Subject Material

The World We Create

An Approach to Improving Our Environment

Published: 15.08.2012, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Listen to the song “Is This The World We Created...?” by Queen. What feelings does the song convey? What does it say is wrong with the world? What kind of law do you think is referred to in the second verse? What could the devastation in the last verse refer to?

 

"Is This the World We Created..?" - lyrics 
 

The world is facing many challenges, one of which is the environmental problems which could “devastate” our world. We need to tackle problems like pollution, CO2 emissions, global warming, waste disposal, energy requirements, etc. One project which has been instigated in order to find solutions to some of these problems is Masdar City, Abu Dhabi; an experimental city using renewable energy, which has the goal of being a sustainable zero carbon, zero waste ecology.

 

  1. Watch the video tour of Masdar and note down the most important features of the city.
    Suggested Answers

    Covers 2 sq. miles, to be developed as two large squares
    Should be commercially viable
    Sustainable buildings
    Electric buses and taxis
    Rapid transit system
    Arabian building techniques with narrow streets and courtyards
    Shade, avoids direct sunlight on windows
    High degree of insulation
    Wind tower creates natural current of air
    Water features help to cool the air
    Masdar Institute researches material properties and structures, water and energy
    Solar energy

    Hide
  2. Use the Internet to find out more about Masdar City – location, start, completion, progress, cost, criticism, etc.
    Useful links: Masdar City, Masdar, Abu Dhabi

Discuss

  1. Greenpeace has stated that the Masdar City project is all very well, but it would be better to spend more time and money on already existing cities to make them more environmentally friendly. Do you agree? Do you think it would be possible to modify existing cities like Los Angeles or London?
  2. Suggest some of the things your town or area could do to improve the environment (waste, pollution of air/water, energy saving, building, transport).

Find Out

Find out if your town or area has current projects which will lead to a better environment.

Vocabulary

Explain the meaning of the following terms: sustainable energy resources, renewable energy, solar energy, wind farm, hydrocarbon, hub for cleantech companies (Masdar is described as such), personal rapid transit, potable water, geothermal energy, waste incinerator, grey water.

Make a Digital Presentation

Like Queen's "Is This The World We Created...?, "Fragile" by Sting is open to interpretation, and environmental concern is often seen as the bottom line. Look at the digital presentation of "Fragile" by Sting, and then use this as an inspiration to make a similar presentation of "Is This The World We Created", giving your presentation a definite environmental message.