Even as we watch the horrors daily inflicted on the Ukrainians, we have not been asked to change our daily habits in any way to be of help to them.



Before you read:

Replace the words in bold in the text with the words below:

surged            wage               knocking  off              acknowledged            cut      

hamper           conversion                 tyranny          bid                        inflicted

(…) even as we watch the horrors daily 1. imposed on the people of Ukraine, we have not been asked to change our daily habits in any way to be of help to them.

It is, for instance, widely 2. recognised at this point that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is financed by fossil fuel, and that Putin is exploiting his control of Europe’s oil and gas to 3. carry it on. Belatedly, Europeans seem to be waking up to their complicity; the Germans have announced plans to speed up their 4. transformation to renewable energy, and, on Saturday, President Emmanuel Macron, of France, eight days out from his reëlection 5. attempt, called on his nation to get off fossil fuel altogether.

President Biden did stop the importation of Russian oil to this country. But, because oil is traded on a world market, that hasn’t done much to 6. hinder Putin. Indeed, as oil prices have 7. grown around the world, Russia’s receipts from the oil that it can still sell have surged, too: the nation reports that its current account surplus nearly doubled in the first quarter of this year. In order for prices to fall, demand for all oil needs to be 8. reduced. Everyone who can work from home could continue to do so, at least on, say, Mondays, 9. reducing a day in the national commute. Carpools could be organized, taking special advantage of the fact that there are now two million electric cars on the road. More bike paths could be made available, and, when air-conditioning season begins, Americans could turn their thermostats up a degree. And we could be building and sending millions of electric heat pumps to Europe, and installing them in our own homes. As Ari Matusiak, the C.E.O. of Rewiring America, a nonprofit working on the transition to clean energy, and Senator Martin Heinrich, Democrat of New Mexico, recently wrote for the Hill, “For too long, we have wanted to help in the fight, but had no way into battle. Electrifying your home one machine at a time is today’s Victory Garden—a thing you can do to fight 10. despotism, inflation, and runaway emissions.”

Now read the article to check your answers:  https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/this-earth-day-we-could-be-helping-the-environment-and-ukraine


Key: 1. acknowledged; 2. inflicted; 3. wage; 4. conversion; 5. bid; 6. hamper; 7. surged; 8. cut




  • to dawn on – to begin to be understood or realized by (someone) for the first time
  • poignant – causing or having a very sharp feeling of sadness
  • riveting – extremely interesting and exciting, and it holds your attention completely
  • lurid – too brightly coloured
  • complicity – involvement in a crime or some activity that is wrong


Practice Makes Perfect

Read the first six paragraphs of the article:


and answer the questions below:

  • What are envionmentalists trying to do?
  • Why are the projects to reduce pollution criticised?
  • How are indigenous peoples described by the World Wildlife Fund and why?
  • What do some observers mean by saying: ”They’re talking the talk, but are they walking the walk?”
  • What is geographer Peter Vandergeest of York University in Toronto concerned about?
  • What would be “the biggest land grab of all time,” according to Tom B. K. Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network?




  • What are the biggest challenges facing Earth?
  • Is it possible to save the Earth, in your opinion?
  • What do you do in your life to care for the Earth?
  • What do you think is the most beautiful place on Earth?
  • Would you like to see the Earth from space?


Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!


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