Уровень сложности: средний
Passengers of Earth: we are on a spaceship which is called “Earth”. It is time for you to hear the annual report on the state of our ship. As you know, we are flying through space at about 107 000 km/hr on a fixed course. Although we can never return to home base to take on new supplies, the ship has a reliable life-support system. The system uses solar energy to provide us with water, air and food.
Let me briefly sum up the state of our passengers and our life-support system. There are about 6 billion of us on board, with more than 150 nations occupying various sections of the craft. About 25% of us have taken good places in the tourist and first-class sections, and they have about 80% of all available resources. In fact, most of the North Americans have the best places. Even though they represent only about 5% of our total population, they consumed about 35% of last year’s resources.
I am sad to say that things have not really improved this year for 75% of our passengers travelling in the hold.
Over one third of us are suffering from hunger, malnutrition, or both, and three quarters of us do not have adequate water or shelter. At the same time, the North America consumes 25 to 50 times as much as others, and causes 25 to 50 times more pollution than other sections.
Passengers of Earth, we are now entering early stages of our first major spaceship crisis — a crisis of pollution, resource depletion, and danger of mass destruction by inter-group wars. Our best experts agree that the situation on this ship is serious, but certainly not hopeless. On the contrary, they feel that it is well within man’s ability to learn how to control pollution and resource consumption, and to learn how to live together in co-operation and peace. But we have only 30 to 50 years to deal with these matters, and we must begin now.
(текст взят из книги 2000-го года)
annual — ежегодный, годовой
supplies — запасы
reliable — надежный
to provide — обеспечить
available — имеющийся в наличии
to represent — представлять
solar — солнечный
lavish — щедрый, расточительный
hold — трюм
malnutrition — плохое, неправильное питание
shelter — кров
to cause — вызывать, причинять
depletion — истощение
destruction — разрушение
on the contrary — напротив
to deal (with) — иметь дело (с)
matter — вопрос