National Parks and Climate Change
A National parks nature reserves, protected areas and sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) are an important part of the natural landscape in most countries. Their habitat and terrains vary massively from tundra and glacier parks in the north to wetlands in Europe, steppes in central and Eastern Europe, and prairie grasslands and deserts in other areas virtually all kinds of landscape are protected somewhere. And these protected areas are important for the variety of plant and animal life they harbour: caribou, bears, wolves, rare types of fish and birds.
B But these areas are under threat from a recent peril – global climate change. No amount of legislation in any one country can protect against a worldwide problem. What exactly are the problems caused by climate change? David Woodward, head of the British Council for Nature Conservation, spoke to Science Now’ about some of these areas, and his first point highlighted the enormous variation in nature reserves
C “Each park or reserve is an ecosystem,” he says, “and the larger reserves, such as those in Canada, may have several types of ecological subsystems within it. There are reserves which are half the size of Western Europe, so it doesn’t make sense to talk about them as if they were all the same or as if the microclimates within them were uniform,” Woodward outlines some of the dangers posed by climatic change to parks in the northern Americas, for example.
D “If climatic change is severe, and in particular if the change is happening as quickly as it is at the moment, then the boundaries of the park no longer make much sense. A park that was designated as a protected area 90 years ago may suffer such change in its climate that the nature of it changes too. It will no longer contain the animal and plant life that it did. So the area which once protected, say. A species of reindeer or a type of scenery, will have changed. In effect, you lose the thing you were trying to protect.” This effect has already been seen in Canada, where parks which once contained glaciers have seen the glaciers melted by global warming.
E Jennie Lindstrom, Chief Executive Officer of H2O, the charity which campaigns on an international level on behalf of mainland Europe’s protected wetland and wilderness areas, is even more pessimistic. In a letter to Science Now, she has asserted that up to 70% of such areas are already experiencing such “significant change. In climate ’ that the distribution patterns of flora and fauna are changing, and that all areas will eventually be affected. She estimates that the most profound change is occurring in the northernmost parks in areas such as Finland, Greenland, Iceland and northern Russia but adds that “there is no place which will not suffer the effects of global warming What we are seeing is a massive change in the environment – and that means the extinction of whole species, as well as visual and structural changes which means that areas like the Camargue may literally look totally different in 50 or 60 years’ time.”
F The problems are manifold. First, it is difficult or impossible to predict which areas are most in need of help – that is, which areas are in most danger. Predicting climate change is even more unreliable than predicting the weather. Secondly, there is a sense that governments in most areas are apathetic towards a problem which may not manifest itself until long after that government’s term of office has come to an end in poor areas, of course, nature conservation is low on the list of priorities compared to, say employment or health. Third, and perhaps most important, even in areas where there is both the political will and the financial muscle to do something about the problem, it is hard to know just what to do. Maria Colehill of Forestlife, an American conservation body, thinks that in the case of climate change, the most we can realistically do is monitor the situation and allow for the changes that we cannot prevent, while lobbying governments internationally to make the changes to the pollution laws, for example, that will enable us to deal with the causes of the problem. “I am despondent.” she admits. “I have no doubt that a lot of the work we are doing on behalf of the North American lynx, for example, will be wasted The animal itself can live in virtually any environment where there are few humans, but of course its numbers are small. If climate change affects the other animal life in the areas where it now lives, if the food chain changes, then the lynx will be affected too. Less food for the lynx means fewer lynxes, or lynxes with nowhere to go.”
G Certainly, climate change is not going to go away overnight. It is estimated that fossil fuels burnt in the 1950s will still be affecting our climate in another 30 years, so the charges will continue for some time after that If we want to protect the remnants of our wild landscapes for future generations, the impetus for change must come from the governments of the world.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 1 – 7 on your answer sheet write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage
1 Every country has protected areas or national parks.
2 Countries can protect their parks by changing their laws.
3 A protected area or park can contain many different ecosystems.
4 David Woodward thinks that Canadian parks will all be different in 90 years.
5 Canada, more than any other country, has felt the effects of global warming.
6 H2O works to protect wetlands everywhere.
7 Some parts of the world will feel the results of global warming more than others.
Complete the summary below. Choose your answers from the box below the summary and write them in boxes 8 -13 on the answer sheet. There are more words than spaces, so you will not use all the given words.
