Today, one of the biggest global challenges we face is how we are going to be able to supply enough energy for everyone in the future.
Globally, we are using more and more energy.
We all want electricity for our homes, and fuel for our cars.
We need our factories to work and our planes to fly.
But we know that traditional energy sources, fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, won’t last forever and are causing environmental problems like climate change.
Some energy sources, like nuclear power, can also be harmful when accidents occur.
The development of new energy sources is becoming more important across the world.
People are looking for sources of energy that are safe and cheap, like wind power, solar energy from our homes or huge solar farms, or hydro-electric power using our rivers and lakes.
We need energy that won’t run out, renewable energy, and energy that won’t damage the environment, green energy.
Some of these energy sources are already well-known.
And most people have opinions about what kind of energy we will be using in the future and what’s the best kind of renewable energy.
Ijeoma:I think we’ll use more wind energy and I think that we’ll use more solar energy.
I believe the government is investing in that.
Judy:People will probably use more solar energy, more wind power, more hydro-power.
Andrew:In the future I think we will use more renewable forms of energy, especially as fossil fuels are running out.
I feel solar power, wind power will be increasing in the future, and I think that will be more sustainable for our development.
Part 2 Alternative living
A few countries, like Iceland, are lucky.
They already have their own renewable power supply; geothermal power.
Geothermal power provides over 60% of Iceland’s energy.
Across the country they use the boiling hot water from under the surface of the earth to make electricity.
But other countries are looking at the problem of energy use in a different and dramatic way.
They are building new cities that try to change the way we live and use energy today, and in the future.
In the United Arab Emirates they are building a new ‘green’ city, where renewable energy is at the heart of the development.
Masdar City is a walled city 11 miles from the city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
British architects Foster and Partners designed the city and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company is building it.
The first residents moved in in 2009 but it probably won’t be finished until 2025 or 2030.
Masdar City is a very big project.
Masdar is going to be a square, nearly a mile wide and when it is finished they hope that about 40,000 people will live in the city, and another 50,000 will commute to Masdar every day from across the United Arab Emirates.
Part 3 A green city
The brand new hi-tech Masdar City will use only solar, wind, and other clean, green renewable energy sources.
They will also try to reduce energy use as much as possible.
By designing buildings and streets to use shade and wind to stay cool when the temperature outside can rise to over 40 degrees, the city will use less energy.
The city will also recycle most of its water and waste.
One of the most important ideas for reducing energy use in Masdar is that you won’t be able to drive a normal car in the city.
Instead, there will be public transport using electric vehicles and a ‘Personal Rapid Transit’ system.
The Personal Rapid Transit system uses small pods that travel on magnets in the roads across the city.
You will get into a pod at stations around the city, choose where you want to go on the touchscreen and the pod will carry you to your destination.
The design of the city encourages people to walk – the staircases are large and lifts are hard to find!
Building a new city is very expensive and complicated.
But at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and across Masdar city, they are using and testing technology that, hopefully, will be used around the world in the future.
Unit 6 Scotland
Part 1 The country
The United Kingdom is made up of four countries; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
England is the biggest country and has a population of over 50 million.
Northern Ireland is the smallest and has a population of fewer than two million.
Scotland’s population is a lot smaller than England’s, at just over five million, but the country has got some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK.
Scotland has got the tallest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis, and the deepest lake, Loch Morar, as well as historic castles, amazing beaches, and a dramatic coastline.
But there’s much more to Scotland than beautiful countryside, it’s also got some of the most exciting and important cities in the UK.
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland.
It’s an important city for business and culture, with some great modern architecture.
Edinburgh isn’t as big or as modern as Glasgow, but it’s the capital city of Scotland and it’s the top destination for international visitors to the country.
Around one and a half million international visitors come to Edinburgh every year.
So what do international visitors think about the country?
What’s Scotland like?
Jazz:I came to Scotland last week. I’ve been here about a week, so far. It’s gorgeous.
The countryside’s beautiful, Edinburgh is stunning and the people are really friendly.
And the food’s great.
Jackie:It’s miserable. Firstly, I really like sunny weather and it’s grey here all the time.
Sandra:I think it’s really nice place; a lot of young people, many parties and the university is great.
I really like it.
How different is Scotland from your home country?
Amrita:It’s a lot colder than where I’m from.
Robin:I don’t know, just the people are a lot nicer here than in Germany.
Isabelle:The people are very polite here, whereas back home it’s not as, not as nice. Very friendly.
What’s the best thing about Scotland?
Sandra:The best thing about Scotland? I think maybe the landscape, the mountains, the Highlands.
