READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Bamboo, A Wonder Plant 2
Bamboo is used for a wide range of purposes, but now it seems it may be under threat.
Every year, during the rainy season, the mountain gorillas of central Africa migrate to the lower slopes of the Virunga Mountains to graze on bamboo. For the 650 or so that remain in the wild, it’s a vital food source. Without it, says Ian Redmond, chairman of the Ape Alliance, their chances of survival would be reduced significantly.
Gorillas aren’t the only local keen on bamboo. For the people who live close to the Virungas, it’s a valuable and versatile raw material. But in the past 100 years or so, resources have come under increasing pressure as populations have exploded and large areas of bamboo forest have been cleared to make way for commercial plantations. Sadly, this isn’t an isolated story. All over the world, the ranges of many bamboo species appear to be shrinking, endangering the people and animals that depend upon them.
Despite bamboo’s importance, we know surprisingly little about it. A recent report published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) has revealed just how profound our ignorance of global bamboo resources is, particularly in relation to conservation.
There are almost 1,600 recognised species of bamboo, but the report concentrated on the 1,200 or so woody varieties distinguished by the strong stems, or ‘culms’, that most people associate with this versatile plant. Of these, only 38 ‘priority species’ identified for their commercial value have been the subject of any real scientific research to date.
This problem isn’t confined to bamboo. Compared to the work carried out on animals, the science of assessing the conservation status of plants is still in its infancy. ‘People have only started looking at this during the past 10-15 years, and only now are they understanding how to go about it systematically,’ says Dr Valerie Kapos, one of the report’s authors.
Bamboo tends to grow in ‘stands’ (or groups) made up of individual plants that grow from roots known as rhizomes. It is the world’s fastest-growing woody plant and some species grow over a meter in one day. But the plant’s ecological role extends beyond providing food for wildlife. Its rhizome systems, which lie in the top layers of the soil, are crucial in preventing soil erosion. And there is growing evidence that bamboo plays an important part in determining forest structure and dynamics. ‘Bamboo’s pattern of mass flowering and mass death leaves behind large areas of dry biomass that attract wildfire/ says Kapos. ‘When these bum, they create patches of open ground far bigger than would be left by a fallen tree. Patchiness helps to preserve diversity because certain plant species do better during the early stages of regeneration when there are gaps in the canopy.’
However, bamboo’s most immediate significance lies in its economic value. Many countries, particularly in Asia, are involved in the trade of bamboo products. Modern processing techniques mean it can be used in a variety of ways, for example as flooring and laminates. Traditionally it is used in construction, but one of the fastest growing bamboo products is paper -25 per cent of paper produced in India is made from bamboo fibre.
Of course, bamboo’s main function has always been in domestic applications, and as a locally traded product, it is worth about US$4,5 billion annually. Bamboo is often the only readily available raw material for people in many developing countries, says Chris Stapleton, a research associate at the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens. ‘Bamboo can be harvested from forest areas or grown quickly elsewhere, and then converted simply without expensive machinery or facilities,’ he says, ‘In this way, it contributes substantially to poverty alleviation.’
Keen horticulturists will spot an apparent contradiction in the worrying picture painted by the UNEP-INBAR report. Those in the West who’ve followed the recent vogue for cultivating exotic species in their gardens will point out that, if it isn’t kept in check, bamboo can cause real problems. ‘In a lot of places, the people who live with bamboo don’t perceive it as being under threat in any way,’ says Kapos. ‘In fact, a lot of bamboo species are very invasive if they’ve been introduced.’ So why are so many species endangered?
There are two separate issues here, says Ray Townsend, arboretum manager at the Royal Botanic Gardens. ‘Some plants are threatened because they can’t survive in the habitat – they aren’t strong enough or there aren’t enough of them, perhaps. But bamboo can take care of itself – it’s strong enough to survive if left alone. What is under threat is its habitat. When forest goes, it’s converted into something else: then there isn’t anywhere for forest plants such as bamboo to grow.’
Around the world, bamboo species are routinely protected as part of the forest ecosystem in national parks and reserves, but there is next to nothing that protects bamboo in the wild for its own sake. The UNEP-1NBAR report will help conservationists to establish effective measures aimed at protecting valuable wild bamboo species.
Townsend, too, sees the UNEP-INBAR report as an important step forward in promoting the cause of bamboo conservation. ‘Until now, bamboo has been perceived as a second-class plant. When you talk about places like the Amazon, everyone always thinks about hardwoods. Of course, these are significant but there’s a tendency to overlook the plants they are associated with, which are often bamboo species.’
