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ENVIRONNEMENTS EN MUTATION: de la protection de la nature à la transition écologique

ENVIRONNEMENTS EN MUTATION: de la protection de la nature à la transition écologique

Water: vocabulary list

Video: Millions of Hindus cleanse sins in river Ganges

A huge Hindu religious festival, the Kumbh Mela is expected to be attended by 100 million people (the biggest gathering on earth); it celebrates the creation of the world and appears in its full form every twelve years (small versions happen every 3 years). The pilgrims are very happy and feel like the saints descended from heaven to gather with them for the ritual. Tiredness and problems have gone away. The authorities have properly organized / « arranged » the festival which lasts 55 days in Allahabad, the holiest location at the junction of 3 rivers.

The 6 bathing days are the most important moments : the ritual consists in entering silently the river Ganges in respect for their god Narayana to ward off (= chasser/ conjurer) evil.

Sahdus, holymen, who live in seclusion use the festival to meet especially on that year (2013) which is the peak of a cycle which comes around only once every 144 years.

Consequences of the Kumbh Mela festival on the ganges :a dramatic increase in pollution (bathing + defecation + the shaving by thousands of sadhus. untreated sewerage

Texts: Ganga: pure water?

The Ganges is now considered toxic because industries dump pollutants such as dyes into the river. Untreated urban sewage is also poured into the Ganges. Moreover, in Hinduism, dead bodies are thrown into the Ganges so they can be purified.

If a dog’s fur can turn completely blue because of pollutants, it means the river is full of hazardous wastes: wastes which are potentially harmful to human health.

Before the festival, authorities had measured the quantity of pollutants in the river. As it was too polluted, they had released large quantities of fresh water to reduce the impact of pollution.

Video : Cleaning up India's holy river - BBC News

 

  1. why is cleaning up the Ganges a monumental task?

    In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Modi committed USD 3 billion for a five-year project to clean the Ganges by 2020.

  2. Answer the video’s question: “So,how has he been successful?”

    A 2018 draft report by India’s Central Pollution Control Board suggests that only 4 out of 41 locations tested on the river are clean or almost clean. So, the project seems to have fallen short on its promise to clean up the Ganges.

  3. Explain the comparison between the Ganges and the Rhine.

    Germany is helping finance treatment facilities on the Ganges and one of the diplomats compared the Rhine to the Ganges because a similar rescue operation had occurred. It took municipalities 30 years and around €45 billion to clean up the Rhine but the Ganges is twice as long as the Rhine

Alisha Chukdar

May 25th, 2020
To Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Subject: Cleaning up India’s holy river

Dear Sir,
Six years ago, when you were campaigning for the election, one of your promises was to clean up Ganga. Unfortunately, as can be seen, the situation hasn’t evolved positively since that date. Too many Indian citizens are still suffering from diseases because of pollution. It is high time you (+ preterite) acted. If I may, I would like to suggest a few ideas in order to save Ganga.

First and foremost, I think you should limit the number of people in the river during Kumbh Mela. In addition, awareness campaigns about the danger of pollution on people’s health should be broadcast in the entire country.
I am also deeply convinced that if industries were convicted and fined for dumping toxic waste into Ganga, they would act more responsibly and we could use the money collected to finance future preservation efforts.
I hope you will take these propositions into consideration.

Yours truthfully,

Alisha Chukdar

 

Food: Changing the food production process

Food: vocabulary list

Who is in control?

https://robynobrien.com/how-monsanto-took-over-our-food-system-a-graphical-history/

The poster was designed to denounce Monsanto’s worldwide dominination regarding food supply.

– It defines what it does : « a self-proclaimed leader in genetic engineering of food crops »

– It defines their goal : controlling farmers

– It mentions why we should be suspicious about GMOS ; they are connected to allergies and antibiotic resistance. They can be highly toxic and genetically modified food has a lower nutritional value.

– It traces back the history of the company which started in 1901 with $16 bn revenue in 2016 (middle column)

– It shows the impact of the company on American agriculture and worldwide; farmers use their seeds and herbicides and 40 % of the A crops are produced with Monsanto products. It devotes millions of dollars to increase their sales through lobbying. They sit in expert groups, advise the government, finance reports in favour of their products, organize greenwash activities, attack whistleblowers…..

https://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/attachments/monsanto_v09_web.pdf

The Roundup case

Video n°1: California man who blames terminal cancer on Roundup testifies at trial

Main information : plaintiff : Johnson / Defendant : Monsanto

Lee Johnson is in San Francisco Superior Court to testify that Monsanto product Roundup caused his terminal cancer.

