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English Detective #82 Earth Day 2017 in perspective 4-18-17
April 18, 2017

#82 Earth Day 2017 in perspective 4-18-17


Here’s a little perspective for Earth Day 2017, from the pioneering environmentalism of Rachel Carson to the condition of New Orleans 50 year from now—plus a report on plastics in the oceans by 2050, and some geology work in Oman that may someday help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Almost all of the articles are written in fairly simple English—and there’s a page to practice weather and climate change vocabulary with links to even simpler discussions.

The Newsela article on Rachel Carson is available in several levels (3rd grade through adult), and includes links to a comprehension quiz and a suggested writing prompt. (Newsela does require sign-up, but it has so many useful articles, whether you are a teacher or a student, that I think it's worth it it.)

English Online has a simply-written article called “More Plastic than Fish in the Oceans by 2050” with an excellent glossary (and links to related articles, all Low Intermediate level or below.)

The Voice of America discusses geologists in Oman who are studying how certain rocks have reacted with carbon dioxide to form limestone or marble. If people can understand the process, we might figure out a way to repeat it on a large enough scale to remove some of the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and slow global warming.

I thought quite a while about whether to include this article on trying to protect New Orleans from the worst future flooding. It’s an interesting effort, but with details more interesting to city planners, NGOs, and business people than maybe to most students. (There’s also subtle self-promotion from J.P. Morgan.) Take a look and see if it will be useful to you.

Vocabulary Practice

You can practice much of this vocabulary on the EnglishHints page on Climate Change and Weather Vocabulary.

I’m considering some changes to this newsletter: possibly going back to once a month, reducing the number of readings, and/or adding some grammar exercises from time to time.

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