Jackie:In summer it’s… there’s really gorgeous light, you know, in the summer it stays light a really long time and that’s nice.
Cassandra:I think that people are willing to share cultural differences which, for me, is interesting so, the atmosphere is something I love.
And the worst thing about Scotland?
Sandra:The weather. It’s really cold compared to Spain.
Isabelle:I hate the rain, it’s windy and I don’t like the food apart from fish and chips.
Part 2 The people
Although it is part of the United Kingdom, Scotland has its own Government, which meets at the modern Parliament buildings in Edinburgh.
People from Scotland are called Scots.
Over the past 400 years hundreds of thousands of Scots have left to live in countries around the world.
Generations on, many of the families of these emigrants still feel a strong connection to Scotland, and they often return to the country to visit.
Scots have got their own vocabulary for example; – small is ‘wee’, a lake is a ‘loch’ and a child is a ‘bairn’.
Sometimes even English people find it hard to understand Scots when they are speaking English as they can have strong accents.
So, what are the Scots like?
Isabelle:Very friendly. They are funny to understand, some speak funny.
Amrita:Pretty bubbly, friendly.
Rory:Often very loud.
Conor:They’re very friendly, very welcoming.
Alex:I would say Scotland was more … feels more like a wee community, compared to England.
Part 3 Edinburgh
The most popular tourist attraction in Edinburgh is the castle, and it’s one of the oldest buildings in the city.
There’s been a castle here for nearly a thousand years.
Edinburgh Castle stands on Castle Rock and has got amazing views over the city and across to the River Forth.
But once a year the castle isn’t the centre of attraction, and many people agree on the best time to visit the city.
Isabelle: Summer during the Fringe Festival. Absolutely amazing.
Alex:Oh, Edinburgh Festival.
Andy:Edinburgh Festival. There’s lots of things happening. Street artists and different kind of shows on and stuff in the theatres. It’s good.
Every year, in August, the city holds the biggest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival.
It’s the most exciting time to visit Edinburgh, and the city is busier in August than at any other time of the year.
Edinburgh’s population of 450,000 people doubles and the city becomes the cultural capital of the world.
The Festival began in 1947 and is a 3-week celebration of art, music, theatre, film, dance and comedy.
During the festival, there are performances all over the city – over 30,000 performers come to the city to work in over 2,000 shows.
The most popular shows are comedy, but there’s something for everyone.
Edinburgh isn’t a cheap city and everything gets even more expensive in August.
Luckily there are a lot of free shows during the festival, from music and magic, to street theatre and there’s so much to do that people come back year after year.
Unit 7 Writers’ houses
Part 1 Places that inspire writers
There are many cities around the world that have inspired great works of art and literature.
For hundreds of years artists have come to Paris to live and work.
Writers like George Orwell, F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and many others travelled from across Europe, and around the world, to experience life in the city.
The beautiful city of Prague inspired the work of Franz Kafka, and since the early 20th Century New York has been home to many writers and artists.
London has changed a lot since Charles Dickens wrote about the city in the early 19th Century, but the city still attracts writers from the UK and around the world.
Of course, it isn’t just great cities that inspire writers.
Every year people travel from around the world to the Lake District in the North of England, to visit a tiny farmhouse in the middle of beautiful English countryside.
Hill Top farm was the home of Beatrix Potter.
Potter wrote and illustrated the Tale of Peter Rabbit and many other stories for children.
Since she wrote Peter Rabbit in 1902 publishers have sold more than 40 million copies, and they have translated the story into more than 35 languages.
Hill Top has been open to the paying public for over 60 years, and it’s still as popular as ever.
In 2011 there were over 100,000 visitors.
Part 2 Jane Austen
Around a hundred years earlier another female British author was at work.
In the city of Bath in the South West of England there’s a museum about one of England’s most well-known writers of the early 19th Century; Jane Austen, the author of Pride and Prejudice.
Austen wrote about this city in her novels, and it’s a favourite location for film and television adaptions of her work.
But Austen only lived in Bath for a short time.
She wrote most of her famous novels in the peace and quiet of the English countryside.
This is Chawton, a 17th century country house where Jane Austen lived with her mother and sister Cassandra from 1809 until just before her death in 1817.
Today the house is a museum that has been open to the public since 1949.
The Austen family weren’t very wealthy and they didn’t have a great estate.
Jane’s own home isn’t as large or as beautiful as the homes of the characters in her novels, like Mr Darcy.
But the house is quite comfortable, pretty and light and there’s a beautiful garden.
