Part I Writing (30 minutes)
Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write a composition on the topic: Precious Water. You should write at least 150 words following the outline given below:
Part II Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes)
Directions: In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly and answer the questions on Answer Sheet 1. For questions 1-7, choose the best answer from the four choices marked A),B),C) and D). For question 8-10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.
Pollution: A Life and Death Issue
One of the main themes of Planet under Pressure is the way many of the Earth's environmental crises reinforce one another. Pollution is an obvious example-we do not have the option of growing food, or finding enough water, on a squeaky-clean planet, but on one increasingly tarnished and trashed by the way we have used it so far.
Cutting waste and clearing up pollution cost money. Yet time and again it is the quest for wealth that generates much of the mess is the first place. Living in a way that is less damaging to the Earth is not easy, but it is vital, because pollution is pervasive and often life-threatening.
Air: the World Health Organization (WHO) says three million people are killed worldwide by outdoor air pollution annually from vehicles and industrial emissions, and 1.6 million indoors through using solid fuel. Most are in poor countries.
Water: diseases carried in water are responsible for 80% of illnesses and deaths in developing countries, killing a child every eight seconds. Each year 2.1 million people die from diarrhoeal (痢疾的) diseases associated with poor water.
Soil: contaminated land is a problem in industrialized countries, where former factories and power stations can leave waste like heavy metals in the soil. It can also occur in developing countries, sometimes used for dumping pesticides. Agriculture can pollute land with pesticides, nitrate-rich fertilizers and slurry from livestock. And when the contamination reaches rivers it damages life there, and can even create dead zones off the coast, as in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chemicals are a frequent pollutant. When we think of chemical contamination it is often images of events like Bhopal that come to mind. But the problem is widespread. One study says 7～20% of cancers are attributable to poor air and pollution in homes and workplaces. The WHO, concerned about chemicals that persist and build up in the body, especially in the young, says we may "be conducting a large-scale experiment with children's health".
Some man-made chemicals, endocrine (内分泌) disruptors like phthalates (酞酸盐) and nonylphenol-a breakdown product of spermicides (杀精子剂), cosmetics and detergents-are blamed for causing changes in the genitals of some animals. Affected species include polar bears-so not even the Arctic is immune. And the chemicals climb the food chain, from fish to mammals, and to us.
About 70,000 chemicals are on the market, with around 1,500 new ones appearing annually. At least 30,000 are thought never to have been comprehensively tested for their possible risks to people.
At first glance, the plastic buckets stacked in the corner of the environmental NGO office look like any others. But the containers are an unlikely weapon in one poor community's fight against oil companies which they say are responsible for widespread ill-health caused by years of pollution. The vessels are used by a network of local volunteers, known as the Bucket Brigade, to gather air samples in neighborhoods bordering oil refineries, as part of a campaign to monitor and document air pollution which they believe is coming from the plants.
In South Africa, as in many developing and newly industrialized countries, legislation on air pollution has failed to keep pace with mushrooming industries. So local residents, like many in poor communities around the globe, have faced the problem of investigating their claim that industries on their doorsteps are making them sick.
But the snag is that modern society demands many of them, and some are essential for survival. So while we invoke the precautionary principle, which always recommends erring on the side of caution, we have to recognize there will be trade-offs to be made.
The pesticide DDT does great damage to wildlife and can affect the human nervous system, but can also be effective against malaria (疟疾). Where does the priority lie?