His lawyer says it is frustrating for him to spend his last moments with his wife in court before passing away (= to die)

For 4 years, he worked for a school as a ground keeper and used 150 gallons of roundup 20 to 30 times a year (150 x 3,8 l= 570 l x 20 / 30 = between 11400 and 17100 liters!)

Lee knew it was a dangerous product so he used it carefully and protected himself when manipulating it (but he doesn’t seem to have been given proper protection) but despite his precautions, twice he ended up drenched in the herbicide.

The defendant(= Monsanto)’s lawyer sympathizes with Lee’s ordeal but regarding the data and what science has been saying for 40 years, she refuses to acknowledge that Roundup causes cancer.

Yet images of the lesions which spread over 80 % of his body do not support its inocuity and made him uncomfortable in public, lowering his self-esteem and embarrassing his kids.

The key question the Court will have to answer is : how has cancer affected his life ?

Video n°2: Monsanto ordered to pay $289M to man who claimed weedkiller contributed to cancer

The verdict : Monsanto is guilty of endangering consumers’ health and is sentenced to pay $ 290 million in damages.

Monsanto will appeal the sentence and claims that there is no evidence (= proof) that Roundup causes cancer and insists that there is overwhelming evidence in the 40 years of safe use of this product around the world.

Impact of such a verdict :

– necessary changes in agricultural products and techniques

The present situation : Conventional farming

(2) boiler= chicken

(3) slaughter plant= abattoir

L. 24 skittish = nerveux

Gainesville is the Poultry capital of the world where modern chicken industry was created. It relies on battery farming producing big quantities of poultry fattened up with antibiotics.

Describe the breeding techniques used there.

-intensive farming

– bred in over-populated barns

– daily use of antibiotics

Analyse the author’s opinion.

He is critical of these techniques : antibotics turn the chickens into bland meat + bad bredding conditions for chickens

We shouldn’t be proud of that farming anymore (line 34-35)

He wants to raise the consumers’ awareness and make the industry change.

Are there solutions to improve food quality?

  • Find information about organic farming and its paradoxical situation in the USA.

    Organic farming is booming but remains still quite low. The paradox : the demand is high but the development of organic farming is low.

  • Why is the process of transformation so long?

    Time is needed for the soil to get rid of all the pesticides used before. It slows down the agricultural transition of many farms that must wait to get the organic certification.

  • According to you, who contributes the most to the development fo organic farming?

    The consumers/ politicians / farmers

Climate: Australia 's biggest issue

Climate change: vocabulary list

Video: climate change in Australia : weather analysis

Main information :

Extreme conditions like, hotter temperatures, frequent bushfires, dought and intense cyclones : that is what weather experts forecast for Australia because of climate change. It has been an unprecedented year characterized by deluges, floods, and the population has to get prepared to relive these catastrophies which will hit harder and more frequently.

The warming has intensified with an increase of 1.44 ° since 2010. The lockdown helped reduce emissions but overall concentrations still increased.

The oceans around Australia are rising and that trend is continuing on an upward trajectory ; things are getting worse since (= puisque) the last decade has been one of the coolest of the next hundred years !

Text : An unbearable heat

The consequences of the heat wave.

The response of Australian governments to climate change

Looking for solutions to climate change

What is Australia doing to tackle climate change ?

(Extract from BBC News, January 2nd, 2020)

Under the Paris Climate Agreement to tackle rising global temperatures, Australia set a target for 2030 of making a 26-28% reduction in its emissions compared with 2005 levels.

These goals have been criticised for being too low, and last year the United Nations (UN) reported that Australia was not on track.

According to the UN Fund, « There has been no improvement in Australia’s climate policy since 2017 and emission levels for 2030 are projected to be well above the target. »

About half of the G20 countries (those with the biggest economies), including Australia, are falling short.

The Climate Change Performance Index ranked Australia last out of 57 countries, responsible for more than 90% of greenhouse gas emissions on climate policy.

