READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Since the early eighties we have been only too aware of the devastating effects of large-scale environmental pollution. Such pollution is generally the result of poor government planning in many developing nations or the short-sighted, selfish policies of the already industrialised countries which encourage a minority of the world’s population to squander the majority of its natural resources.
While events such as the deforestation of the Amazon jungle or the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl continue to receive high media exposure, as do acts of environmental sabotage, it must be remembered that not all pollution is on this grand scale. A large proportion of the world’s pollution has its source much closer to home. The recent spillage of crude oil from an oil tanker accidentally discharging its cargo straight into Sydney Harbour not only caused serious damage to the harbour foreshores but also created severely toxic fumes which hung over the suburbs for days and left the angry residents wondering how such a disaster could have been allowed to happen.
Avoiding pollution can be a fulltime job. Try not to inhale traffic fumes; keep away from chemical plants and building-sites; wear a mask when cycling. It is enough to make you want to stay at home. But that, according to a growing body of scientific evidence, would also be a bad idea. Research shows that levels of pollutants such as hazardous gases, particulate matter and other chemical ‘nasties’ are usually higher indoors than out, even in the most polluted cities. Since the average American spends 18 hours indoors for every hour outside, it looks as though many environmentalists may be attacking the wrong target.
The latest study, conducted by two environmental engineers, Richard Corsi and Cynthia Howard-Reed, of the University of Texas in Austin, and published in Environmental Science and Technology, suggests that it is the process of keeping clean that may be making indoor pollution worse. The researchers found that baths, showers, dishwashers and washing machines can all be significant sources of indoor pollution, because they extract trace amounts of chemicals from the water that they use and transfer them to the air.
Nearly all public water supplies contain very low concentrations of toxic chemicals, most of them left over from the otherwise beneficial process of chlorination. Dr. Corsi wondered whether they stay there when water is used, or whether they end up in the air that people breathe. The team conducted a series of experiments in which known quantities of five such chemicals were mixed with water and passed through a dishwasher, a washing machine, a shower head inside a shower stall or a tap in a bath, all inside a specially designed chamber. The levels of chemicals in the effluent water and in the air extracted from the chamber were then measured to see how much of each chemical had been transferred from the water into the air.
The degree to which the most volatile elements could be removed from the water, a process known as chemical stripping, depended on a wide range of factors, including the volatility of the chemical, the temperature of the water and the surface area available for transfer. Dishwashers were found to be particularly effective: the high-temperature spray, splashing against the crockery and cutlery, results in a nasty plume of toxic chemicals that escapes when the door is opened at the end of the cycle.
In fact, in many cases, the degree of exposure to toxic chemicals in tap water by inhalation is comparable to the exposure that would result from drinking the stuff. This is significant because many people are so concerned about water-borne pollutants that they drink only bottled water, worldwide sales of which are forecast to reach $72 billion by next year. Dr. Corsi’s results suggest that they are being exposed to such pollutants anyway simply by breathing at home.
The aim of such research is not, however, to encourage the use of gas masks when unloading the washing. Instead, it is to bring a sense of perspective to the debate about pollution. According to Dr. Corsi, disproportionate effort is wasted campaigning against certain forms of outdoor pollution, when there is as much or more cause for concern indoors, right under people’s noses.
Using gas cookers or burning candles, for example, both result in indoor levels of carbon monoxide and particulate matter that are just as high as those to be found outside, amid heavy traffic. Overcrowded classrooms whose ventilation systems were designed for smaller numbers of children frequently contain levels of carbon dioxide that would be regarded as unacceptable on board a submarine. ‘New car smell’ is the result of high levels of toxic chemicals, not cleanliness. Laser printers, computers, carpets and paints all contribute to the noxious indoor mix.
The implications of indoor pollution for health are unclear. But before worrying about the problems caused by large-scale industry, it makes sense to consider the small-scale pollution at home and welcome international debate about this. Scientists investigating indoor pollution will gather next month in Edinburgh at the Indoor Air conference to discuss the problem. Perhaps unwisely, the meeting is being held indoors.
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
1. In the first paragraph, the writer argues that pollution ..........
A has increased since the eighties.
B is at its worst in industrialised countries.
C results from poor relations between nations.
D is caused by human self-interest.
2. The Sydney Harbour oil spill was the result of a ..........
A ship refuelling in the harbour.
B tanker pumping oil into the sea.
C collision between two oil tankers.
D deliberate act of sabotage.
