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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of whether or not the current generation should protect the environment for the next generation.

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IELTS Essay: The Next Generation

Some think the current generation should take steps to protect the environment for the next generation.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many environmentalists feel that people today have a responsibility to ensure the Earth is left in good condition for future generations. In my opinion, though this duty is unfair, it is nonetheless a burden that must be taken up.

Those who argue against this sentiment can justly assign blame elsewhere. The main contributors to climate change and the current cataclysmic warnings were the large industrial powers on the 20th century. Automobiles and air travel became common in the last 100 years and are two leading drivers of the fossil fuel consumption many scientists link to global warming. Surging populations and advances in medicine have also contributed greatly to the over-production and mass consumption that defines the 21st century. It is objectively unfair that people today, and primarily the younger generation only now entering the workforce, should have to suffer for the thoughtlessness of wanton industrialisation.

Regardless, it is the responsibility of the present generation to take heed of these potentially dire warnings. People in the past were either intentionally or unintentionally unaware of the repercussions of their actions but individuals today cannot make such excuses. For example, the rapidly deteriorating polar ice caps are directly impacting the natural habitats of animals around the world and some climate scientists believe that an uptick in natural disasters is also related to this and other man-made changes to the ecosystem. Past generations who set the world on this path cannot come back and remedy their mistakes and future generations will resent the current one if steps are not taken towards drastic reforms.

In conclusion, though people today bear little responsibility for climate change, they must commit to reversing its effects. Leaving this problem for the children of the future will put them in a potentially unwinnable situation.

Analysis

1. Many environmentalists feel that people today have a responsibility to ensure the Earth is left in good condition for future generations. 2. In my opinion, though this duty is unfair, it is nonetheless a burden that must be taken up.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about writing a band 7+ introduction here.

1. Those who argue against this sentiment can justly assign blame elsewhere. 2. The main contributors to climate change and the current cataclysmic warnings were the large industrial powers on the 20th century. 3. Automobiles and air travel became common in the last 100 years and are two leading drivers of the fossil fuel consumption many scientists link to global warming. 4. Surging populations and advances in medicine have also contributed greatly to the over-production and mass consumption that defines the 21st century. 5. It is objectively unfair that people today, and primarily the younger generation only now entering the workforce, should have to suffer for the thoughtlessness of wanton industrialisation.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Add in more specifics.
  5. Conclude by relating it back to your main idea.

1. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the present generation to take heed of these potentially dire warnings. 2. People in the past were either intentionally or unintentionally unaware of the repercussions of their actions but individuals today cannot make such excuses. 3. For example, the rapidly deteriorating polar ice caps are directly impacting the natural habitats of animals around the world and some climate scientists believe that an uptick in natural disasters is also related to this and other man-made changes to the ecosystem. 4. Past generations who set the world on this path cannot come back and remedy their mistakes and future generations will resent the current one if steps are not taken towards drastic reforms.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Develop your main idea.
  3. Use real examples.
  4. If your sentences are long, it is ok to have just 4 in one paragraph.

1. In conclusion, though people today bear little responsibility for climate change, they must commit to reversing its effects. 2. Leaving this problem for the children of the future will put them in a potentially unwinnable situation.

  1. Repeat your opinion and summarise both your main ideas.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many environmentalists feel that people today have a responsibility to ensure the Earth is left in good condition for future generations. In my opinion, though this duty is unfair, it is nonetheless a burden that must be taken up.

Those who argue against this sentiment can justly assign blame elsewhere. The main contributors to climate change and the current cataclysmic warnings were the large industrial powers on the 20th century. Automobiles and air travel became common in the last 100 years and are two leading drivers of the fossil fuel consumption many scientists link to global warming. Surging populations and advances in medicine have also contributed greatly to the over-production and mass consumption that defines the 21st century. It is objectively unfair that people today, and primarily the younger generation only now entering the workforce, should have to suffer for the thoughtlessness of wanton industrialisation.

Regardless, it is the responsibility of the present generation to take heed of these potentially dire warnings. People in the past were either intentionally or unintentionally unaware of the repercussions of their actions but individuals today cannot make such excuses. For example, the rapidly deteriorating polar ice caps are directly impacting the natural habitats of animals around the world and some climate scientists believe that an uptick in natural disasters is also related to this and other man-made changes to the ecosystem. Past generations who set the world on this path cannot come back and remedy their mistakes and future generations will resent the current one if steps are not taken towards drastic reforms.

In conclusion, though people today bear little responsibility for climate change, they must commit to reversing its effects. Leaving this problem for the children of the future will put them in a potentially unwinnable situation.