It highlighted the country’s no-show at a UN climate summit in September and its withdrawal from an international fund to tackle climate change.

The opposition Labor Party in Australia has said the government is « refusing to act » on climate change. (…)

The coal industry

Australia is among the world’s largest exporters of iron ore, uranium, coal and natural gas.

It was the fourth largest producer of coal in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency.

Phasing out coal is considered crucial to limiting global warming to within 1.5C, but the Australian government is continuing to back the industry for the role it plays in the economy.

Facing criticism over his handling of the bushfires and response to climate change, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said he will not make « reckless » cuts to the coal industry.

The government recently approved the construction of a controversial new coal mine – which could be the biggest in the world and would export coal to India.

Summary of the article

A few years ago, Australia agreed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25 %, which was seen as unambitious by the international community. It did not reach its goal by far like many other developed countries. It now clearly refuses to contribute to the fight against global warming because of its coal industry which is a leader in the world and the government is not ready to downsize the production. On the contrary, it is developing it with the creation of a new coal mine.

Are there solutions to fight climate change?

Report

Until the last few years, seaweed was a profuse (/prəˈfjuːs) (= abundant/ plentiful) resource for humans ( providing food, fertilisers (/ˈfɜrtəˌlaɪzɚ/ ), energy, plastics, fibres (/ˈfaɪbər/) for clothes, omega 3s..) and animals (nutraceuticals /ˌnjuːtrəˈsjuːtɪkəlz/ = alicaments) and contributed to reducing the amont of carbon dioxide ( /daɪˈɒksaɪd/) in oceans. But now, it has almost disappeared from the east coast of Tasmania (/tæzˈmeɪniə/). Fortunately scientists have found a way to regenerate the weeds with nutritious water pumped from the depths (= les profondeurs) of the ocean. It is of the utmost importance to (= il est de la plus grande importance de) protect seaweeds since (= puisque) they appear to be (= s’avérer être) a very effective / efficient solution to reverse global warming as (= puisque) it is a very fast-growing plant.

Grammar Time: Expressing Future

Expressing future time after 'when','before', 'after', 'as soon as', 'until'

We use the present tense to talk about future times.
The future tense is used in the main clause.
The present simple tense is used in the time clause.

Ex: Tom will turn off the lights when he leaves the office. (Not when he will leave).

It is the same pattern with ‘,’before’, ‘after’, ‘as soon as’, ‘until’

Finish the following sentences:

I will tidy the living-room before I …………………………………….

He will not go home until he …………………………..

The operation will begin as soon as ………………………………….

Time clauses with reference to the future can also be introduced by other expressions such as:
once, immediately, the moment, the minute, the day, by the time …

Ex: Tony will call the restaurant the moment he gets home.

I’ll contact you once ……………………………………

You will be notified the minute your order …………………………..

It will be dark by the time ………………………..

The time clause may come before or after the main clause with no change in meaning.

The moment I hear the doorbell I …………………………..

The day you graduate your mother ……………………….

Translating Time

Merci à Elisabeth AURIAT, anciennement professeure de traduction à l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3

Traduction

Une nouvelle étude a constaté que 80% de la population mondiale vit sous un halo lumineux artificiel.

Une nouvelle étude révolutionnaire qui se rapporte à la pollution lumineuse dans le monde constate que plus de 80 pour cent de la population mondiale vit sous des cieux pollués par la lumière artificielle (1).  La situation est plus critique (2) aux Etats-Unis et en Europe puisque 99 pour cent de leurs populations respectives / leurs habitants respectifs (3) subissent (4) le halo lumineux la nuit.

    •  

(1) traduction d’explicitation: il va de soi que l’on ne parle pas de la lumière du jour ni de celle produite par les étoiles ou la lune.

    •  

(2) autre traduction possible: pire

    •  

(3) celle des Etats-Unis et celle de l’Europe. 

    •  

(4) on évite le mot à mot

Le nouvel «  Atlas mondial de la luminosité artificielle du ciel nocturne » publié dans la revue libre d’accès  Science Advances fait heureusement (5) suite à « l’Atlas mondial » publié en 2001 et sera certainement (6) utile  aux chercheurs dans différentes disciplines.

