What ideas come to your mind if you see or hear the word “Sustainable development”?
Share you view with other students.
Read the text and say if your ideas are correct.
The term Sustainable Development was coined by the Brundtland Commission known by the name of its Chair Gro Harlem Brundtland and used in its Report “Our Common Future” in 1987.
Sustainable Development is a pattern of resource use that is designed to meet human needs while preserving the environment so this can be done not only in the present but also for generations to come. At its heart it is the simple idea of ensuring a better quality of life for everyone and forever.
The features of sustainability are:
- to maintain the over all quality of life
- to maintain continuous access to natural resources
- to avoid lasting environmental damage
- to consider as sustainable a development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainable Development is often thought to have three components: environment, society and economy. The well-being of these three areas is interwined, not separate. Sustainability means to equally consider environmental, social and economic needs. It is about maintaining the equilibrium between human activity and the natural environment over a long term.
The principles of Sustainable Development require first of all social equity among all people in the world, that is creating equal opportunities for the current generations and concern for future generations. Unfortunately, for many people the basic needs have not been met yet. They have to live under poverty level. To establish a standard of living that at least meets the basic needs should be one of the main objectives of Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing the humanity. Environmental sustainability requires that human activity only uses natures resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally.
This suggests the effective practice of personal responsibility and the development of mechanisms to protect the environment. In this context the state can create the conditions which encourage people to save the environment. Sustainable Development attempts to minimize greenhouse gases, reduce global warming, preserve environment resources and provide communities that allow people to reach their fullest potentials.
Sustainable Development enjoins current generations to take a system approach to growth and development and to manage three types of capital for the welfare of their own and future generations:
- natural capital (that is, the environmental renewable and nonrenewable resources which are parts of our natural environment and form of our ecosystem, e.g. fossil fuels, nuclear power, metals, timber, and so on);
- produced or economic capital (buildings, technical facilities, machinery, roads, water supply systems, pipelines, etc.).
- social capital (education, knowledge, health, culture, institutions and social networks, technology.)
Future-oriented management means: we have to leave our descendents intact ecological, social and economic systems. The one cannot be achieved without the other.
It is in common interest of all nations to establish polices for Sustainable Development since it can be achieved at global level only by joined efforts of all of us. Yet, Sustainable Development will not be brought about by polices only. It must be taken up by society at large as a principle guiding the many choices each citizen makes every day as well as the big practical and economic decisions. This requires profound changes in thinking, in economic and social structures, as well as in consumption and in production patterns.
Ex. 1 Mark the following sentences as True or False.
1. The term sustainable development suggests meeting the needs of the present without considering the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
2. A present-day standard of living meets the basic needs of people.
3. Economic and environmental sustainability are the main constituents of sustainable development.
4. Environmental sustainability implies exploitation of nature’s resources at a rate at which they can be renewed by nature itself.
5. Future-oriented management means to create conditions which will make it possible to preserve ecologic, social and economic systems for future generations.
6. Sustainable development at global level can be achieved by establishing policies for it by the governments of all states.
Ex. 2. Replace the words in italics with the words used in the text.
1. Sustainability is about keeping balance between human activity and the natural environment for a long period of time.
2. Sustainable development doesn’t separate concern for available natural resources from social tasks facing the humanity.
3. Yet, sustainable development will not result from polices only, it suggest participation of all and everyone as a principle determining the many choices each citizen makes every day as well as big practical and economic decision.
4. This requires serious changes in thinking, in economic and social structures as well as in consumption and production models.
5. We have to leave our children and our children’s children undamaged ecological, social and economic systems.
6. Sustainable development makes current generations to take a systems approach to growth and development and manage three types of capital for the benefit of generations.
Ex. 3. Write down the key sentences of the text. Further on compare them with your partner’s.
Ex. 4. Discuss the following questions in groups.