Reading Passage 1 has six sections, A-F.
Which section contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
1 an assessment of current levels of knowledge about bamboo
2 a comparison between bamboo and more fragile plants
3 details of the commercial significance of bamboo
4 a human development that is threatening the availability of bamboo
5 a description of the limited extent of existing research on bamboo
6 examples of the uses to which bamboo is put
7 an explanation of how bamboo may contribute to the survival of range of plants
Look at the following statements (Questions 8-11) and the list of people below.
Match each statement with the correct person, A-D.
Write the correct letter, A-D, in boxes 9-11 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
8 Some people do not regard bamboo as an endangered plant species.
9 A scarcity of bamboo places certain wildlife under threat.
10 Research methods investigating endangered plants have yet to be fully developed
11 The greatest danger to bamboo is a disturbance of the places it grows in.
List of People
A Ian Redmond
B Valerie Kapos
C Chris Stapleton
D Ray Townsend
Questions 12 and 13
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 12 and 13 on your answer sheet.
12 What ecological problem do the roots of bamboo help to control?
13 Which bamboo product is undergoing market expansion?
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups.
Coral reefs are estimated to cover 284,300 km2 just under 0.1% of the oceans‘ surface area, about half the area of France. The Indo-Pacific region accounts for 91.9% of this total area. Southeast Asia accounts for 32.3% of that figure, while the Pacific including Australia accounts for 40.8%. Atlantic and Caribbean coral reefs account for 7.6%. Yet often called ―rainforests of the sea‖, coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. They provide a home for 25% of all marine species, including fish, mollusks worms, crustaceans, echinoderms, sponges, tunicates and other cnidarians. Paradoxically, coral reefs flourish even though they are surrounded by ocean waters that provide few nutrients. They are most commonly found at shallow depths in tropical waters, but deep water and cold water corals also exist on smaller scales in other areas. Although corals exist both in temperate and tropical waters, shallow-water reefs form only in a zone extending from 30°N to 30°S of the equator. Deepwater coral can exist at greater depths and colder temperatures at much higher latitudes, as far north as Norway. Coral reefs are rare along the American and African west coasts. This is due primarily to upwelling and strong cold coastal currents that reduce water temperatures in these areas (respectively the Peru, Benguela and Canary streams). Corals are seldom found along the coastline of South Asia from the eastern tip of India (Madras) to the Bangladesh and Myanmar borders. They are also rare along the coast around northeastern South America and Bangladesh due to the freshwater released from the Amazon and Ganges Rivers, respectively.
Coral reefs deliver ecosystem services to tourism, fisheries and coastline protection. The global economic value of coral reefs has been estimated at as much as $US375 billion per year. Coral reefs protect shorelines by absorbing wave energy, and many small islands would not exist without their reef to protect them.
The value of reefs in biodiverse regions can be even higher. In parts of Indonesia and the Caribbean where tourism is the main use, reefs are estimated to be worth US$1 million per square kilometer, based on the cost of maintaining sandy beaches and the value of attracting snorkelers and scuba divers. Meanwhile, a recent study of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia found that the reef is worth more to the country as an intact ecosystem than an extractive reserve for fishing. Each year more than 1.8 million tourists visit the reef, spending an estimated AU$4.3 billion (Australian dollars) on reef-related industries from diving to boat rental to posh island resort stays. In the Caribbean, says UNEP, the net annual benefits from diver tourism were US$2 billion in 2000 with US$625 million spent directly on diving on reefs. Further, reef tourism is an important source of employment, especially for some of the world‘s poorest people. UNEP says that of the estimated 30 million small-scale fishers in the developing world, most are dependent to a greater or lesser extent on coral reefs. In the Philippines, for example, more than one million small-scale fishers depend directly on coral reefs for their livelihoods. The report estimates that reef fisheries were worth between $15,000 and $150,000 per square kilometer a year, while fish caught for aquariums were worth $500 a kilogram against $6 for fish caught as food. The aquarium fish export industry supports around 50,000 people and generates some US$5.5 million a year in Sri Lanka along.