3. In the 3rd paragraph the writer suggests that ..........
A people should avoid working in cities.
B Americans spend too little time outdoors.
C hazardous gases are concentrated in industrial suburbs.
D there are several ways to avoid city pollution.
4. The Corsi research team hypothesised that ..........
A toxic chemicals can pass from air to water.
B pollution is caused by dishwashers and baths.
C city water contains insufficient chlorine.
D household appliances are poorly designed.
5. Asa result of their experiments, Dr Corsi’s team found that ..........
A dishwashers are very efficient machines.
B tap water is as polluted as bottled water.
C indoor pollution rivals outdoor pollution.
D gas masks are a useful protective device.
6. Regarding the dangers of pollution, the writer believes that ..........
A there is a need for rational discussion.
B indoor pollution is a recent phenomenon.
C people should worry most about their work environment.
D industrial pollution causes specific diseases.
Reading Passage 1 describes a number of cause and effect relationships.
Match each Cause (Questions 7-13) in List A with its Effect (A-J) in List B.
Write the appropriate letters (A-J) in boxes 7-13 on your answer sheet.
List A: CAUSES
7 ..........Industrialised nations use a lot of energy.
8 ..........Oil spills into the sea.
9 ..........The researchers publish their findings.
10 ..........Water is brought to a high temperature.
11 ..........People fear pollutants in tap water.
12 ..........Air conditioning systems are inadequate.
13 ..........Toxic chemicals are abundant in new cars.
List B: EFFECTS
A The focus of pollution moves to the home.
B The levels of carbon monoxide rise.
C The world’s natural resources are unequally shared.
D People demand an explanation.
E Environmentalists look elsewhere for an explanation.
F Chemicals are effectively stripped from the water.
G A clean odour is produced.
H Sales of bottled water increase.
I The levels of carbon dioxide rise.
J The chlorine content of drinking water increased.
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
Changing Rules for Health Treatment
People who are grossly overweight, who smoke heavily or drink excessively could be denied surgery or drugs. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which advises on the clinical and cost effectiveness of treatments for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, said that in some cases the ’self-inflicted’ nature of an illness should be taken into account.
NICE stressed that people should not be discriminated against by doctors simply because they smoked or were overweight. Its ruling should apply only if the treatment was likely to be less effective, or not work because of an unhealthy habit. The agency also insisted that its decision was not an edict for the whole NHS but guidance for its own appraisal committees when reaching judgements on new drugs or procedures. But the effect is likely to be the same.
NICE is a powerful body and the cause of much controversy. It is seen by some as a new way of rationing NHS treatment Across the UK, primary care trusts (PCTs) regularly wait for many months for a NICE decision before agreeing to fund a new treatment. One group of primary care trusts is ahead of NICE. Three PCTs in east Suffolk have already decided that obese people would not be entitled to have hip or knee replacements unless they lost weight. The group said the risks of operating on them were greater, the surgery may be less successful and the joints would wear out sooner. It was acknowledged that the decision would also save money.
NICE said no priority should be given to patients based on income, social class or social roles at different ages when considering the cost effectiveness of a treatment. Patients should not be discriminated against on the grounds of age either, unless age has a direct relevance to the condition. NICE has already ruled that IVF should be available on the NHS to women aged 23 to 39 as the treatment has less chance of success in older women. It also recommends that flu drugs should be available to over-65s, as older people are more vulnerable.
But NICE also said that if self-inflicted factors meant that drugs or treatment would be less clinically and cost effective, this may need to be considered when producing advice for the NHS. They state that if the self-inflicted cause of the condition will influence the likely outcome of a particular treatment, then it may be appropriate to take this into account in some circumstances. They acknowledge that it can be difficult to decide whether an illness such as a heart attack was self-inflicted in a smoker. ‘A patient’s individual circumstances may only be taken into account when there will be an impact on the clinical and cost effectiveness of the treatment’
Prof Sir Michael Rawlins, the chairman of NICE, said: ‘On age we are very clear – our advisory groups should not make recommendations that depend on people’s ages when they are considering the use of a particular treatment unless there is clear evidence of a difference in its effectiveness for particular age groups. Even then, age should only be mentioned when it provides the only practical ‘marker1 of risk or benefit NICE values people, equally, at all ages.’
But Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said there was a danger of primary care trusts following the same course of action. There is no excuse for cash-strapped hospitals denying treatment to people whose lifestyle they disapprove of/ he said. Treatment decisions involving people’s lifestyle should be based on clinical reasons, not grounds of cost The NHS is there to keep people healthy, not to sit in judgement on individual lifestyles.’
A spokesman for NICE said: ‘We want to reassure people that in producing our guidance we are not going to take into consideration whether or not a particular condition was or is self-inflicted. The only circumstances where that may be taken into account is where that treatment may be less effective because of lifestyle choices.’
Jonathan Ellis, the policy manager at Help the Aged, said it was pleased NICE had finally shown an understanding of the importance of tackling age discrimination. ’While this is a major feat, there is still some way to go to banish the evident inherent age discrimination that exists within health care services,’ he said. The NHS now has much to learn. It will ensure a fairer deal all round for older people using the NHS.’
Choose THREE letters A-H.
NB Your answers may be given in any order.
Which THREE of the following statements are true of NICE, according to the text?
A It feels that people with bad health habits should not receive treatment.
B It is an agency that offers advice to the NHS.
C Some of the reports they produce discriminate against the elderly.
D It insists its decision should only be applicable in certain situations.
E It is an agency that controls all NHS policy regarding treatments.
F Its powers are not as extensive as those of the NHS.
G Many PCTs base their decisions concerning funding on ones made by NICE. H It has made a statement that overweight people will not receive new joints.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
17 NICE argues that..........
A rich people should not be given special consideration over the poor.
B only patients from certain classes should be considered for treatment
C social roles should be considered when deciding treatment.
D cost of treatment would depend on patients’ income.
18 What recommendations has NICE made? ..........
A to provide older women with IVF treatments
B to make flu drugs accessible to women under 40
C to give people between 23-39 flu drugs
D to allow certain women to have 1 VF treatments
19 NICE admits that ..........
A some drugs used by the NHS were not clinically effective.
B their advice is sometimes ignored by the NHS.
C it is often hard to determine if a patient has caused his or her condition.
D they are more concerned about cost effectiveness than patients.
Look at the following statements (Questions 20-26) and the list of people below.
Match each statement with the correct person A-C.
20 ..........This person was happy that-NICE realised age discrimination needed dealing with.
21 ..........This person holds a very high position in the NICE agency.
22 ..........This person is a member of a political party.
23 ..........This person says their policy regarding age is precise and easy to understand.
24 ..........This person does not agree with the position taken by NICE.
25 ..........This person feels the NHS must further improve its relations with the elderly.
26 ..........This person says that NICE does not discriminate on the grounds of age.
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Recovering a damaged reputation
In 2009, it was revealed that some of the information published by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the UK, concerning climate change, had been inaccurate. Furthermore, it was alleged that some of the relevant statistics had been withheld from publication. The ensuing controversy affected the reputation not only of that institution, but also of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with which the CRU is closely involved, and of climate scientists in general. Even if the claims of misconduct and incompetence were eventually proven to be largely untrue, or confined to a few individuals, the damage was done. The perceived wrongdoings of a few people had raised doubts about the many.
The response of most climate scientists was to cross their fingers and hope for the best, and they kept a low profile. Many no doubt hoped that subsequent independent inquiries into the IPCC and CRU would draw a line under their problems. However, although these were likely to help, they were unlikely to undo the harm caused by months of hostile news reports and attacks by critics.
The damage that has been done should not be underestimated. As Ralph Cicerone, the President of the US National Academy of Sciences, wrote in an editorial in the journal Science: ‘Public opinion has moved toward the view that scientists often try to suppress alternative hypotheses and ideas and that scientists will withhold data and try to manipulate some aspects of peer review to prevent dissent.’ He concluded that ‘the perceived misbehavior of even a few scientists can diminish the credibility of science as a whole.’
An opinion poll taken at the beginning of 2010 found that the proportion of people in the US who trust scientists as a source of information about global warming had dropped from 83 percent, in 2008, to 74 percent. Another survey carried out by the British Broadcasting Corporation in February 2010 found that just 26 percent of British people now believe that climate change is confirmed as being largely human-made, down from 41 percent in November 2009.
Regaining the confidence and trust of the public is never easy. Hunkering down and hoping for the best - climate science’s current strategy - makes it almost impossible. It is much better to learn from the successes and failures of organisations that have dealt with similar blows to their public standing.