Visitors today can see many of Jane’s possessions including the desk where she completed her six novels.
Jane Austen didn’t become a famous writer in her own lifetime.
Her own name did not even appear on her work until after her death.
She wrote as ‘a Lady’.
But slowly she has become one of the most read female novelists in the world.
Since the early 20th century, there have been many famous film and television adaptations of her novels.
The first famous film of Pride and Prejudice was made in 1940.
In recent years there have been many adaptations of her work, as well as films about her life.
Keira Knightly played Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, and Anne Hathaway played Jane Austen herself in a film about her life, Becoming Jane.
And still today fans come to this quiet and gentle part of the English countryside to learn more about her life and work.
Part 3 The Brontës
Over 200 miles away from the gentle countryside and bright, comfortable living rooms of Jane Austen’s world there’s another house with a far more dramatic and remarkable literary history.
This is the town of Haworth in Yorkshire, in the North of England, and at the top of the steep cobbled high street is the Brontë Parsonage.
This house was the home of Charlotte Brontë, the author of Jane Eyre, Emily Brontë, the author of Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë, the author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
The sisters moved here with their father Patrick and their brother, Branwell, and it was in this small home they wrote the famous novels that have sold millions of copies and have been adapted into hundreds of stage plays, films and television programmes.
Haworth is surrounded by Pennine Yorkshire moorland and this dramatic scenery was the inspiration for many of the Brontës’ novels.
Life was very hard here in the mid-1800s.
The Brontës’ mother died soon after arriving at Haworth, and two sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died when they were just 10 and 11.
The sisters were very close and rarely left the Parsonage, as Ann Dinsdale from the Brontë Parsonage explains:
What they really wanted to do was to be together at the Parsonage and to write and that’s what they did.
The sisters wrote in the evening, sitting together at the table in the small dining room.
Like Jane Austen, the sisters didn’t use their real names when they first published their books.
They published their novels under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, hoping that they would be treated as, as writers rather than women writers.
Their books were instant hits and everyone wanted to know the true identity of the authors.
So, Charlotte and Anne travelled to London by train to tell their publishers their real names.
But tragedy was never far away.
In 1848, Bramwell died, followed three months later by Emily and then Anne five months after that.
Shortly after she married, Charlotte died in 1855.
She died in 1855 in this house and two years after her death, a biography written by Elizabeth Gaskell was published, ‘The Life of Charlotte Brontë’ and that attracted a huge amount of interest in the Brontë’s lives … people wanted to come to Haworth and see the place where the Brontë novels had been written and to see where the family had lived their lives.
There has been a small Brontë museum in Haworth since 1895, but it wasn’t until 1928 that the Parsonage opened to the public.
Today, inside, visitors can see many of the sisters’ possessions including Charlotte’s wedding dress, and many of the sisters’ handwritten letters and manuscripts.
Experts still come to the Parsonage from around the world to research the sisters and their work.
Every year we get 75,000 visitors on average and they’re drawn from all over the world, from America, from Japan, from places in this country.
The Brontë novels have been translated into, into over 26 different languages … they’re read by people all over the world.
For many visitors, it is exploring the dramatic Yorkshire countryside surrounding the Parsonage that really helps them to understand the powerful novels of the remarkable Brontë sisters.
Unit 8 Twins
Part 1 Why are twins special?
It doesn’t matter if you have boys or girls; it’s always a challenge bringing up children.
But bringing up twins is an even greater challenge.
Can you imagine two of everything, at the same time?
The Department of Twin Research at Kings College London has a database of over 12,000 twins who are taking part in a fascinating research programme.
Throughout their lifetimes, the twins regularly visit St Thomas’ Hospital in London to have a range of medical tests.
Today, hundreds of pairs of twins taking part in the programme have come to a summer party at the hospital.
It’s a chance to meet other twins and share their experiences.
So, why are all these twins so important to scientists?
All identical twins, like Xand and Chris, share 100 per cent of their genes – they are genetically identical.
Twins usually look exactly the same, and they often have very similar abilities, interests and personalities.
Xand:Chris and I are similar in that we enjoy the same things, we both have a lot of the same friends.
Chris: We both did medical degrees, we both did exactly the same A levels.
But, identical twins can often be good at different things, and even suffer from different diseases.
Chris: I think I am different to you, I think I do have some free choice.
There are differences in our personalities.
Remember when we were ten and I failed, you know, I came bottom of the class in every single exam and everyone said oh, you know why don’t you just work a bit harder like your brother and you’d do a bit better.
So, if two people are genetically identical, why is one loud and boisterous and the other quiet and sensitive?