1. What are the main principles of sustainable development?
2. What should the present generation do to help future generations meet their needs?
3. Do you think it is possible to keep high standards of living and preserve the environment at the same time?
4. What compromises will be required to create equal opportunities for all people living now and for future generations?
5. What conditions in your opinion may encourage people to preserve the environment?
6. Is sustainable development everyone’s concern? Do you think that sustainable development can be achieved only by joint efforts of all of us?
7. Do you agree that sustainable development comprises all these issues? What other issues would you like to discuss?
Ex. 5. Make your own research and find out more information on the three constituent parts of sustainable development: economic sustainability, environmental sustainably.
Ex. 1. Translate the sentences from English into Russian.
1. Technology having reached a high stage of development, new methods of work became possible.
2. The difference between these two values probably accounts for the measured sensitivity being higher than that predicted by theory.
3. In one’s search to understand what happened in this particular case one cannot help being influenced by the theory of quite another problem.
4. Not until the 20 the century did man begin to understand the menace of ozone depletion.
5. The climate change, largely caused by greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning is certain to present a fundamental challenge to the future of human civilization.
6. The explosion of a mixture of hydrogen might have occurred, had the necessary precautions not been taken in time.
7. It is owing to the carbon monoxide it contains that coal gas is so poisonous.
8. Special devices must be used to make the experiment the devices being the best.
9. If ozone were suddenly withdrawn from the atmosphere, we would all be killed within a few minutes by the sun’s ultra-violet light.
10. How can the damage caused by acid rains be reduced by people.
11. The vapour pressure has been seen to be dependant on the kind of molecules concerned.
12. Landfill sites have to be prepared and managed carefully to prevent chemicals from the waste polluting water in the surrounding ground and in streams and rivers.
Ex. 2. Translate the sentences from Russian into English.
1. Сжигая газ, который не относится к возобновляемым ресурсам, мы содействуем изменению климата на планете.
2. Если процесс загрязнения окружающей среды не будет прекращен, он может стать необратимым.
3. Запасы природных ископаемых ограничены, поэтому нам придется искать альтернативные источники энергии.
4. Не может быть, чтобы она так быстро перевела текст.
5. Чем вызвано разрушение озонового слоя?
6. При нагревании молекулы воды улетучиваются с поверхности воды в виде пара, что приводит к существенному повышению температуры.
7. Вам напечатали статью?
8. Я видел, как отправляли письма.
9. Должно быть химики знали большое количество реакций, которые могут протекать без катализатора.
10. На эти расчеты можно положиться, так как их уже неоднократно проверяли.
11. Полагают, что это вещество воспламеняется даже при слабом нагревании.
12. Студентам давно пора начинать проводить опыт.
13. Если бы он больше тренировался, он бы мог перевести текст лучше.
Oral and Written Speech Aspect
Summarize the texts. Split into groups and exchange the information you have learned with your groupmates.
METHODS OF DISPOSAL
A landfill is a compaction vehicle in action.
Disposing waste in a landfill involves burying the waste, and this remains a common practice in most countries. Landfills were often established in abandoned or unused quarries, mining voids or borrow pits. A properly designed and well-managed landfill can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive method of disposing waste materials. Older, poorly designed or poorly managed landfills can create a number of adverse environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of liquid leachate. Another common by-product of landfills is gas (mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide), which is produced as organic waste breaks down anaerobically. This gas can create odour problems, kill surface vegetation, and is a greenhouse gas.
Design characteristics of a modern landfill include methods to contain leachate such as clay or plastic lining material. Deposited waste is normally compacted to increase its density and stability, and covered to prevent attracting vermin (such as mice or rats). Many landfills also have landfill gas extraction systems installed to extract the landfill gas. Gas is pumped out of the landfill using perforated pipes and flared off or burnt in a gas engine to generate electricity.
Incineration is a disposal method in which solid organic wastes are subjected to combustion so as to convert them into residue and gaseous products. This method is useful for the disposal of residue of both solid waste management and solid residue from waste water management. This process reduces the volumes of solid waste from 20 to 30 percent of the original volume. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are sometimes described as "thermal treatment". Incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam and ash. Incineration is carried out both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale by industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. It is recognized as a practical method of disposing certain hazardous waste materials (such as biological medical waste). Incineration is a controversial method of waste disposal, due to issues such as emission of gaseous pollutants.
