• Tips For Talking About Climate Change in English

    As you read this blog, depending on where you are, it is likely that you are either suffering from heat or from the cold. This has a lot to do with climate change. Last week was an important one for those of us interested in the subject due to the Climate Change Summit that just took place in Cancun, Mexico. Climate change is currently topical ( in the news).

    Let’s learn some vocabulary that can help us express our views on the climate change issue.

    Here are some buzzwords (key words):

    Greenhouse Effect: This is a process by which the earth’s radiation is absorbed by Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is a normal scientific phenomenon but now it is a problem because we are over-producing Greenhouse gases in industry and automobiles.

    Global Warming: This is the increase of the temperature of the earth’s air and waters. It was first noticed in the 20th century.

    1. What has been the impact of climate change on the world’s weather?

    – Have you noticed a rise in the temperature?

    Has your country experienced record temperatures or searing heat this year?

    Has there been a heatwave in your country this year?

    Have you heard about the recent drought (shortage of water) in West Africa?

    – Have you noticed a drop in the temperature in your country?

    Has there been unusual snowfall or a freeze?

    Are you currently in the middle of a coldspell?

    2. What are the reasons behind climate change?

    Have we been over-exploiting (over-using) natural resources?

    Do we over-consume fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, gas)?

    Has industy been over-producing carbon dioxide?

    Has deforestation (cutting down trees) been a factor?

    3. What can you do to help?

    Recycle your household waste.

    Use water efficiently and don’t waste it.

    Insulate your home particularly in the roof and walls to keep in the heat.

    Use energy saving light bulbs.

    Try alternative or renewable energy sources like wind or solar energy.

    4. What can big industries do to help?

    Cut down or reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

    Support government initiatives which promote the environment.

    Use local rather than imported raw materials as this reduces the gases caused by transportation.

    Promote the use of hybrid gas/electric automobiles.

    5. What do you think is the future for the environment?

    – Are you hopeful?

    Can climate change be halted?

    Can the environmental damage be limited?

    Are the current discussions taking the issue in a positive direction?

    Is there political will (desire) to remedy the crisis?

    – Are you skeptical?

    Do you believe the doomsday (negative) predictions?

    Is the damage irreversible?

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