In fact, climate science needs professional help to rebuild its reputation. It could do worse than follow the advice given by Leslie Gaines-Ross, a ‘reputation strategist’ at Public Relations (PR) company Webef Shandwick, in her recent book Corporate Reputation: 12 Steps to Safeguarding and Recovering Reputation. Gaines-Ross’s strategy is based on her analysis of how various organisations responded to crises, such as desktop-printer firm Xerox, whose business plummeted during the 1990s, and the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) after the Columbia shuttle disaster in 2003.
The first step she suggests is to ‘take the heat - leader first’. In many cases, chief executives who publicly accept responsibility for corporate failings can begin to reverse the freefall of their company’s reputations, but not always. If the leader is held at least partly responsible for the fall from grace, it can be almost impossible to convince critics that a new direction can be charted with that same person at the helm.
This is the dilemma facing the heads of the IPCC and CRU. Both have been blamed for their organisations’ problems, not least for the way in which they have dealt with critics, and both have been subjected to public calls for their removal. Yet both organisations appear to believe they can repair their reputations without a change of leadership.
The second step outlined by Gaines-Ross is to ‘communicate tirelessly’. Yet many climate researchers have avoided the media and the public, at least until the official enquiries have concluded their reports. This reaction may be understandable, but it has backfired. Journalists following the story have often been unable to find spokespeople willing to defend climate science. In this case, ‘no comment’ is commonly interpreted as an admission of silent, collective guilt.
Remaining visible is only a start, though; climate scientists also need to be careful what they say. They must realise that they face doubts not just about their published results, but also about their conduct and honesty. It simply won’t work for scientists to continue to appeal to the weight of the evidence, while refusing to discuss the integrity of their profession. The harm has been increased by a perceived reluctance to admit even the possibility of mistakes or wrongdoing.
The third step put forward by Gaines-Ross is ‘don’t underestimate your critics and competitors’. This means not only recognising the skill with which the opponents of climate research have executed their campaigns through Internet blogs and other media, but also acknowledging the validity of some of their criticisms. It is clear, for instance, that climate scientists need better standards of transparency, to allow for scrutiny not just by their peers, but also by critics from outside the world of research.
It is also important to engage with those critics. That doesn’t mean conceding to unfounded arguments which are based on prejudice rather than evidence, but there is an obligation to help the public understand the causes of climate change, as well as the options for avoiding and dealing with the consequences.
To begin the process of rebuilding trust in their profession, climate scientists need to follow these three seeps. But that is just the start. Gaines-Ross estimates that it typically takes four years for a company to rescue and restore a broken reputation.
Winning back public confidence is a marathon, not a sprint, but you can’t win at all if you don’t step up to the starting line.
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 3?
YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
27 ..........If a majority of scientists at the CRU were cleared of misconduct, the public would be satisfied.
28 ..........In the aftermath of the CRU scandal, most scientists avoided attention.
29 ..........Journalists have defended the CRU and the IPCC against their critics.
30 ..........Ralph Cicerone regarded the damage caused by the CRU as extending beyond the field of climate science.
31 ..........Since 2010, confidence in climate science has risen slightly in the US.
32 .........Climate scientists should take professional advice on regaining public confidence.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
33 In accordance with Gaines-Ross’s views, the heads of the CRU and IPCC should have..........
A resigned from their posts.
B accepted responsibility and continued in their posts.
C shifted attention onto more junior staff.
D ignored the criticisms directed at them.
34 Which mistake have staff at the CRU and IPCC made? ..........
A They have blamed each other for problems.
B They have publicly acknowledged failings.
C They have avoided interviews with the press.
D They have made conflicting public statements.
35 People who challenge the evidence of climate change have generally ..........
A presented their case poorly.
B missed opportunities for publicity.
C made some criticisms which are justified.
D been dishonest in their statements.
36 What does the reference to ‘a marathon’ indicate in the final paragraph? ..........
A The rate at which the climate is changing.
B The competition between rival theories of climate change.
C The ongoing need for new climate data.
D The time it might take for scientists to win back confidence.
Complete the summary using the list of words/phrases, A-H, below.
Controversy about climate science
The revelation, in 2009, that scientists at the CRU had presented inaccurate information and concealed some of their 37 ..........had a serious effect on their reputation. In order to address the problem, the scientists should turn to experts in 38 ..........
Leslie Gaines-Ross has published 39 ......... based on studies of crisis management in commercial and public-sector organisations. Amongst other things, Gaines-Ross suggests that climate scientists should confront their 40..........
F public relations
H computer modelling
31. NOT GIVEN