Adjectives for Activists

• This food is utterly toxic.
• We need to use more reusable plastic bottles.
• They like buying products made of recycled materials.
• It’s our job to protect endangered species.
• This material is biodegradable.

utterly ˈʌtə(r)li| absolut, völlig
reusable reˈjuːzəb(ə)l| wiederverwendbar
endangered species ɪnˌdeɪndʒə(r)d ˈspiːʃiːz| bedrohte Art
biodegradable ˌbaɪəʊdɪˈɡreɪdəb(ə)l| biologisch abbaubar

Vibrant Verbs

• We are diminishing our natural resources.
• This technology helps us purify our water.
• Human activity is threatening the stability of many ecosystems.
• The storm eroded significant portions of the beach.
• Oil leaked from the ship into the ocean.

to diminish | reduzieren, verringern
to purify | reinigen
to erode | erodieren, abschwemmen
to leak from | aus etw. lecken/laufen

A Domestic Revolution

Francine: I want us to start being more environmentally-responsible at home.
Chester: OK, so what changes do we need to make?
Francine: First off, no more bottled water. Single-use plastics are really devastating the ocean, so I want to cut down on those as much as possible.
Chester: Alright. I know a good water purifier I can get, so we can drink water from the tap.
Francine: We also need to start buying more groceries from local producers. I don’t want any of that GM garbage in our home.
Chester: I know a place where we can get free-range eggs. They explicitly stand against battery farming.
Francine: That’s excellent news. Finally, and I know this may be difficult, but I want us to think about getting a hybrid car.
Chester: I won’t fight you on this one. We’ve got a gas-guzzler now, so I suppose we’re ready to get with the times.

tap | Wasserhahn
free-range eggs | Freilandeier
gas-guzzler | Spritfresser

A Heated Debate

Reporter: Your detractors have attacked you for your environmental policy. What do you have to say in your defence?
Politician: I think my policies speak for themselves. Dedicating more funds to environmentalist causes simply isn’t feasible.
Reporter: The corporations that support you have been linked to air pollution from their factories and deforestation. Don’t you see that as problematic?
Politician: I’ve spoken with a number of industrial leaders and they’ve all assured me they’ve taken every measure to curb waste and adhere to sustainability guidelines.
Reporter: And what about your loudest critics who say you’re murdering the planet?
Politician: This is pure rubbish. These are the ramblings of a few extremists. Only a handful of tree-huggers went to last week’s protest march. Most voters agree with me.
Reporter: That’s not accurate. Our researchers counted at least 10,000 people on the streets last week. And polls show most people are dissatisfied with your leadership, particularly in the area of environmental policy.
Politician: I hope you’re not suggesting that the Green Party will threaten me in the next election. If they continue to cosy up with the likes of Greenpeace, people will quickly see them for the radicals they really are.

detractor | Kritiker, Gegner
funds | Geldmittel, Gelder
feasible | machbar, möglich
to curb | eindämmen, reduzieren
to adhere to sth | etw. einhalten
handful of sth | eine Handvoll einer S.
polls | Umfragen
to cosy up | einschmeicheln

Recruiting Volunteers

Petunia: Excuse me, sir. Can I have a moment of your time? I’d like to speak with you about an event we’re holding this weekend to clean up our local forests.
Max: You’re not one of those eco-freaks, are you?
Petunia: I’m just passionate about our environment. I represent a local NGO that’s trying to collect enough volunteers to pick up rubbish in one of our lovely forests.
Max: Well, I live next to a forest, so this is actually an issue that’s close to my heart. I’ve noticed more garbage lately, too.
Petunia: Then you sound like the perfect volunteer. In case you didn’t know, trees in our local forests are also being chopped down at an alarming rate. We’re planning to plant dozens of saplings this weekend as well.
Max: I actually have a background in forestry, so I would love to help out.
Petunia: Fantastic. I’ll write your name down as a volunteer, then. I have one final question. We’re also collecting donations for future efforts to preserve the natural beauty of our environment. Would you be willing to make a contribution today?
Max: I’m afraid I never carry much cash with me. If I can go home and consult with my wife, could I bring my contribution to the clean-up this weekend?

to clean up | säubern, aufräumen
eco-freak | Öko-Freak
to be passionate about sth | eine Leidenschaft für etw. haben
to chop sth down | etw. fällen
sapling | Setzling, Bäumchen
forestry | Forstwirtschaft
effort | Anstrengung, Einsatz

The UK Goes Zero-Carbon

In the first half of 2019, more of the UK’s electricity needs were met by zero-carbon fuels than by fossil fuels. This is the first time this has happened since the Industrial Revolution. Zero-carbon fuels are energy sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide, like solar, wind and hydro power. All renewables combined are now responsible for 24 percent of Britain’s electricity, while nuclear power produces a further 18 percent.
Power generated from these sources has now outstripped the energy production of fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. The largest decline has been in coal. A decade ago, coal brought 30 percent of Britons their electricity. Today, that figure is just three percent. John Pettigrew, the CEO of utility company National Grid, called this achievement “a key milestone on the journey towards net zero.” The UK government intends to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which would make Britain the world’s largest economy to accomplish this goal.

fossil fuels | fossile Brennstoffe
solar power | Solarenergie
to outstrip sth | etw. überflügeln, übertreffen
decline | Rückgang, Abnahme
coal | Kohle
milestone | Meilenstein

Modernising an Ancient Wonder?

The Peruvian government has announced plans to construct an airport at one of the world’s most cherished sites, Machu Picchu. The centuries-old settlement of the Inca civilisation will soon be home to Chinchero International Airport. It will cater to the million or so tourists who visit Machu Picchu in the Andes each year. The plan is obviously to boost tourism to the area, as the nearest airport is currently 120 km away in Cuzco.
Conservationists and environmental activists are staunchly against the decision to build the airport. Machu Picchu has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, and many believe that it should remain untouched. Surrounding rural communities may not be able to handle a massive influx of additional tourists. Increased development will be needed, and countless natural and man-made treasures will likely be destroyed. Parts of the intricate Inca landscape may be altered or harmed. A leading archaeologist noted that the airport “will cause irreparable damage due to noise, traffic and uncontrolled urbanisation.”

ancient ˈeɪnʃ(ə)nt| antik
obviously ˈɒbviəsli| offensichtlich
to boost | ankurbeln, verstärken
staunchly stɔːntʃli| standhaft
untouched | unberührt
rural | ländlich
influx of tourists | Touristenstrom
treasure | Schatz
intricate | verschachtelt, kompliziert
to alter | ändern
urbanisation ˌɜː(r)bənaɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n| Urbanisation, Verstädterung