1. Before reading: Look at the pictures and the title of the text. Then think what it is about.
One of the most arresting statistics that I’ve seen in a while is that 5 per cent of all energy used in the United States is consumed by computers that have been left on all night.
Why don't Americans turn these things off? For the same reason, I suppose,that so many people here let their car motors run when they pop into a shop, or leave lights blazing all over the house.
We are terribly - no, we are ludicrously - wasteful of sources in this country. The average American uses twice as much energy to get through life as the average European. With just 5 per cent of the world's population, we consume 20 per cent of its resources. These arenot statistics to be proud of.
I don't know how worrying global warming is. No one does. But I can tell you this. Last year I spent a good deal of time hiking the Appalachian Trail, a long-distance footpath. In Virginia, where the trail runs through Shenandoah National Park, it was still possible when I was a teenager - not so very long ago – to see Washington DC, 75 miles away, on clear days. Now,in even the most favourable conditions, visibility is less than half that. In hot smoggy weather, it can be as little as twp miles. If global temperatures rise by four degrees centigrade over the next half century, as some scientist confidentially predict, then all of the trees of Shenandoah National Park, and for hundreds of miles beyond, will die
I think that's worth turning off a fewcomputers for, don’t you?
Adapted from Notes from a big country by Bill Bryson
2. Read the text and answer these questions in your own words:
a. In what way do Americans waste energy?
b. What has happened to the Shenandoah National Park since the writer was a teenager?
c. What information do you know about the writer?
d. What is the message of the text?
3. Are thesesentences true or false?
a. The temperature on Earth is going up one degree centigrade every ten years.
b. Because of global warming, there will soon be more sharks in Northern Europe.
c. The only way to combat global warming is by looking for alternative types of energies.
4. Vocabulary. Find these words in paragraph 1. Choose the correct meaning from the context.
a.arresting: 1. taking to a police station 2. surprising
b. consumed: 1. used 2. eaten
c. pop into: 1. go for a short time 2. go for a long time
d. blazing: 1. shining a lot 2. on fire
Reading strategy: When you see a difficult word in a text, first lookbefore and after the word, and decide if it is a noun, verb, adjective, etc. the context is essential to understand the correct meaning. Sometimes you may not find the exact meaning, but the context will give you an approximate idea.
Focus on grammar
The first conditional is a structure used for talking about possibilities in the present or in the future: if + present(condition) + future (result).
If I have the money, I will buy this car.
If it is sunny, we'll go to the park.
Peter will be sad if Susan leaves.
If you cook dinner, I'll wash the dishes.
The second conditional is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the present or in the future: if + past (condition)+ conditional (possibility)
Example:If I had the money, I would buy this car. (Since I do not have the money I cannot buy any new car). The action in type 2 is characterized by unreality.
If I were you, I would drive carefully in the rain.
If dogs had wings, they would be able to fly.
Look at these sentences. Which are first and which are second conditionals?
1. If global temperatures rise, all of the trees will die.