Green is GREAT - Part 2

Richard is blown away by the cutting edge of green technology, and sees how London's Olympic Stadium wins gold in the green Games.

Transcript

It looks like something from outer space, but it’s a wind turbine and it’s revolutionary!

Wind power has been around for centuries, but this is something new. Big wind farms have managed to harness the power of the wind off-shore or on high ground where it’s windy, but what about places where there’s not so much space or wind?

Award-winning British company ‘Quiet Revolution’ have developed a turbine with an upright axis which can be put practically anywhere and is near silent.

Harnessing wind energy in urban areas and tight spaces is a challenge. As wind travels past buildings, it changes speed and is difficult to catch. That’s where this micro turbine is clever. The turbine is small and so catches small wind… But it surprisingly generates a lot of power.

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And all that energy can be used on site, so it’s good for the environment and it saves money! Plus, I think it looks like a work of art; I wouldn’t mind one in my back garden!

The sun is another important source of renewable energy. Solar Century is a leading solar energy company. The panels use the sun's rays to generate power. This technology is becoming more efficient as a way of creating energy.

Behind me is the incredible Olympic Park where much of the action will take place during London’s Olympic Games.

This whole park has been designed to be the greenest Olympic Park in the history of the Olympic Games. Protecting and preserving the environment has been a priority during the planning, construction and building stages. The legacy of this ‘environmentally friendly’ park will last for a very long time.

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David Stubbs is Head of Environment and Sustainability for LOCOG, the Olympic organisers. 
   
Richard: This is really impressive. What was here before?

David: Polluted rivers, contaminated land, broken-down factories. There were a few small industries here, but largely speaking it was a vast area of emptiness.

Richard: David, give me some examples of why these are the greenest Games ever.

David: We put a lot of attention to the buildings, to the design, to all the materials used in them, to the energy that was used in them, so there's a lot of attention to making sure that we minimise waste upfront and then we recycle and reuse as much as possible. Across the board, I think we've done a lot of different things which add up to a sustainable Games.

…..

Let’s find out what the people of London think about the world's greenest Olympics taking place right here, on their doorstep.

Man: I think that it's great that they've really taken into account the local area, the local people, that they've taken into account the environment.

Woman 1: I think the technology they're using here for the green... will be very good for the rest of London and the rest of the country once it's all going.

Woman 2: Well, I think it's a wonderful idea that other countries can take a lesson from and because... when you recycle and repurpose, then the waste, it doesn't become waste, it doesn't become garbage, and it sets an example for the rest of the world.      

So the future for Great Britain really is green.

Task 1

Which of these things appear in the video?

Exercise

Task 2

Select True, False, or Not given, based on the information in the video.

Exercise

Task 3

Use the vocabulary given to complete the sentences.

Exercise

Task 4

The last woman to speak on the video is American. She says "when you recycle and repurpose, then the waste doesn't become garbage". The word 'garbage' is American English - in British English we say 'rubbish'. Another example is 'movie' (American) and 'film' (British). Complete each sentence by writing the British English words which have the same meaning as the American English words (in brackets).

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Exercise

Discussion

Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2
Hi Kirk! How are you? I would like to ask you about this sentence: "Award-winning British company ‘Quiet Revolution’ have developed" Does it work with have? Does it need to use "has"? Thank you so much in advance! Alex

Hello Alex,

This is the way that most speakers of British English would say this. Even when the subject is singular, if it refers to a group of people (e.g. a company, the government, a sports team), people in the UK tend to use the plural form of the verb.

In American English, this would sound quite strange, though. In other words, in American English, the verb should be 'has'.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi guys, I think we all have to save our environment. We have only one planet and our children have to get the same chance as us. For that reason, I'm driving to work with my bicycle. Additionally, we tried to reduce our production of waste. I hope that more people will improve the understanding of our enviroment.
Time to Time many countries are installing wind turbines and other renewable sources of energy, include my country (Peru) mainly by environment concerns and because the governments are changing their policies respect the energy sources (fossil fuels to renewable energy) . This type of energy is becoming cheaper and is being widespread specially in countryside by farm owners. Currently in my country, many people have taken aware about environment and try to care their nature around them.
Here in Brazil energy are produced using manly hydroelectric plants, but two years ago we had problems because the raining wasn't enough to fill reservoirs. I think that i can make my house cleaner installing solar painel to produce my own energy and recycling the garbage.
Hello, everyone. ☆ Does your country use much renewable energy? - My country, Indonesia currently lack adequate clean energy supplies to meet its growing needs. The country relies on fossil fuels for most of its energy supply. Renewable energy sources make up less than 25 percent of energy supply and less than 5 percent of traditional biomass which is used for cooking and heating in rural areas. But now the goverment is interested in building up Indonesia's small and medium scale wind farms. The country has built 12 wind farms recently. ☆ How can you make your own home greener? - Some of the simplest ways I make to green my own home are plant trees in my back garden. No only do trees soak up lots of carbon dioxide and produce oxygen but they also help green my home. In the summer they provide welcome shade but most importantly in the winter they help reduce heat loss from wind. And I also collect rainwater to water my plants. ☆ What do people think of the importance of green issues in your country? - What is happening right now at my country is very dangerous. The people don't pay attention about that. "There is no scientific proof that human emission are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth's atmosphere over the past 100 years" they said.
Brazilian main source of energy is hydroelectric, which is also a renewable energy. Unlike wind farms and solar panels, hydroelectric power plants have an environmental impact - a large flooding area is usually required for their operation, and this can deeply affect the local ecosystem. Despite this, it is considered a green energy. Along with a huge hydric-energy system, Brazil is also a pioneer in biomass fuels production and eolic energy use is increasing quickly so, from an energy point of view, Brazil can be considered a green country. On other aspects, however, that is not our reality. Recycling is not a widely spread habit among our industries or citizens and we lack government incentive for green initiatives. In some cases, municipal laws actually work against them - like in my parent's city, where adding a water reuse system to your house costs more than using potable water for everything due to taxes. The population is divided about green alternatives. In theory, everyone thinks green is good, but most people won't take measures like recycling or using water and energy rationally - let alone paying a little more for green certified products or voting for green public policies. Many Brazilians are more concerned about potential negative impacts green measurements might have on our economy than with environment preservation. For these people, allowing big companies to deforest Amazon in order to expand pastures would be worthy (but it is also worth remembering that Brazil has huge structural and social problems and most of our population had poor education, so most of us are quite misinformed about public policies and economy in general - and about everything else except soccer). On the bright side, there are many ONGs and companies trying to change this scenario. They work with familiar agricultors and small cooperatives offering green expertise and making green alternatives economically viable for them and promoting advertisement and informative campaigns about green alternatives and practices among the general population. These initiatives have been growing in number and influence for some years now. Ironically, Brazil looks quite green in satellites images, but it is not a truly green country yet. but I hope in future it will be.

Hello marinavvieira,

Thanks so much for sharing this great text! It explains the situation really well and is very clear.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir / Madam, Thank you for the materials. My question is about this sentence: Across the board, I think we've done a lot of different things which add up to a sustainable Games. What does 'Across the board' mean here, what synonym can we use? Thank you.

Hello Must,

For questions like this please check in a dictionary. There are many online dictionaries which can provide definitions, examples and more, such as this one, for example.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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