The Amazon vs The Economy | Reading & Writing, Intermediate English

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Reading Lesson about the Environment

Read this article about a possible threat to the environment. What is the writer’s purpose?

Reading Strategy

Protecting the Amazon vs. The Economy

Next week, about 20,000 people from 190 countries will go to a United Nations climate conference. World leaders will discuss how to protect the environment and limit climate change. The main topic is how to reduce carbon emissions and other pollution since this can cause major problems for our planet.

At the conference, one area of focus will be the Amazon rainforest in South America. This forest is important for two big reasons. It removes carbon dioxide from the air, and it produces about 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen. Most of the rainforest is in Brazil, and scientists worry about how Brazilian national politics affect environmental protections for this essential area. If the politicians believe that the economy is more important than environmental regulations, the Amazon is at risk of deforestation.

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Deforestation is when large areas of trees and other plants are removed. Sometimes deforestation happens because people want to build on that land. Other times, it happens so companies can sell wood or other natural resources. Sometimes, the land is converted to farmland.

Another possible problem in the Amazon is changes in weather. The rainforest is so big that it creates its own weather. The trees pull water from the air into their roots. Then, the trees release water vapor into the air. The vapor moves up into the clouds and then it becomes rain. Fewer trees mean less rainfall, as the water is not extracted from the air.

However, some Brazilian politicians believe that rainforest protections are bad for the people because they limit economic growth. These politicians often win elections too, as in the case of Jair Bolsonaro who won the presidency in 2019 with 55 percent of the popular vote.

Scientists believe that if these politicians keep their promises to support the economy and not the environment, their effects will be felt all over the world.

Writing Exercise 1 – the Environment

Writing Exercise 2 – the Environment

Reading Quiz – “Protecting the Amazon vs The Economy”