Passage for Exercise-102

Read carefully the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:

   Pollution — the simple, visible kind of pollution — is now world-wide. When Apollo 8 took photographs of the earth’s surface, where did they reveal the most serious smog and polluted air? Not over Los Angeles, which has somehow got the reputation of having the biggest and nastiest smog, but over Osaka and Tokyo in Japan. Along this strip 34 tons of dirt a mouth fall on every square kilometre, compared with a mere 17 tons in New York. Coastal Vessels collide regularly or run around, because they cannot see each other’s navigation lights in daylight or because light-buoys are invisible. Traffic policemen go back to the police-station after four hours of duty and breathe pure oxygen from cylinders, to reoxygenate their carbon monoxide loaded blood. In cafes and shopping centres coin-in-the-slot machines give oxygen to shoppers who feel themselves about to collapse. In school, the children wear face-masks while they do their lessons on smog-warning days.

   The existence of environmental pollution has recently gained recognition as a major problem — but pollution is only a part of the story. It is not simply that we load the environment with gases, acids, metals and assorted poisons which comprise a damage to health. It is rather that we alter the environment every possible way. We dump heat into it, and dust particles; we fell forests and pave our fields; we destroy one species of animal and cultivate another; we make noises and dump trash. There is a limit to how much treatment it can take.

   If we dump sewage into a stream, on a small scale, the stream dissolves it and purifies it. Ten miles downstream the water is pure again. But if we dump large quantities of sewage, we end by killing the purifying bacteria and the stream has lost its power to purify. It can no longer deal even with the small quantity of sewage which it once accepted without difficulty. The system has broken down. For this overwhelming kind of pollution we need a new term. I call it super-pollution.

   The same thing is true of man’s impact on the environment in general. It can take so much heat, so much dust; it can stand the felling of so many acres of forest and paving of so many acres of soil, but the point is finally reached at which the whole natural system collapses. This we call an ecological catastrophe, and we do not know whether such catastrophes can ever be put right. They may be irreversible, or to reverse them may take so long that for all practical purposes, the damage is permanent.


1. What is now world-wide?
2. Where do most serious smog and polluted air exist?
3. Describe two effects of this pollution in Japan.
4. With what do we generally load the environment?
5. How do we alter the environment? Name three ways that the author has mentioned.
6. How does the author define super-pollution?
7. What is the effect of super-pollution?

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