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A Capital Move

Assignment 1

For this assignment you may use a dictionary or English-language Internet sources to help you.

a   Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. Name the capital cities of 5 other countries.

b   Homonyms are words that sound the same, but have different meanings. They can mean two or more completely different things. For example “capital” has many meanings. Two of these meanings are: “excellent” and “a city that is the centre of government of a country”.

1. Write down (Look up) the different meanings of the following homonyms: bear, date, jam, major mummy, yard.

2. List other English homonyms you know.


A Capital Move

Indonesia made a surprising announcement on April 29. The country said it will relocate its capital from Jakarta. The decision follows decades of warnings about the city’s dangerous flood risk due to sinking land and rising seas. The news of this move is a wake-up call for hundreds of major cities.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the move is necessary. The city can no longer support its population of 10 million people. There are also concerns of traffic jams and water shortages.

At the top of Widodo’s worries is the fact that the city is sinking, a process called subsidence. In the past 30 years, Jakarta sank more than 10 feet. The problem has become worse as the world’s great ice sheets melt. The melting is due to climate change.

Jakarta is an extreme case, but it is not unique. Large coastal cities all over the world are sinking. There is no time to waste in planning and adapting to this threat. In fact, thousands of coastal cities and rural communities are at risk. They already experience more flooding during extreme high tides, often referred to as “king tides.”

The swelling oceans demand that we start planning for the future now. The latest forecasts for average sea-level rise this century show a possible range. The rise could be anywhere from 3 to 8 feet. Keeping it to the lower part of that range will be a challenge. We must reduce greenhouse gases far beyond current efforts. However, even a 1-foot rise in sea level can greatly increase coastal flooding. Hundreds of millions of people and trillions of dollars of property and businesses are at risk.

Indonesia’s decision to be proactive is something all coastal cities should do. A city like Jakarta could spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hopeless efforts to protect Jakarta from the dozen rivers running through it. It could extend walls never engineered to handle this threat. Instead it will adjust by putting money into a new capital city with a safe future that’s built to last.

Aggressively reducing carbon emissions could prevent the worst scenarios from happening. But sea-level rise probably cannot be stopped this century. The planet has already warmed almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit, which means ice sheets and glaciers will continue to melt for centuries.

“Resiliency” has become the new buzzword for building to protect against the elements. It’s a great idea to prepare for short-duration flood events such as hurricanes. Yet preparing for rising sea levels is different and requires adapting to a new normal. Cities would be smart to begin planning now. It is a huge chance to save money in the long run.

Jakarta’s solution is moving the capital. Indonesia recognizes a new reality, allowing the country to truly invest in the future. It’s time for all coastal communities to plan for the future.

The sea is rising. We must rise with the tide.

Based on: washingtonpost.com


Assignment 2

Read the text. For each definition, find the word or expression it describes in the text. Write it down.

a. a written or spoken statement that gives people official information about something……..
b. to relocate to move to a new place……..
c. to become lower, to go down to a lower level……..
d. something that makes you fully understand a problem, danger, or need……..
e. situations in which there is not enough water……..
f. positioned on land along or near a sea or ocean……..
g. the times when the sea or a river reaches its highest level……..
h. statements of the expected weather conditions……..
i. many thousands of million……..
j. controlling a situation by preparing for possible future problems……..
k. very large areas of ice that move slowly……..
l. the ability to recover quickly after something bad happens……..
m. a word or phrase that becomes very popular for a period of time……..


Assignment 3

a   What is the main idea of the article?

1. Climate change is happening because of all the hurricanes and rising sea levels.
2. Indonesia has to give Jakarta millions of dollars to protect it from sinking and flooding.
3. Jakarta and many other coastal cities around the world are facing dangers from rising seas.
4. Reducing carbon emissions will prevent coastal cities from disappearing completely.

b   Can radical action reverse the rise in sea levels worldwide according to the article?
Select the correct answer. Copy the sentence or sentences that support your choice.

1. No.
2. Not likely.
3. Very likely.
4. Yes.

c   Why does the author call Indonesia’s decision proactive?

1. Because they are aggressively reducing carbon emissions to prevent the worst from happening.
2. By deciding to relocate the capital before it is too late the country shows that it is planning for the future.
3. Jakarta is an extreme case, it is setting an example for other coastal cities all over the world.
4. Joko Widodo is the first president who will admit that climate change is causing rising sea levels.



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