Reading Comprehension Practice Set 37


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Reading Comprehension Practice Set 37



Economists have rightly emphasised the risks to globalization from economic and financial instability. But they have ignored environmental destruction, and the resulting global warming which is now the central global concern. Fast-growing middle-income nations, such as China, Malaysia and India, have a big stake in globalisation – and therefore, in confronting this environmental danger. Their rise has been tied to globalisation. They have doubled their trade in the past decade, and by liberalising commercial policies, have also helped others gain. To China; Indonesia as well as India, environmental outcomes have a special significance. They possess 60% of the world‘s freshwater resources, 60% of the forests, much of the coral reefs,‘ and valuable bio-diversity. But they also face massive degradation of air, forest, land, freshwater, and marine resources, with the rise in population, adding up to high cost. The atmosphere concentration of carbon dioxide reached 379 parts per million in 2005 compared to a pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. Scientists concur that to avoid massive climatic instability, the change in global temperature ought not to be more than 2° C above preindustrial levels. To secure that outcome with some certainty, the concentration of carbon .dioxide needs to stay below 400 ppm. Rich countries like the United States, Japan, and the European nations are by far the most irresponsible for this and other greenhouse gas emissions in per capita terms. So they must propel mitigation measures to improve energy efficiency and protect the environment. But middle-income countries now account for half of all emissions, and they would not want to emulate the poor example set by rich countries. In Brazil, China and India, air and water pollution is severely impairing people‘s health and productivity in the workplace with a direct impact on growth prospects. Moreover, globalisation has speeded the spill over of these damages. Growth fuelled by energy-intensive industry, urban crowding, and deforestation has added to atmospheric concentrations of carbon, warming land and ocean and bringing extreme weather. In turn, climate change threatens to erode coastlines and provoke droughts and floods, in rich countries and poor. A clear link is emerging between deforestation and soil degradation on the one side, and the fastest rising natural disasters, which are floods and wind storms, on the other. Societal benefits of abating high levels of emissions far outweigh the costs of doing so. Yet economists and policy, makers have not drawn the implication of this calculus for the reform agenda, be it in trade, energy or infrastructure. Sadly, the costs of such neglect are large. Also, no country, rich or poor, has enough motivation to confront global problems alone. Because only a part of the benefits of addressing those problems would accrue to countries taking action, while others could have a free ride. The gains are also spread over time, beyond the horizon of politicians‘ interest. Such situations call for collective action, even if they are not easy when many diverse countries are involved. The crucial question is how best countries might participate in collective measures to mitigate environmental threats to growth. One opening involves avoiding deforestation. Cutting down forests accounts for a fifth of the emissions, more than those from all transportation. By protecting their forests, countries can reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere, paving the way for new markets for tradable emission permits that would compensate them for the protection. Whether and how quickly the environment is accorded top priority will determine the future, of the world economy.

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Questions based on Passage

1.Which of the following is TRUE in the context of the passage? .

(a) Pollution from vehicles is the single greatest contributor to global warming.

(b) The rise of middle-income countries has doubled the levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

(c) China and India have the motivation but not sufficient influence to implement environmental reform.

(d) Urban crowding has resulted in extreme weather conditions.

(e) To reduce climate instability global temperature should be just below or at pre-industrial levels.

2. The author‘s main objective in writing the passage is to

(a) exhort scientists to provide feasible solutions to stop climate change.

(b) warn politicians not to disregard the threat of economic instability while focusing on environmental challenges.

(c) coerce middle-income countries into taking some initiative in bringing about environmental reform.


(d) criticise the citizens of rich countries for not pressurising their governments to do more to protect the environment.

(e) urge countries to take the threat of global warming seriously and to take necessary steps to address the problem.

3. Which of the following is NOT an impact of global warming?

(A) Countries have begun to invest heavily in the alternative energy industry.

(B) Productivity of the work force has diminished on account of the failing health of the employees.

(C) Rich countries have undertaken research to prevent natural disasters despite deforestation.

(a) Only A

(b) Both A & C

(c) Both B & C

(d) Only C

(e) None of these

4. What role should the US play in slowing down environmental destruction?

(a) Compromise on funding of scientific research into alternative energy sources.

(b) Create a forum for nations to arrive at a consensus on how to deal with environmental threats.

(c) Bring pressure on middle-income countries to draft an environmental policy.

(d) Restrict trade with countries not complying with universal measures to combat global warming.

(e) None of these

5. According to the author, why are politicians reluctant to formulate environmental reform?

(A) The expenditure on implementing environmental reform does not justify the benefits.

(B) Economic stability is a more pressing concern for countries today.

(C) The impact of these policies will only be felt in the long run which does not benefit them politically.

(a) Only C

(b) Both A & B

(c) Only A

(d) All A, B, C

(e) None of these

6. According to the author, which of the following is a likely outcome of neglecting environmental reform?

(a) Globalisation will take place at a faster pace because of few restrictions.

(b) Politicians in many countries will be voted out of power for neglecting these reforms.

(c) Poor countries rather than rich ones will bear the brunt of natural disasters.

(d) Potential for future economic growth is threatened ..

(e) Concentration of carbon will reach pre-industrial levels.

7. Which of the following is a means to reduce the environmental threat to growth?

(A) Governments should conduct a cost-benefit analysis of various environmental protection measures and implement those which are cost-efficient.

(B) Participation of all countries in arriving at a consensus on measures necessary to combat environmental challenges to growth

(C) Scientists not economists should determine the risks to globalisation.

(a) None

(b) Only B

(c) Both A & B

(d) All A, B & C

(e) None of these

8. What is the view of scientists on the current climate change?

(a) Rich countries are solely responsible for global warming.

(b) Pre-industrial levels of carbon concentration are unachievable.

(c) Controlling rise in global temperature is possible by maintaining carbon concentration below a certain level.

(d) Massive climate instability is unavoidable and the focus should be on measures to cope with the fallout.

(e) None of these

9. What impact has globalisation had on India?

(a) It has exacerbated the fallout of environmental degradation.

(b) Its economic benefits are not felt by all its citizens.

(c) India has ignored infrastructure development.

(d) Professionals have left to seek better employment in foreign countries.

(e) None of these

10. Which of the following factors has contributed to global warming?

(A) Failure to provide incentives to poor countries to implement environmental policies .

(B) Sanctioning tradeable emission permits.

(C) Environmental policies adopted by rich countries have not been successful in middle-income countries.

(a) None

(b) Both A & B

(c) Only C

(d) Both A & C

(e) None of these

Directions (11-13): Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.


(a) relaxing

(b) alleviating

(c) varying

(d) intensifying

(e) contracting


(a) perspective

(b) chance

(c) support

(d) gamble

(e) share


(a) cause

(b) inspire

(c) exasperate

(d) irritate

(e) tempt Directions (14-15): Choose the word which is most OPPOSITE in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage.


(a) sanction

(b) collapse

(c) discourage

(d) abhor

(e) deplete


(a) copy

(b) fake

(c) replace

(d) originate

(e) rival


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Answer Key

1. (d) 2. (e) 3. (e) 4. (b) 5. (a) 6. (d) 7. (b) 8. (c) 9. (e) 10. (a) 11. (b) 12. (e) 13. (a) 14. (c) 15. (d)

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