Or why does one get an illness and the other doesn’t?
It is these differences between identical twins that are so important to researchers.
They give us a clearer picture of the influence of ‘nature’ – our genes – and ‘nurture’ – how we live – on the development of our personality and health.
And scientists hope that this will help them to identify and prevent health problems in the future.
Part 2 Being a twin
Runyararo and Rufaro Mapfumo are twins.
They live together in East London.
Rufaro:My name is Rufaro Mapfumo, I’m 20 years old.
I’m 23 minutes older than my twin sister and I study bio-medical science at Middlesex University.
Runyararo: I’m Runyararo Mapfumo, um, also 20 years old, and I’m studying film and visual effects at Sheffield Hallam University.
For Rufaro and Runyararo, there are many more advantages to being twins than disadvantages.
Rufaro: Having a double wardrobe is great.
As a twin, umm, one of the advantages about being a twin is getting to play tricks on people.
When we were younger, we swapped classes a few times, which was interesting.
I went to her maths class, and she went to my English class, and we swapped because we thought it would be really funny.
We never got caught though. We used to look even more similar.
When they were teenagers, the Mapfumo twins did some acting.
They learnt new skills, but, as at school, they were still able to take each other’s place when necessary.
Because they were twins, they once had the chance to work on a Harry Potter film.
Rufaro:They would give us one role and divide that between us.
So I would go on set for three hours, while Runyararo was in school, and then, once I’d finished and I’d had my time on set, they used to swap us over.
So I suppose that’s good, because we, even though we got to do what we loved, we still had enough time to go to school, and get a really good education as well.
Runyararo:Rufaro’s a bit more of a joker. She liked to make everybody laugh, whereas I could possibly be seen as more serious.
Rufaro:Runyararo has a lot of patience, and I think when you do film, you need to have a lot of patience, and kind of speak to the people you’re working with and artists, and be able to guide them patiently, whereas I kind of want things done then and there. I have a little bit less patience.
It’s always nice having someone that you have close connection to, and having a twin, I don’t think there’s a stronger bond. It’s like living with your best friend really.
Part 3 Bringing up twins
Rachel: I love that! That’s nice seeing that.
Rufaro:Yeah. Us dressed the same with our jackets.
Runyararo:I think that’s probably when we looked most similar actually...
Rachel Mapfumo is the mother of the Mapfumo twins.
Rachel:Oh yes I remember.
Rufaro:That’s when we went for our audition, … our first audition as twins.
Rachel:I remember buying those t-shirts in Marks and Spencer’s.
So, what’s it like trying to raise identical twins?
Rachel:I had to rely a lot on my parents, because, having two babies, they had different times of feeding, that was one of the difficulties, different times of sleeping.
So you find, if you didn’t have any help then you would be up 24/7.
Another difficulty is the cost. Everything you pay for is double.
Not so much when they’re young, but when they’re older, it becomes very costly.
Rufaro:Our spotlight picture, there…
Rachel:The girls bonded right from the first day.
I used to keep them more or less together.
They had different cribs, they had different, you know, separate chairs.
But for some reason they always used to reach out for each other, or look out for each other.
Sometimes it seems the girls can communicate without talking.
Rachel:I can’t even tell you sometimes as a mother what they do, but I know they have a silent way of communicating.
If Runyararo is say at Sheffield, and Rufaro is in London, and if something is happening to Runyararo that she is not happy, Rufaro can pick it up.
She was in the library, and she left to go to the toilet, and she … when she got back her laptop had been stolen, and she was quite upset.
She hadn’t rung me or she hadn’t rung her sister.
But at the moment when she was so desperate, her sister rang her from London to see if she was all right, because she just felt something was going on.
So it’s things like that as well, even when they’re apart, that they can still communicate.
They know if one is in trouble, or one is not happy.
Or if one is happy, for that, for that matter.
What advice does Rachel have for parents of school-age twins?
Rachel:You mustn’t be given a report where the teachers are using ‘They’.
You should have single reports for each individual child.
The problem I’ve found was that the teachers could not differentiate between the two girls.
Who was Rufaro and who was Runyararo.
You have to be absolutely sure that the teacher is talking about the correct twin.
Half the time they got it all wrong and mixed up.
Runyararo: Very nice, smiling in the background … your teddy making its way into every picture.
Rachel:Is that you or Runyararo?
Rachel:That’s not you, that’s your sister.
Rachel:They’ve got a very close bond. I don’t worry so much about them because I know they’ve got each other.
They talk to one another, and the most interesting is at the moment to see them grow up to be very confident and individual young ladies.