PART VIII: ECOLOGY
The environment of Kazakhstan has been badly damaged by human activity. Most of the water in Kazakhstan is polluted by industrial effluents, pesticide and fertilizer residue, and, in some places, radioactivity. The most visible damage has been done to the Aral Sea, which as recently as the 1970s was larger than any of the Great Lakes of North America save Lake Superior. The sea began to shrink rapidly when sharply increased irrigation and other demands on the only significant tributaries, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya (the latter reaching the Aral from neighboring Uzbekistan), all but eliminated inflow.
Industrial pollution is a bigger concern in Kazakhstan's manufacturing cities, where aging factories pump huge quantities of unfiltered pollutants into the air and groundwater.
The gravest environmental threat to Kazakhstan comes from radiation, especially in the Semey (Semipalatinsk) region of the northeast, where the Soviet Union tested almost 500 nuclear weapons, 116 of them above ground. Often, such tests were conducted without evacuating or even alerting the local population. Although nuclear testing was halted in 1990, radiation poisoning, birth defects, severe anemia, and leukemia are very common in the area.
With some conspicuous exceptions, lip service has been the primary official response to Kazakhstan's ecological problems. In February 1989, opposition to Soviet nuclear testing and its ill effects in Kazakhstan led to the creation of one of the republic's largest and most influential grass-roots movements, Nevada-Semipalatinsk, which was founded by Kazak poet and public figure Olzhas Suleymenov. In the first week of the movement's existence, Nevada-Semipalatinsk gathered more than 2 million signatures from Kazakhstanis of all ethnic groups on a petition to Mikhail Gorbachev demanding the end of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan. After a year of demonstrations and protests, the test ban took effect in 1990. It remained in force in 1996, although in 1995 at least one unexploded device reportedly was still in position near Semey.
Ø Read the text and choose: True (T) or False (F)
1. The environment of Kazakhstan has not been badly damaged by human activity.
2. The most visible damage has been done to the Aral Sea.
3. Industrial pollution is not a bigger concern in Kazakhstan's manufacturing cities.
4. Nuclear testing was halted in 1991.
5. Most of the water in Kazakhstan is polluted by industrial effluents, pesticide and fertilizer residue.
Ø Finish the sentences:
1. The environment of Kazakhstan has been badly damaged by . . .
2. Most of the water in Kazakhstan is polluted by . . .
3. The most visible damage has been done to . . .
4. Industrial pollution is a bigger concern in . . .
5. The gravest environmental threat to Kazakhstan comes from . . .
Ø Answer the questions:
1. What is happening to the Aral Sea?
2. When was nuclear testing halted?
3. Who was the republic movement “Nevada-Semipalatinsk” founded by?
4. When did the test ban take effect?
Date: 2015-01-12; view: 529