Singapore has for a while had o scheme that forces drivers to buy a badge if they wish to visit a certain part of the city. Electronic innovations make possible increasing sophistication: rates can vary according to road conditions, time of day and so on. Singapore is advancing in this direction, with a city-wide network of transmitters to collect information and charge drivers as they pass certain points. Such road-pricing, however, can be controversial. When the local government in Cambridge, England, considered introducing Singaporean techniques, it faced vocal and ultimately successful opposition.
The scope of the problem facing the world’s cities is immense. In 1992, the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Health Organisation (WHO) concluded that all of a sample of twenty megacities - places likely to have more than ten million inhabitants in the year 2000 - already exceeded the level the WHO deems healthy in at least one major pollutant. Two-thirds of them exceeded the guidelines for two, seven for three or more.
Of the six pollutants monitored by the WHO - carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, lead and particulate matter - it is this last category that is attracting the most attention from health researchers. PM10, a sub-category of particulate matter measuring ten-millionths of a metre across, has been implicated in thousands of deaths a year in Britain alone. Research being conducted in two counties of Southern California is reaching similarly disturbing conclusions concerning this little- understood pollutant.
A world-wide rise in allergies, particularly asthma, over the past four decades is now said to be linked with increased air pollution. The lungs and brains of children who grow up in polluted air offer further evidence of its destructive power The old and ill, however, are the most vulnerable to the acute effects of heavily polluted stagnant air. It con actually hasten death, os it did in December 1991 when a cloud of exhaust fumes lingered over the city of London for over a week.
The United Nations has estimated that in the year 2000 there will be twenty-four mega- cities and a further eighty-five cities of more than three million people. The pressure on public officials, corporations and urban citizens to reverse established trends in air pollution is likely to grow in proportion with the growth of cities themselves. Progress is being made. The question, though, remains the same: ‘Will change happen quickly enough?’
Look at the following solutions (Questions 1-5) and locations. Match each solution with one location.
Write the appropriate locations in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet. NB You may use any location more than once.
Singapore Tokyo London New York Mexico City Cambridge Los Angeles
1 Manufacturers must sell cleaner cars. 1.....................
2 Authorities want to have power to enforce anti-pollution laws.2.....................
3 Drivers will be charged according to the roads they use. 3.....................
4 Moving vehicles will be monitored for their exhaust emissions.4.....................
5 Commuters are encouraged to share their vehicles with others.5.....................
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage? In boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet write
YES if the statement reflects the claims of the writer NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
6..................... According to British research, a mere twelve per cent of vehicles tested produced over fifty per cent of total pollution produced by the sample group.
7..................... It is currently possible to measure the pollution coming from individual vehicles whilst they are moving.
8..................... Residents of Los Angeles are now tending to reduce the yearly distances they travel by car.
9..................... Car-pooling has steadily become more popular in Los Angeles in recent years.
10..................... Charging drivers for entering certain parts of the city has been successfully done in Cambridge, England.
Choose the appropriate letters A—D and write them in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.
11 How many pollutants currently exceed WHO guidelines in all megacities studied? A one
C three D seven
12 Which pollutant is currently the subject of urgent research? A nitrogen dioxide
D particulate matter
13 Which of the following groups of people are the most severely affected by intense air pollution?
A allergy sufferers
C the old and ill
D asthma sufferers