It is a small world we live in, and it is high time for all of us to realize it. Since ancient times people have been trying to produce more and more to increase human wealth. Nobody noticed that people were destroying Nature by using it as the source of raw materials, and as the garbage can for the waste. Nature seemed to be boundless and endless... Far from it as it turned out.
Millions of cars and smoky factories pollute and spoil the air we breathe in. Pollution is hanging over big cities like an ugly brown cloud. It is hurting our lungs as well as the life of animals, birds and plants. All of us are exposed to a large number of natural and man-made chemicals every day. There are a lot of health effects of chemicals like asbestos, lead and dioxins. Many people are unaware that these chemicals can cause such health effects. Even though the governments of various countries are working to reduce these effects, the efforts are still not enough.
People need wood and paper, so we cut down our forests. We don't know what to do with waste materials of our industry, so we pour them into water, bury them into soil, shoot them into atmosphere. We pollute the water we drink, and the land we live in. People build nuclear power stations and carry out nuclear tests. As a result, radiation represents one of the main problems nowadays.
The rapid growth of population in the world may turn into another grave problem very soon. The speed with which we are using up our non-renewable resourses like oil and gas, is appalling. Oil is one of the most important fuels right now in the modern world. No other substance can equal the enormous effect oil has on so many people. Oil and its various forms, like gasoline, kerosene, and diesel, has many good characteristics. It is useful as more than an energy source. It is used for making many petrochemical products like plastics, medicines, paints, and many other things. But oil, like the fossil fuels, is a limited resource. The term "alternative energy" is commonly used to mean all other energy sources other than oil. There is an increased importance being given to what alternative energy sources are available to replace oil.
The world now needs around 26 billion barrels of oil a year, but new discoveries of oil in the recent years has averaged to less than around seven billion barrels a year. Many people think that, when we run out of energy, we can use other alternative fuels. Such statements are easy to make, but in reality, making this transition to alternative fuels is not simple or convenient. With the development of our civilization we have become dangerous to the planet and to ourselves.
What must we do not to find ourselves in a dirty desert in the near future? This question cannot be ignored. Some scientists are pessimistic about our problems. They suppose that we have already reached the point of no return. Others are more optimistic and believe that our ecological problems are solvable because more and more people begin to understand how dangerous they are. There is increasing awareness of people of the real state of the planet. In many countries environmental protection agencies and research centres are set up.
Such organizations as "Green Peace" and "Friends of the Earth" try to put pressure upon those governments that do not care for ecology in their countries. Even several years is a very short time to judge environmental change, but there are a few comprehensive reports that document that change at a global level. The scientists have recently found new symptoms of planetary stress, and a detailed assessment of them has clarified suspected problems. The humankind will be able to survive only if we all understand that environmental protection is our universal concern.
Give the summary of the text using the words below:topollute and spoil the air; to cut down forests; non-renewable resourses; alternative energy sources; to run out of energy; to reach the point of no return; increasing awareness of people of the real state of the planet; to judge environmental change; universal concern.
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