smog 2



honor register unenviable
envy cloud (2) heavy (2)
toxic extreme hanging over
planet average all the way
border struggle mount (4)
air swathe livelihood
cough symptom consider (2)
afford abroad sweep (2)
rather scale (3) hazardous
impact official renewable
pledge caution skepticism
source reliance anytime soon
coal dominant generation (2)
level measure grow/grew/grown





Welcome to Shijiazhuang, a city a little less than 300 kilometers from Beijing, and one over the past month has had the rather unenviable honor of being China’s most polluted.

In fact by some measures, it is the most polluted city on the planet, over that period.

Of course, it is just an extreme example of problem affecting a huge swathe of northern China at the moment, with a pollution cloud hanging over this country from the Russian border in the far northeast all the way down to the central cities of Chongching and Chungdu, a sweep of a few thousand kilometers.

Of course, underneath the cloud lives hundreds of millions of people, and they are currently struggling with the impact of this toxic air on their lives and their livelihoods.

Resident one: “It can be completely dark, as if you’re walking in the clouds. The smog impacts my children’s health — coughing is the usual symptom.”

I’ve heard some people say they are considering leaving Shijiazhuang, moving to the south of China. Have you ever thought of doing the same?

Resident two: “Of course I want to leave, but I cannot afford to. I live here. The whole city and the whole country is polluted.

You have to go abroad.”

Over the past thirty days, the average air quality level in this city has registered as hazardous on the official scale.

And it’s mounting public anger across China; the government is pledging to clean up the air and investing heavily in renewable technology.

But there are good reasons for caution and some skepticism: the two main sources for all of this toxic smog are the heavy reliance on coal as the dominant form of power generation and the high and still growing levels of car ownership.

And neither of those things are set to change any time soon.

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1. Beijing is the most polluted city in China. True or false?

2. Is pollution a serious problem throughout the whole of China?

3. The smog looks similar to clouds. Is this right or wrong? Does it have a major or minor impact on people’s lives?

4. Do some or many people want to move out of Shijiazhuang? Where do they want to move to?

5. How do the residents feel about all this pollution?

6. Why is there so much pollution?
7. The government has promised to reduce air pollution. Is this correct or incorrect? Is this probable?


A. Is smog and air pollution a major problem in your city?

B. What are the causes or sources of pollution?

C. Do people complain about smog or are they fatalistic about it?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. What is the solution to air pollution?


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