Steel crushed and baled for recycling
Recycling refers to the collection and reuse of waste materials such as empty beverage containers. The materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling may be collected separately from general waste using dedicated bins and collection vehicles, or sorted directly from mixed waste streams. Known as kerb-side recycling, it requires the owner of the waste to separate it into various different bins (typically wheelie bins) prior to its collection.
The most common consumer products recycled include aluminum such as beverage cans, copper such as wire, steel food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment, polyethylene and PET bottles, glass bottles and jars, paperboard cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiberboard boxes. PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS (see resin identification code) are also recyclable. These items are usually composed of a single type of material, making them relatively easy to recycle into new products. The recycling of complex products (such as computers and electronic equipment) is more difficult, due to the additional dismantling and separation required.
Resource recovery (as opposed to waste management) uses life cycle analysis attempts (LCA) to offer alternatives to waste management. For mixed MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) a number of broad studies have indicated administration, source separation and collection followed by reuse and recycling of the non-organic fraction and energy and compost/fertilizer production of the organic waste fraction via anaerobic digestion to be the favoured path.
The management of waste is a key component in a business' ability to maintaining ISO 14001 accreditation. Companies are encouraged to improve their environmental efficiencies each year. One way to do this is by improving a company's waste management with a new recycling service, (such as recycling: glass, food waste, paper and cardboard, plastic bottles etc.)
Composting, Home composting and Anaerobic digestion
An active compost heap.
Waste materials that are organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps, and paper products, can be recycled using biological composting and digestion processes to decompose the organic matter. The resulting organic material is then recycled as mulch or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes. In addition, waste gas from the process (such as methane) can be captured and used for generating electricity and heat (CHP/cogeneration) maximizing efficiencies. The intention of biological processing in waste management is to control and accelerate the natural process of decomposition of organic matter.
There is a large variety of composting and digestion methods and technologies varying in complexity from simple home compost heaps, to small town scale batch digesters, industrial-scale enclosed-vessel digestion of mixed domestic waste (see Mechanical biological treatment). Methods of biological decomposition are differentiated as aerobic or anaerobic methods, though hybrids of the two methods also exist.
Anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of MSW Municipal Solid Waste has been found in a number of LCA analysis studies to be more environmentally effective, than landfill, incineration or pyrolisis. The resulting biogas (methane) though must be used for cogeneration (electricity and heat preferably on or close to the site of production) and can be used with a little upgrading in gas combustion engines or turbines. With further upgrading to synthetic natural gas it can be injected into the natural gas network or further refined to hydrogen for use in stationary cogeneration fuel cells. Its use in fuel cells eliminates the pollution from products of combustion. An example of waste management through composting is the Green Bin Program in Toronto, Canada, where Source Separated Organics (such as kitchen scraps and plant cuttings) are collected in a dedicated container and then composted.
The energy content of waste products can be harnessed directly by using them as a direct combustion fuel, or indirectly by processing them into another type of fuel. Thermal treatment ranges from using waste as a fuel source for cooking or heating and the use of the gas fuel (see above), to fuel for boilers to generate steam and electricity in a turbine. Pyrolysis and gasification are two related forms of thermal treatment where waste materials are heated to high temperatures with limited oxygen availability. The process usually occurs in a sealed vessel under high pressure. Pyrolysis of solid waste converts the material into solid, liquid and gas products. The liquid and gas can be burnt to produce energy or refined into other chemical products (chemical refinery). The solid residue (char) can be further refined into products such as activated carbon. Gasification and advanced Plasma arc gasification are used to convert organic materials directly into a synthetic gas (syngas) composed of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The gas is then burnt to produce electricity and steam. An alternative to pyrolisis is high temperature and pressure supercritical water decomposition (hydrothermal monophasic oxidation).