There are (8)……………………in attempting to stop the effects of (9)……………………… One is the problem of predicting change. Another is a lack of (10) …………………….. to change the situation; most governments’ interest in the problem is limited because the problem will not become very serious (11)…………………………Finally, there is the problem of what action we should actually take. One solution is both to keep an eye on the situation as it develops, and to push for changes (12)………………………. Even if we do this, the problem is not going to (13)……………………., since it takes a considerable time for global warming to happen.
Questions 14 and 15
Reading Passage 1 has seven paragraphs A – G. Which paragraphs state the following information? Write the appropriate letters A -G in boxes 14 and 15 on your answer sheet.
14 All areas of the world are likely to be affected by global climate changes………….
15 Remedies for global warming will not reverse these trends immediately…………….
The Truth About Art
Modem art has had something of a bad press recently – or, to be more precise, it has always had a bad press in certain newspapers and amongst certain sectors of the public. In the public mind, it seems, art (that is, graphic art — pictures – and spatial art – sculpture) is divided into two broad categories. The first is “classic” art, by which is meant representational painting, drawing and sculpture; the second is “modem” art, also known as “abstract” or “non-representational”. British popular taste runs decidedly in favour of the former, if one believes a recent survey conducted by Sir Bruce McGowen, owner of the Tarn Gallery and Workshops in Suffolk, and one of Britain’s most influential artistic commentators. He found that the “man (or woman) in the street” has a distrust of cubism, abstracts, sculptures made of hicks and all types of so-called “found” art, He likes Turner and Constable, the great representatives of British watercolour and oil painting respectively, or the French Impressionists, and his taste for statues is limited to the realistic figures of the great and good that litter the British landscape – Robin Hood in Nottingham and Oliver Cromwell outside the Houses of Parliament, This everyman does not believe in primary colours, abstraction and geometry in nature – the most common comment is that such-and-such a painting is “something a child could have done”
Maurice Coates, director of the Buckinghamshire Galleries in Windsor, which specialises in modem painting, agrees. “Look around you at what ‘art’ is available every day,” he says. “Our great museums and galleries specialise in work which is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It may be representational, it may be ‘realistic’ in one sense, but a lot of it wouldn’t make it into the great European galleries. Britain has had maybe two or three major world painters in the last 1000 years, so we make up the space with a lot of second-rate material.”
Coates believes that our ignorance of what “modem art” is has been caused by this lack of exposure to truly great art. He compares the experience of the average British city-dweller with that of a citizen of Italy, France or Spain.
“Of course, we don’t appreciate any kind of art in the same way because of the paucity of good art in Britain. We don ’t have galleries of the quality of those in Madrid, Paris, Versailles, Florence, New York or even some places in Russia. We distrust good art – by which I mean both modern and traditional artistic forms – because we don’t have enough of it to learn about it. In other countries, people are surrounded by it from birth. Indeed they lake it as a birthright, and are proud of it. The British tend to be suspicious of it. It’s not valued here.”
Not all agree. Jane Forrester, who runs the Hampshire Art House, believes that while the British do not have the same history of artistic experience as many European countries, their senses are as finely attuned to art as anyone else’s.
“Look at what sells – in the great art auction houses, in greetings cards, in posters. Look at what’s going on in local amateur art classes up and down the country. Of course, the British are not the same as other countries, but that’s true of all nationalities. The French artistic experience and outlook is not the same as the Italian. In Britain, we have artistic influences from all over the world. There’s the Irish, Welsh, and Scottish influences, as well as Caribbean, African and European, We also have strong links with the Far East, in particular the Indian subcontinent. All these influences come to bear in creating a British artistic outlook. There’s this tendency to say that British people only want garish pictures of clowns crying or ships sailing into battle, and that anything new or different is misunderstood. That’s not my experience at all. The British public is poorly educated in art, but that’s not the same as being uninterested in it.”
