Skills Worksheet 2

This extract is from a book written in 1935 by E. N. da Andrade and Julian Huxley, called Earth and Man. As you can see, concern about the environment is not new. In 1935, when there was a serious economic depression, and Europe was getting ready to go into a second world war, people were worried about the effect of cutting down too many trees.
The cutting down of forests may also be very bad for the soil. Where hills or mountains are covered with trees, the water that falls as rain cannot run off quickly. The shade of the trees prevents it evaporating quickly and the soil holds it like a sponge allowing it to trickle down gradually. But if the forests are cut down, the soil is no longer protected by their foliage nor held together by their roots, and after a time it is washed away. Then when rain falls, there is nothing to hold it back and it all runs off quickly, eroding the surface still further, and pouring down to the lowlands in torrents. Even if exactly the same amount of rain as before falls on the hills they will now be dry and barren. And instead of the lowlands receiving a steady supply of water in the streams and rivers from the hills, most of the water will come down in the form of dangerous floods, while the rest of the time there will be too little water.

1.- What do these words mean in your language?

1 soil 6 lowlands
2 shade 7 barren
3 foliage 8 streams
4 sponge 9 torrents
5 erosion 10 floods

2.- This warning was given in 1935. Are there areas in your country where this has
actually happened? Describe what has happened in your own words and say what the
effects have been.

3.- Do you think it is now too late for us to do anything about deforestation? Give your

4.- In your opinion, do you think the government of a country should try to prevent
industries from polluting the environment?

5.- What can we do to help educate the less developed nations about the dangers to the

6.- What can you do to help protect the area you live in?


7.- Why, in your opinion, has Man been so interested in developing ways to kill?

8.- In the story it says, “If he had not had weapons, Man would never have become
master of the world. For ages they had served him well. But now he was living on
borrowed time.” Why is man living on “borrowed time”?

Skills Worksheet 2

1 suelo, 2 sombra, 3 follaje, 4 esponja, 5 erosión,
6 tierras bajas, 7 estéril, 8 arroyos, 9 torrentes, 10 riadas