coronavirus and the environment

Covid-19 and

the Environment



air pollution dramatic (2)
reduce space (2) show/showed/shown
fresh capacity shrink/shrunk/shrunk
respite resident power plant
crisis go on for think tank
flight emission back up (2)
gas (2) depend maximum
empty virtually wind up (2)
dull as usual minimum
global as a result responsible
bustle estimate business as usual
reduce boom (2) greenhouse (2)
set (2) lockdown cut/cut/cut (2)
canal threshold for some time
murky hot-spot begin/began/begun
raise the question


Video: Covid-19 and the Environment



Images from space. China’s air pollution shown in red, shrunk dramatically between December and March. Thick smoke has given way to blue skies.

Thanks to closed factories, reduced capacity power plants, and fewer cars on the roads, Beijing’s residents have been enjoying some unusually fresh, spring air.

And they’re not alone. The air in Europe is better too.

Depending on how long the crisis goes on for, the Agora Think Tank estimate’s that Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions could be forty percent (40%) lower this year than last year.

Tourist hot-spots are also enjoying some respite. Venice, normally bustling with over twenty million tourists each year, is virtually empty. The water in its many canals, usually dull and murky as a result of the many ships, is suddenly clear.

Aircraft are usually responsible for seven percent (7%) of global greenhouse gas emissions.

But the booming business is currently very un-booming. International flights have been reduced to a minimum. German carrier, Lufthansa for example, has cut ninety-percent (90%) of its long distance flights.

In many countries, lockdowns are set to continue for some time. Others are on the threshold of theirs.

China however is beginning to wind its economy back up again. And that raises the question: when the lockdowns end, will it be business as usual?



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1. The map in the beginning was 100% computer generated. True or false?

2. In early 2020, has air pollution increased, decreased or remained the same? How to Beijing residents feel about this?

3. Why has the amount of air pollution dropped?

4. Is this phenomenon or pattern been confined to China?

5. Venice, Italy has seen dramatic changes. Is this right or wrong?

6. Do only cars, trucks and buses produce greenhouse gases?

7. From now on, the skies, air, land and water will be clean and pure. Clean air, land and water will become a permanent fixture. Is this correct or incorrect?


A. Describe the air and water quality in your city or country in 2019.

B. Has the air and water quality changed noticeably in early 2020?

C. What is life in your city like now?

D. How do people feel about the current situation?

E. What might happen in the future?

F. Should people and governments do anything? What should they do?

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