I n most of our cities, the air is becoming dangerously full of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon. These substances are increasing threats to everyone’s health. To reduce the amount of monoxide and hydrocarbon, environmental protection groups in the US have proposed ways of limiting the use of automobiles. One way would be to make people use buses, trains, subway and other forms of mass transportation rather than private cars for much of their travel. It has been proposed that people be prevented from driving into the central business areas at least one day a week. It has also been proposed that cars be prevented from parking on certain streets in the city. Here are some letters from newspaper readers, each expressing the writer’s opinion of these proposals.

  • Just think what would happen in this city if on any Monday at 8 am, everyone who usually drives a car decided to use mass transportation and appeared on the nearest street corner; I think the city would have to provide almost 4.000 additional passenger buses to carry these people to their jobs.

Patrick J. Kelly

  • Trucks, buses and airplanes are worse polluters than the average well-kept automobile. But the individual car owner has no power to protect himself against government control. Unlike the airplanes and truck and bus companies, the motorist has no influence, so once again the individual cannot defend his rights against government control.

Joseph E. Barnes

  • What can we do to reduce air pollution? For one thing, we can forget our love affair with the automobile and find other means of transportation which may not be quite as convenient as the auto but would be less expensive and less harmful to the environment. We may learn to like once we try it. It may encourage the development of more satisfactory high-speed mass transportation systems, too. Besides, consider the benefit to your nerves. You’ll avoid fighting rush-hour traffic and you’ll have more time to read the newspaper while letting the bus driver worry about taking you home safely. And think of the many interesting people you’ll see and meet on the way.

Edward D. Riis A. Answer the questions .

  1. What are the propositions made by the American environmentalists to fight air pollution?
  2. Is Patrick J. Kelly for the use of mass transportation? Justify your answer.
  3. How does Edward D. Riis defend his argument that approves the use of public transportation?

B. What do the underlined words in the text refer to?

  1. their
  2. I
  3. himself

C. Match the two halves together.

  1. parking 1. groups
  2. environmentalist 2. rights
  3. individual 3. areas

D. Use the suitable collocations of exercise C to complete the paragraph. In order to protect American cities from being polluted, American _______________ _______________ suggest that American people should use public transportation instead of their cars and not park their vehicles on certain _______________ _______________.


Exercise A

  1. The propositions made by the American environmentalists to protect American cities from being polluted are …
  • the use of mass transportation such as buses and trains
  • preventing people from driving into the central business areas at least one day a week
  • preventing people from parking on certain streets in the city
  1. No, he is not. He thinks there are a lot of people but only a few buses.
  2. Edward D. Riis believes that the use of public transportation is beneficial because people will …
  • avoid rush hour traffic
  • have more time to read their newspapers
  • meet daily interesting companions

Exercise B

  1. ‘their’ refers to American people.
  2. ‘I’ refers to Patrick J. Kelly.
  3. ‘himself’ refers to individual.

Exercise C

  • parking areas
  • environmentalist groups
  • individual rights