Unfortunately, coral reefs are dying around the world. In particular, coral mining, agricultural and urban runoff, pollution (organic and inorganic), disease, and the digging of canals and access into islands and bays are localized threats to coral ecosystems. Broader threats are sea temperature rise, sea-level rise and pH changes from ocean acidification, all associated with greenhouse gas emissions. Some current fishing practices are destructive and unsustainable. These include cyanide fishing, overfishing and blast fishing. Although cyanide fishing supplies live reef fish for the tropical aquarium market, most fish caught using this method are sold in restaurants, primarily in Asia, where live fish are prized for their freshness. To catch fish with cyanide, fishers dive down to the reef and squirt cyanide in coral crevices and on the fast-moving fish, to stun the fish making them easy to catch. Overfishing is another leading cause for coral reef degradation. Often, too many fish are taken from one reef to sustain a population in that area. Poor fishing practices, such as banging on the reef with sticks (muro-ami), destroy coral formations that normally function as fish habitat. In some instances, people fish with explosives (blast fishing), which blast apart the surrounding coral.
Tourist resorts that empty their sewage directly into the water surrounding coral reefs contribute to coral reef degradation. Wastes kept in poorly maintained septic tanks can also leak into surrounding groundwater, eventually seeping out to the reefs. Careless boating, diving, snorkeling and fishing can also damage coral reefs. Whenever people grab, kick, and walk on, or stir up sediment in the reefs, they contribute to coral reef destruction. Corals are also harmed or killed when people drop anchors on them or when people collect coral.
To find answers for these problems, scientists and researchers study the various factors that impact reefs. The list includes the ocean‘s role as a carbon dioxide sink, atmospheric changes, ultraviolet light, ocean acidification, viruses, impacts of dust storms carrying agents to far-flung reefs, pollutants, algal blooms and others. Reefs are threatened well beyond coastal areas. General estimates show approximately 10% of the worlds coral reefs are dead. About 60% of the world‘s reefs are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities. The threat to the health of reefs is particularly strong in Southeast Asia, where 80% of reefs are endangered.
In Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and is the subject of much legislation, including a biodiversity action plan. Inhabitants of Ahus Island, Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, have followed a generations-old practice of restricting fishing in six areas of their reef lagoon. Their cultural traditions allow line fishing, but not net or spearfishing. The result is both the biomass and individual fish sizes are significantly larger in these areas than in places where fishing is unrestricted.
The reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-G.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A-G, in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
14 Geographical Location of the world‘s coral reef
15 How does coral reef benefit economy locally
16 The statistics of coral reef‘s economic significance
17 The listed reasons for the declining number of coral reef
18 Physical approach to the coral reef by people
19 Unsustainable fishing methods are applied in regions of the world
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?
Write your answers in boxes 20-25 on your answer sheet.
TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
20 Coral reefs provide habitat to a variety of marine life.
21 Coral reef distributes around the ocean disproportionally.
22 Coral reef is increasingly important for scientific purpose.
23 Coral reefs are greatly exchanged among and exported to other counties.
24 Reef tourism is of economic essence generally for some poor people.
25 As with other fishing business, coral fishery is not suitable to women and children
Choose the correct letter, A，B，C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 26 on your answer sheet.
What is the main purpose of this passage?
A Demonstrate how coral reef growth in the ocean
B To tell that coral reef is widely used as a scientific project
C Present the general benefits and an alarming situation of coral reef
D To show the vital efforts made to protect the coral reef in Australia
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Movie of Metropolis
…being the science-fiction film that is steadily becoming a fact
When German director Fritz Lang visited the United States in 1924, his first glimpse of the country was a night-time view of the New York skyline from the deck of an ocean liner. This, he later recalled, was the direct inspiration for what is still probably the most innovative and influential science-fiction film ever made – Metropolis.
Metropolis is a bleak vision of the early twenty-first century that is at once both chilling and exhilarating. This spectacular city of the future is a technological marvel of high-rise buildings connected by elevated railways and airships. It’s also a world of extreme inequality and social division. The workers live below ground and exist as machines working in an endless routine of mind-numbing 10-hour shifts while the city’s elite lead lives of luxury high above. Presiding over them all is the Master of Metropolis, John Fredersen, whose sole satisfaction seems to lie in the exercise of power.
Lang’s graphic depiction of the future is conceived in almost totally abstract terms. The function of the individual machines is never defined. Instead, this mass of dials, levers and gauges symbolically stands for all machines and all industry, with the workers as slave-live extensions of the equipment they have to operate. Lang emphasizes this idea in the famous shift-change sequence at the start of the movie when the workers walk in zombie-like geometric ranks, all dressed in the same dark overalls and all exhibiting the same bowed head and dead-eyed stare. An extraordinary fantasy sequence sees one machine transformed into a huge open-jawed statue which then literally swallows them up.