Forrester points to Britain’s long tradition of visionary artists such as William Blake, the London engraver and poet who died in 1827. Artists like Blake tended to be one-offs rather than members of a school, and their work is diverse and often word- based so it is difficult to export.
Perhaps, as ever, the truth is somewhere in between these two opinions. It is true that visits to traditional galleries like the National and the National Portrait Gallery outnumber attendance at more modern shows, but this is the case in every country except Spain, perhaps because of the influence of the two most famous non-traditional Spanish painters of the 20th century, Picasso and Dali. However, what is also true is that Britain has produced a long line of individual artists with unique, almost unclassifiable styles such as Blake, Samuel Palmer and Henry Moore.
Classify the following statements as referring to
A Sir Bruce McGowen
B Maurice Coates
C Jane Forrester
D None of the above
Write the appropriate letters A – D in boxes 16 – 24 on your answer sheet.
16 British people don’t appreciate art because they don’t see enough art around them all the time.
17 British museums aim to appeal to popular tastes in art.
18 The average Englishman likes the works of Turner and Constable.
19 Britain, like every other country, has its own view of what art is.
20 In Britain, interest in art is mainly limited to traditional forms such as representational painting.
21 Art in France and Italy has been affected by other cultures.
22 Galleries in other countries are of better quality than those in Britain.
23 People are not raised to appreciate art.
24 The British have a limited knowledge of art.
Questions 25 – 27
For questions 25 – 27, choose the best answers, A, B, C or D, according to the information in the text. Write your answers in boxes 25 – 27 on your answer sheet.
25 Many British artists
A are engravers or poets
B are great but liked only in Britain
C do not belong to a school or general trend
D are influenced by Picasso and Dali
26 “Classic” art can be described as
A sentimental, realistic paintings with geometric shapes
B realistic paintings with primary colours
C abstract modern paintings and sculptures
D realistic, representational pictures and sculptures
27 In Spain people probably enjoy modern art because
A their artists have a classifiable style
B the most renowned modern artists are Spanish
C they attend many modern exhibitions
D they have different opinions on art
Australian Aborigines Demand Return of Remains
As a former British colony, Australia has close cultural and historical links with the United Kingdom, due to the British and Irish settlers who arrived in droves in the 19th and 20th centuries. One aspect of this contact is the role of Britain, and British archeologists and collectors, in taking Aboriginal bones, relics and artifacts from Australia to museums and collections in the UK. Now leaders of the indigenous people of Australia, the Aborigines, are demanding that any aboriginal remains in the UK are returned to Australia.
In 19th century Britain, there was a mania for collecting all kinds of objects from other countries. These were sent home, where they were kept in museums such as the British Museum and the Natural History Museum. Museums in the UK have a huge number of such objects – objects which, say protesters, were basically stolen during Britain’s long colonial history, with little or no regard for the feelings or rights of the people to whom the objects originally belonged.
Now the Australian Prime Minister is supporting Aboriginal calls for the objects and remains to be returned to their original home. A spokesman for the Aboriginal Council of New South Wales, Stevie McCoy, said: “The bones do not belong abroad. They belong here. This is about beliefs, and a traditional Aboriginal belief is that our ancestors can only find peace if their remains are buried in the homeland.”
There are certainly lots of Aboriginal remains in the UK, although their exact locations are not entirely clear. What is known is that, between them, the British Museum and the Natural History Museum have some 2000-2500 artifacts composed of human remains, although the museums point out that only about 500 of these are of Aboriginal origin. Dr William Cowell Bell, for the London Museum Association, adds that “A lot of the objects are not human remains in their original form, but are made out of human remains. These include decorated skulls and bones from which charms and amulets have been created.” A smaller number of similar artifacts are known to be held in collections in Oxford and Cambridge.
There is some sensitivity to Aboriginal demands in the archeological world. Lady Amanda Spurway, life president of the Glover Museum in London, says that the museum has had its small collection of Aboriginal remains packed ready for return for a decade, and is only waiting for information about where they must go.
