[WORLD NEWS ★]
NO ONE CAN BREATHE IN BEIJING
(P1) SMOG that is expected to cover Beijing for at least three days led to the capital’s first ever “red ALERT” on Tuesday as many residents IGNORED warnings to limit their time outdoors.
(P2) State radio said some people were ignoring VEHICLE use restrictions, which on Tuesday banned vehicles with odd numbers at the end of the LICENSE PLATE getting on the roads.
(P3) Although smog has always been a PUBLIC HEALTH concern in Beijing, the government came under heavy criticism for not issuing a red alert during a recent EPISODE of heavy smog which exceeded HAZARDOUS levels. Chinese researchers have identified pollution as a major source of concern throughout the country.
(P4) The ENVIRONMENTAL group Greenpeace called the red alert “a welcome sign of a different attitude from the Beijing government”.
(P5) The Beijing City Emergency Office said a combination of “still air, cold temperatures, and high HUMIDITY” is creating INTENSE smog and prompted the red alert.
(P6) A red alert means that half of vehicles will be taken off the roads each day, heavy vehicles will be banned, most schools will be advised to cancel classes, many businesses will be closed, and all “LARGE-SCALE, outdoor activities” should be stopped.
(P7) Despite this, many residents tried to CIRCUMVENT the rules.
(P8) By late morning on Tuesday, the U.S. embassy’s MONITORING station recorded an air quality index of 250, which puts AIR POLLUTION levels at the “unhealthy” level.
(P9) Those who did struggle to the office posted pictures on social media of themselves wearing INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH face masks.
(P10) “I feel like I’m ENGAGED in CHEMICAL WARFARE,” wrote one commuter.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Are your breathing and general health badly affected when the air quality is poor outside?
- Is air pollution a major concern in your country?
- Why do all the major industrial cities in China have poor air quality at this time?
- What should China do to improve its air quality?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- License plate
- Public health
- Air pollution