On one level the machines and the exploited workers simply provide the wealth and services which allow the elite to live their lives of leisure, but on a more profound level, the purpose of all this demented industry is to serve itself. Power, control and the continuance of the system from one 10-hour shift to the next is all that counts. The city consumes people and their labour and in the process becomes a perverse parody of a living being.
It is enlightening, I think, to relate the film to the modern global economy in which multinational corporations now routinely close their factories in one continent so that they can take advantage of cheap labour in another. Like the industry in Metropolis, these corporations’ goals of increased efficiency and profits have little to do with the welfare of the majority of their employees or that of the population at large. Instead, their aims are to sustain the momentum of their own growth and to increase the monetary rewards to a tiny elite – their executives and shareholders. Fredersen himself is the essence of the big company boss: Rupert Murdoch would probably feel perfectly at home in his huge skyscraper office with its panoramic view of the city below. And it is important that there is never any mention of government in Metropolis – the whole concept is by implication obsolete. The only people who have power are the supreme industrialist, Fredersen, and his magician/scientist cohort Rotwang.
So far so good: when the images are allowed to speak for themselves the film is impeccable both in its symbolism and in its cynicism. The problem with Metropolis is its sentimental story-line, which sees Freder, Fredersen’s son, instantly falling in love with the visionary Maria. Maria leads an underground pseudo-religious movement and preaches that the workers should not rebel but should await the arrival of a ‘Mediator’ between the ‘Head’ (capital) and the ‘Hands’ (labour). That mediator is the ‘Heart’ – love, as embodied, finally, by Freder’s love of Maria and his father’s love of him.
Lang wrote the screenplay in collaboration with his then-wife Thea von Harbou. In 1933 he fled from the Nazis (and continued a very successful career in Hollywood). She stayed in Germany and continued to make films under the Hitler regime. There is a constant tension within the film between the too-tidy platitudes of von Harbou’s script and the uncompromisingly caustic vigour of Lang’s imagery.
To my mind, both in Metropolis and in the real world, it’s not so much that the ‘Head’ and ‘Hands’ require a ‘Heart’ to mediate between them but that the ‘Hands’ need to develop their own ‘Head’, their own political consciousness, and act accordingly – through the ballot box, through buying power and through a sceptical resistance to the materialistic fantasies of the Fredersens.
All the same, Metropolis is probably more accurate now as a representation of industrial and social relations than it has been at any time since its original release. And Fredersen is certainly still the most potent movie symbol of the handful of elusive corporate figureheads who increasingly treat the world as a Metropolis-like global village.
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 27-30 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement is true
NO if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
27 The inspiration of the movie-Metropolis-comes from the director’s visit in the USA in 1924.
28 The Master of Metropolis, John Fredersen, is portrayed from an industrialist that the director met in the US.
29 The start of the movie exhibits the workers working in full energy.
30 The director and his wife got divorced because his wife decided to stay in Germany.
Complete the summary below.
Using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet.
The director depicts a world of inequality and 31………………………. In the future, the mindless masses of workers living underground are treated as 32………………………. And the master of them is 33……………………….., who is in charge of the whole city. The writer claims that the director, Fritz Lang, presents the movie in an 34……………………….. term, where the 35……………………… of the individual machines is not defined. Besides the writer compares the film to the modern global economy in which multinational corporations concern more about the growing 36………………………….. and money.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
37 The first sentence in paragraph B indicates
A the author’s fear about technology
B the inspiration of the director
C the contradictory feelings towards future
D the city elite’s well management of the workers
38 Why the function of the individual machines is not defined?
A Because Lang sticks to theme in a symbolic way.
B Because workers are more important to exploit.
C Because the fantasy sequence is difficult to take.
D Because the focus of the movie is not about machines.
39 The writer’s purpose in paragraph five is to
A emphasize the multinational corporations’ profit-oriented goal.
B compare the movie with the reality in the modern global economy
C exploit the difference between fantasy and reality
D enlighten the undeveloped industry
40 What is the writer’s opinion about the movie?
A The movie’s story-line is excellent.
B The movie has a poor implication in symbolism.
C The movie is perfect in all aspects.
D The movie is good but could be better.