To take part in the discussion you should read the text and use your own erudition on the discussed problem.
Words for understanding the text:
hearth [ ] -êàìèí
bunker – óãîëüíûé ÿùèê
soot – ñàæà
exhaustion [ ] – èñòîùåíèå
to cope with – ñïðàâëÿòüñÿ ñ …
smoke – äûì
share – ÷àñòü, äîëÿ
reinforce – óñèëèâàòü, ïîäêðåïëÿòü
Energy in the UK: Changing Demands
Coal was the dominant form of energy used in the UK for over a century. Coal was plentiful and cheap. It has a variety of uses:
· fuel for steam engines,
· fuel for homes, factories and offices,
· the production of gas,
· the production of chemicals.
British homes were designed to cope with coal. Near the back door would be the coal bunker. There were open hearths on which coal and wood fires were burnt.
Open coal fires look very attractive, but they have many problems. Coal is dirty, heavy and difficult to use. Rooms can fill with smoke when a door is opened. When the fire is finished, soot and ash are left.
Alternative forms of energy have become widely available in the UK since the 1960s. Oil, gas and electricity provide most of the country’s energy. It is not bad news for coal, however, because it is still the most important fuel used to generate electricity. New cleaner methods of using coal to heat houses have been developed.
Oil, gas and electricity are much cleaner and easier to use than coal. The price of he different forms of energy is also an important factor:
· During the 1960’s oil and gas became cheaper while the price of coal rose. Demand for coal fell dramatically.
· In 1973/74 the Oil Crisis made oil much more expensive. Gas and coal were cheaper. Gas took a larger share of the energy market as the North Sea gas- field were developed. There was even a revival in the use of coal. This was reinforced by the great oil price increases of 1979/80.
· In 1986 oil became much cheaper. Demand for coal fell again.
Price and ease of use have been the major factors affecting in the changing energy demand in the UK in the last forty years. In the future the exhaustion of energy sources will become important. The world’s oil supplies may not last more than another forty years. Much of the world’s oil and gas is located in areas which
have suffered conflict, such as the Middle East. Supplies may be cut off from the UK for political reasons, as they were, briefly, during 1956 and 1973. Home energy source, of which coal is the largest, will then become more important for the UK again.
Past experience shows that there are no certainties in demand for energy within the UK. The future may hold many changes.
Learn phrases used to know somebody’s opinion and express yours.
Asking for opinion
To one person
To a group of people
What are your views on …?
Any reaction to that ?
What are your feelings about …?
Has anybody strong feelings about that?
What do you think about …?
What’s the general view about that?
Has anybody any comments to make ?
I’m sure that …
I think(believe) that …
It seems to me that …
I’m convinced that …
As I see it …
I’m inclined to think that
I feel quite sure that …
From a financial point of view
My inclination would be to
It’s perfectly clear to me that
The way I see it is that …
Give parts in a dialogue and take part in the discussion “ Energy and Life”
ANNOUNCER: Good evening! Dear guests, welcome to our TV studio. Listen and see our program “For Those Who Think”. Life and energy is our problem.
The world’s energy resources are limited. Nobody knows exactly how much fuel is left. Of course, we have to do something and do it as soon as possible.
I’d like to welcome our first guest, Professor Oleg Petrov.
PROFESSOR OLEG PETROV: Well, we are in energy crisis and we’ll have to do something quickly. Fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are rapidly running out. The tragedy is that fossil fuels are too valuable to waste on the production of electricity. I think that nuclear power is the only real alternative. We are getting some electricity from nuclear power already. There has been a lot of protest against nuclear power. But nuclear power stations will not be dangerous `as some people say if safety regulations in power stations are very strict.
ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Professor. Our next guest is the member of the campaign against nuclear energy, Mr. Dymov.
MR.DYMOV: Right. I must disagree totally with Professor Petrov. Let’s look at the facts. In the case of accident huge areas are evacuate, and they remain contaminated with radioactivity for years. Radioactivity causes cancer and may affect future generations.
Next, nuclear waste. There is no technology for absolutely safe disposal. Some of this waste will remain active for thousands of years. Is that what you want to leave to your children ? And their children’s children ?
I consider that nuclear energy is expensive, dangerous, and evil, and most of all, absolutely unnecessary.
But Dr. Krimova will be saying more about the problem.
ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Mr. Dymov. Now I’m very pleased to welcome Dr. Krimova, our final speaker. She is the author of several books on alternative technology
DR. KRIMOVA: Hello! I’d like to begin by agreeing with Mr. Dymov. We can develop alternative sources of power. Instead of burning fossil fuels we should be concentrating on more economic uses of electricity. Electricity can be produced from any source of energy. You can save more by conservation than you can produce for the same money. Unless we do research on solar energy,wind power,tidal power, etc., our fossil fuels will run out, and we all freeze or starve to death. We have to spend much more on research, and don’t forget that energy from the sun , the waves and the wind lasts forever. We really won’t survive unless we start working on cleaner, safer sources of energy.
ANNOUNCER: Thank you very much, Dr. Krimova. Now we are opening the discussion
Questions for discussing:
1. What are the problems with coal as a domestic fuel?
2. What are the advantages of oil and gas over coal?
3. Which energy source increased most between 1973 and 1986 in the UK?
4. Which energy source decreased most between 1973-1986 in the UK?
5. Is nuclear power the only alternative to fossil fuels for production of electricity?
6. Is nuclear energy dangerous and unnecessary?
7. How can people develop alternative sources of energy and which ones?
Phrases for announcer:
Right, let’s get started.
Perhaps, you’d like to start, Ann.
Just a minute, Peter, let Ann finish what she was saying.
We’ll come to your point later.
Perhaps, you’d like to explain / tell us
Let’s move on …
Words and phrases for the participants:
let’s look at the facts I mean
I consider that listen to the other
by the way after all
with great interest some of the estimates
to rely on (the fossil fuels, oil, coal) world energy reserves
look to the future new research
to spend money on conservation of present resources
new forms of power to be fairly optimistic
Read the text and find information what coals are the most important for using in industry.