Environmental Knowledge  

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July 1999


The narrator is a scientist specialising in environmental protection, which “merges my interest and my job in one”, and the interview concentrates on the changing local environment and climate. He believes “the mountains have changed a lot … you can see with a naked eye that a lot of mountain forests have disappeared”. In his view the cause is air pollution. He compares the situation to that of the Western Sudety, which he thinks is far more “drastic … over 30 thousand hectares of forests have died out. It looks like there has been an atom bomb explosion. Only bare trunks sticking out. Certainly, the situation does not look that bad around here”.

Also mentions the changing climate and the “exceptionally cold winters”. These “extreme winter situations”, along with other factors, have had an impact on the local wildlife, and he cites the changing populations of heath-cock, fox, black grouse, wild boar and deer as illustrations. Briefly describes the effect of industry on the local environment, for example the trees surrounding the glass factory which have died: "especially the less resistant ones, like the fir … they are a sort of a bio-indicator of environmental pollution”. He likes living in the mountains: the forest “is a kind of shelter for me, a refuge in which I like being”. Compares the mountains to women: “they look different at different times. Probably that’s why they are so beautiful”.

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Section 1  Scientist in the environmental department of the Technical University of Wroclaw. Discusses the changes in climate and the colder winter months.
Section 2  Explains the deforestation of the mountains, which “has to be tracked back mainly to the air pollution”. Also discusses the depopulation of local villages.
Section 3-4  Notes the changing animal species in the forests, citing various examples including the heath-cock which all but disappeared in the 1980s as a result of deforestation: “old trees were cut down, the trees were a natural shelter” and “human penetration increased”. Notes the curative properties of the local water, which he believes is probably “safer than it used to be because the areas have got so deserted”.
Section 5-6  Discusses the negative effects of local industry on the forests. Says tourism used to be big before the war, but “now there are only ruins”, although there are some agro-tourist farms. Chose to live in the mountains because “they were the most interesting places” and he “feels well in such places”.