28.4.12

Escuchar inglés Painting a mountain to make a glacier


                        Men painting the peak of a mountain

Listening en inglés / Escuchar inglés

In a remote part of the Peruvian Andes, men in boiler suits are painting the summit of a mountain with whitewash. They use buckets and jugs to throw the paint over the rocks.
The plan is to paint an area of 70 hectares on three peaks  in southern Peru. It must be a bizarre sight at 4,756 metres above sea level.

No they are not creating a work of art but It is an experiment in an innovative plan to recuperate Peru's disappearing Andean glaciers.
Of course there is debate between those who dismiss the idea as just plain stupid and those who think it could be a simple but brilliant solution to a serious problem, or at least one which should be put to the test.

The idea is from 55-year-old Peruvian inventor, Eduardo Gold. He was one of the 26 winners from around 1,700 submissions in the "100 Ideas to Save the Planet" competition held by The World Bank at the end of 2009.

Mr Gold is not a scientist but his idea is based on the simple scientific principle that sunlight is reflected off a white surface.

Painting the peaks white would bring about a cooling of the surface, says Mr Gold, which in turn would generate a cold microclimate around the the top of the mountain.

The 900 inhabitants of the village of Licapa depend on the glacier for their water supply. 65-year-old Pablo Parco, says that "When he was about 15-20 years old, the glacier was big, but then little by little it started to melt".

He continues by saying, "We're happy to see this project to paint the mountain. I can tell you this morning there was snow on the ground, something we rarely see these days”.

"Up here” he says “we live from our animals, up here there's no work, there are no crops, and when there is less water, there is less pasture and that means less livestock".
Today, the temperature on the peak has dropped 10 degrees celsius and small pockets of ice have formed between the rocks.

Peru has more than 70% of the world's tropical glaciers and 22% have melted away in the last 30 years, according to a World Bank report of 2009.


Vocabulario

boiler suits > (ropa) mono, everol

summit > (montaña) cumbre

whitewash > aguacal

buckets and jugs > bucket > cubo /  jug > jarro, pichel

peaks > picos

bizarre > rarísimo, extraño

dismiss > descartar

put to the test > poner a prueba

competition > concurso

melt > derretirse

pasture > pastos

livestock > ganado


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