The National College of Surgeons says it will return the remains of any individual who can be named (although it is obviously difficult to put names to them after such a long time). This growing sensitivity to the hitherto ignored rights of indigenous peoples around the world has caused some relics to be restored to their original country, particularly in Scotland, where a group of Aboriginal remains has already been returned. Edinburgh University has returned skulls and bones to Tasmania and New Zealand.
One problem, according to legal expert Ewan Mather, is that the law allowing museums to decide what to do with these objects is more relaxed in Scotland. English museums, on the other hand, are not allowed (either by law or by the groups of trustees who run them) to just hand back remains of their own accord. However, British supporters of the Aborigines claim that such restrictive laws are inhumane in the modern world, and that it would be a simple enough matter to change them in order to allow the items to be returned.
A further objection to handing back relics is because of their scientific value claim some museum directors. Dr Bell believes that the size of the collection in the Natural History Museum in Lincoln made it a very valuable resource in the analysis of the way of life of Aborigines, and could be used to study the origin and development of the people. Breaking up the collection might mean that such knowledge could tie lost forever.
Aboriginal groups, however, respond by pointing out that the scientific importance of the remains has to be seen against a backdrop of human rights. “I doubt whether the British government would allow several thousand bones of British soldiers to be used for ‘scientific purposes’ in any other country,” said Stevie McCoy, with a hint of irony. “Would the families allow it? I think there would be a public outcry, no matter how- old the remains were. This practice [of taking bones and human remains] went on from the first moment the white man came to Australia right up to the early part of the 20th century. It is a scandal.”
The British government, meanwhile, has announced that it will set up a working party to discuss the possibility of changes to the law. This might allow’ museums to negotiate on their own with Aboriginal and other groups around the world.
Choose the two best answers according to the text, and write the letters A-E in boxes 28 – 30 on your answer sheet
28 The Aboriginal demand that bones be returned to Australia is based on which TWO ideas?
A The rightful place for the remains is Australia
B Britain had no right to take the remains.
C The remains have religious significance for Aborigines
D Some remains have already been returned
E They believe the remains must be returned to their ancestors to find peace
29 Which TWO factors might cause problems when it comes to returning the remains?
A Scottish and English law does not allow museums to return objects
B It is not clear what will happen to the remains once they have been returned
C The remains are scientifically important and need to be studied
D Not all the Australian artifacts are human remains
E Some museums do not have the right to return objects to their countries of origin
30 Which TWO points may help to speed up the process of returning the remains?
A The British government is going to discuss the return of Aboriginal items
B Some items have already been returned to their countries of origin
C There is already some sympathy to the Aborigines’ claims in the world of archeology
D Not all the Australian artifacts are human remains
E The remains have religious significance for Aborigines
Classify the following opinions as referring to
A The National College of Surgeons
B Stevie McCoy
C Dr William Cowell Bell
D Lady Amanda Spurway
E Ewan Mather
F None of the above
Write the appropriate letter A – F in boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet
31 No country would allow the bones of its citizens to be used for scientific purposes in another country
32 The Glover Museum is ready to return its Aboriginal bones
33 Australian remains are a useful resource for scientific study.
34 It would be a problem to accurately identify the human remains.
35 Most Aboriginal remains in Britain have been made into artifacts.
36 Discrepancies in the laws of different countries can hinder the return of relics.
Questions 37 – 40
Complete the following paragraph based on information in Reading Passage 3 using ONE or TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 37 – 40 on your answer sheet.
Aborigines believe that the remains should be returned for a number of reasons. First is the fact that the relics were taken during the period when Australia was a (37)……………………….The Aborigine belief that their ancestors can only (38)……………………….if their bones are returned is a further factor. Thirdly, the restitution of the remains is an issue of human rights. However, objectors who oppose the return of the artifacts point out that not only is there a (39)………………………..problem, but also that the remains constitute an important (40)…………………….. in studying the lifestyle of the Aborigines.
4. not given
5. not given
8. many problems
9. global warming
10. governmental willingess
11. for many years
13. go away overnight
28. A & E
29. C & E
30. B & C
37. british colony
38. find peace
Academic Reading Practice Tests
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