Comprehension and Discussion Questions. 1. What type of economy did the West develop in the 20th century?

1. What type of economy did the West develop in the 20th century?

2. If the Western model of life were to become the global model, what do think of the consequences?

3. What are the principles of environmentally sustainable economy?

4. What types of new economies should be developed to keep up our further industrial progress?


Grammar Task

Read through the text, write out the left Noun Attributes (clusters). Prove your choice and translate the sentences into Russian.



Text III. Redefining Progress in Global Economy

At the start of the 21st century, many respected thinkers seem to believe that we are in for a period of inevitable economic and technological progress. Even the current economic crisis that has spread misery from Indonesia to Russia is seen as a brief pause in an unending upward climb for Homo sapiens. In a special double issue on the economy in the 21st century, Business Week ran a headline proclaiming, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”, forecasting even faster rates of economic progress in the century ahead. The magazine’s editors expect the global economy to ride a wave technology in the decades to come, solving all manner of social problem, as well as adding to the investment portfolios of its readers.

This view of the future, fueled by heady advances in technology, is particularly prevalent in the information industry. It reflects a new conception of the human species, one in which human societies are seen as free of dependence on the natural world. Our information-based economy is thought capable of evolving independently of the Earth’s ecosystem.

The complacency reflected in this view overlooks our continued dependence on the natural world and the profound vulnerabilities this represents. It concentrates on economic indicators while largely overlooking the environmental indicators that measure the Earth’s physical deterioration. This view is dangerous because it threatens to discourage the restructuring of the economy needed if economic progress is to continue. If we are to build an environmentally sustainable economy, we have to beyond traditional economic indicators of progress. If we put a computer in every home in the next century but also wipe out half of the world’s plant and animal species that would hardly be an economic success. And if we again quadruple the size of the global economy but many of us are hungrier than our hunter-gatherer ancestors, we will not be able to declare the 21st century success.

One of the first steps in redefining progress is to recognize that our generation is the first whose actions can affect the habitability of the planet for future generations. We have acquired this capacity not by conscious design but as a consequence of a global economy that is outgrowing its environmental support system. In effect, we have acquired the capacity to alter the Earth’s natural systems but have refused to accept responsibility for doing so. We live in a world that has an obsessive preoccupation with the present. Focused on quarterly profit-and-loss statements, we are behaving as though we had no children. In short, we have lost our sense of responsibility to future generations.

Parents everywhere are concerned about their children. In their efforts to ensure a better life for them, they invest in education and medical care. But unless we now assume responsibility for the evolution of the global economy, our short-term investments in our children’s future may not amount to much; our principal legacy to them would be a world that is deteriorating ecologically, declining economically, and disintegrating socially.

Building an environmentally sustainable global economy depends on a cooperative global effort. No country acting alone can stabilize its climate. No country acting alone can protect the diversity of life on Earth. No country acting alone can protect oceanic fisheries. These goals can be achieved only through cooperation that recognizes the interdependence of countries.                  

Vocabulary notes

inevitable –неизбежный, неотвратимый

misery –нищета, бедность

to forecast – предсказывать, делать прогноз

complacency –удовлетворённость

profound –глубокий

vulnerability [¸v٨lnərə'biliti] –уязвимость

dangerous –опасный

to threaten –угрожать

to discourage –препятствовать

to quadruple [kwodr٨pt] –учет верить

hunter-gatherer ancestors –предки, жившие охотой и собирательством

to redefine –по новому определить

habitability –пригодность для проживания

to acquire [ə'kwaiə] –приобретать

obsessive preoccupation –навязчивая озабоченность

quarterly –квартальный

profit-and-loss statements –сводки о доходах и убытках

to assume responsibility –принять на себя ответственность

legacy –наследие

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