(5), (6) on évite le mot à mot

Scott Feierabend, administrateur de l’Association internationale pour un ciel sombre (7) (International Dark-Sky Association, en anglais) a salué les travaux (8) et les a qualifiés de « percée majeure »; il a indiqué que « le nouvel atlas est un point de référence qui contribuera à évaluer le succès  ou l’échec des actions visant (9) à réduire la pollution lumineuse dans les milieux urbains et non urbanisés / naturels (10)

    •  

(7) RAPPEL IMPORTANT     Black = noir = COULEUR   /  Dark = sombre, foncé = ASPECT de quelque chose ou de quelqu’un

    •  

(8) les travaux de recherche (sous-entendu). Il ne s’agit pas du travail (labeur) de tous les jours.

    •  

(9) on évite le mot à mot

Essai argumentatif : Are we doing enough to save the planet ?

Introduction

Scientists and governments are fully aware of the current damage and tragedies caused by environmental mistakes and natural disasters. Yet the climate change process is accelerating , casting doubt on the relevance of the actions already taken.

Part 1 : The present situation  (réutiliser les exemples étudiés)

Indeed, over the last few years, natural catastrophes have become more disastrous and very few parts of the world have been spared by extreme climate conditions like Australia which last year had to face hotter temperatures, frequent bushfires, dought and intense cyclones. Natural resources like water are threatened by pollutants and overpopulation and the food processing industry depletes the soils ; economies, societies, wildlife, infrastructures, food resources have all been severely impacted.

Part 2 : The actions implemented (réutiliser les exemples étudiés)

Yet, conscious of the need to react, governments have started to take actions to reduce pollution ; at the international level, the Paris Climate Agreement was set up to try to tackle rising global temperatures. In 2015, the Indian government committed USD 3 billion for a five-year project to clean the Ganges. In the USA, changes in agricultural techniques and products have taken place under the pressure of environmental groups and organic farming is slowly gaining ground over conventional farming. Awareness campaigns to get people to change their consumption habits (or patterns) are becoming more and more commonplace as well as various associations like the Australian Extinction Rebellion which wants governments to declare a « climate and ecological emergency » and take immediate action to address climate change.

Part 3 : The results of these actions (réutiliser les exemples étudiés)

Nonetheless (or Still), this is far from enough. In order to reduce global warming, the world will have to find a way to drastically cut its carbon pollution. Unfortunately, efforts are largely insufficient and a number of developed countries will still see their emissions rise over the coming decade like Australia which is still developing its coal industry supported by its government which is not ready to sacrifice its economic sector for the sake of the environment. So, if things go on this way, entire nations could disappear under rising seas. Conflicts, disease and food insecurity will worsen. Entire ecosystems will collapse.

Conclusion

Individual gestures may not be enough but it is our responsibility to drive governments to take real and significant actions that will lead to reduce the damage and hopefully improve the situation. Although concensus is hard to reach and governments have to face pressure from lobbies funded by conventional industries, they have no choice but to implement global and nationwide green policies. (445 words)

Short version

Scientists and governments are fully aware of the current damage and tragedies caused by environmental mistakes and natural disasters. Yet the climate change process is accelerating despite the actions already taken.

Indeed, over the last few years, natural catastrophes have become more disastrous and very few parts of the world have been spared by extreme climate conditions. Natural resources like water are threatened by pollutants and overpopulation and the food processing industry depletes the soils.

Yet, conscious of the need to react, governments have started to take actions to reduce pollution ; at the international level, the Paris Climate Agreement was set up to try to tackle rising global temperatures. In 2015, the Indian government took measures to clean the Ganges. In the USA, changes in agricultural techniques and products have taken place under the pressure of environmental groups and organic farming is slowly gaining ground over conventional farming. Awareness campaigns to get people to change their consumption habits (or patterns) are becoming more and more commonplace and various associations have taken immediate action to address climate change.

Nonetheless (or Still), this is far from enough. In order to reduce global warming, the world will have to find a way to drastically cut its carbon pollution. Unfortunately, efforts are largely insufficient and a number of developed countries will still see their emissions rise over the coming decade like Australia which is not ready to sacrifice its economic sector for the sake of the environment.

Individual gestures may not be enough but it is our responsibility to drive governments to take real and significant actions that will lead to reduce the damage and hopefully improve the situation. (278 words)