Answers

environmentalists people who care about the environment

responsibility duty

ensure make sure

left in good condition remain in good quality

future generations people who come later

duty responsibility

unfair unjust

nonetheless regardless

burden duty

taken up take responsibility for

argue against object to

sentiment feeling

justly assign blame elsewhere correctly find fault with others

main contributors biggest causes

climate change global warming

current cataclysmic warnings dire predictions about the future

large industrial powers big companies, nations

20th century 1900 – 2000

two leading drivers main forces behind

fossil fuel consumption burning oil

link connections

surging populations increasing number of people

advances in medicine new medical procedures and technology

contributed greatly add a lot to

over-production making too much

mass consumption using too much

defines constitutes

objectively unfair definitely not right

primarily mainly

entering the workforce getting jobs

suffer hurt from

thoughtlessness not thinking about

wanton industrialisation thoughtless expansion of industry

regardless nonetheless

present generation people alive today

take heed consider

potentially dire warnings possible really bad predictions

intentionally meaning to do it

unintentionally unaware not knowing what they were doing

repercussions effects

excuses reasons

rapidly deteriorating polar ice caps icebergs melting quickly

directly impacting having a clear effect on

natural habitats where animals live

uptick increase

natural disasters hurricans, earthquakes, fires, etc.

man-made cause by humans

ecosystem habit

set the world on this path main cause

remedy their mistakes fix what they did

resent be angry about

current one right now

steps are not taken no measures enacted

drastic reforms sweeping changes

bear little responsibility not their duty

commit be serious about

reversing its effects fixing

leaving this problem ignoring the issue

children of the future future generations

potentially unwinnable situation possibly no solution to it

Pronunciation

ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntəlɪsts 
rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti 
ɪnˈʃʊə 
lɛft ɪn gʊd kənˈdɪʃən 
ˈfjuːʧə ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃənz
ˈdjuːti 
ʌnˈfeə
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs 
ˈbɜːdn 
ˈteɪkən ʌp
ˈɑːgjuː əˈgɛnst 
ˈsɛntɪmənt 
ˈʤʌstli əˈsaɪn bleɪm ˈɛlsˈweə
meɪn kənˈtrɪbjʊtəz 
ˈklaɪmɪt ʧeɪnʤ 
ˈkʌrənt ˌkætəˈklɪzmɪk ˈwɔːnɪŋz 
lɑːʤ ɪnˈdʌstrɪəl ˈpaʊəz 
ˈtwɛntɪəθ ˈsɛnʧʊri
tuː ˈliːdɪŋ ˈdraɪvəz 
ˈfɒsl fjʊəl kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən 
lɪŋk 
ˈsɜːʤɪŋ ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃənz 
ədˈvɑːnsɪz ɪn ˈmɛdsɪn 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)tɪd ˈgreɪtli 
ˌəʊvəprəˈdʌkʃən 
mæs kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən 
dɪˈfaɪnz 
əbˈʤɛktɪvli ʌnˈfeə 
ˈpraɪmərɪli 
ˈɛntərɪŋ ðə ˈwɜːkˌfɔːs
ˈsʌfə 
ˈθɔːtlɪsnəs 
ˈwɒntən ɪnˌdʌstrɪəlaɪˈzeɪʃən
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs
ˈprɛznt ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən 
teɪk hiːd 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəli ˈdaɪə ˈwɔːnɪŋz
ɪnˈtɛnʃənli 
ˌʌnɪnˈtɛnʃənli ˌʌnəˈweə 
ˌriːpɜːˈkʌʃənz 
ɪksˈkjuːsɪz
ˈræpɪdli dɪˈtɪərɪəreɪtɪŋ ˈpəʊlər aɪs ˈkæps 
dɪˈrɛktli ɪmˈpæktɪŋ 
ˈnæʧrəl ˈhæbɪtæts 
ʌp tɪk 
ˈnæʧrəl dɪˈzɑːstəz 
ˈmænˈmeɪd 
ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəm
sɛt ðə wɜːld ɒn ðɪs pɑːθ 
ˈrɛmɪdi ðeə mɪsˈteɪks 
rɪˈzɛnt 
ˈkʌrənt wʌn 
stɛps ɑː nɒt ˈteɪkən 
ˈdræstɪk ˌriːˈfɔːmz
beə ˈlɪtl rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti 
kəˈmɪt 
rɪˈvɜːsɪŋ ɪts ɪˈfɛkts
ˈliːvɪŋ ðɪs ˈprɒbləm 
ˈʧɪldrən ɒv ðə ˈfjuːʧə 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəli ˌʌnˈwɪnəbl ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃən

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many e________________________s feel that people today have a r________________y to e__________e the Earth is l_____________________n for f______________________s. In my opinion, though this d________y is u________r, it is n______________s a b__________n that must be t___________p.

Those who a_____________t this s______________t can j_______________________e. The m_____________________s to c__________________e and the c_________________________s were the l________________________s on the 2______________________y. Automobiles and air travel became common in the last 100 years and are t_____________________s of the f________________________n many scientists l______k to global warming. S________________________s and a_____________________e have also c_____________________y to the o______________________n and m_______________________n that d___________s the 21st century. It is o____________________r that people today, and p________________y the younger generation only now e_______________________e, should have to s___________r for the t________________s of w______________________n.

R_______________s, it is the responsibility of the p_________________n to t______________d of these p__________________________s. People in the past were either i___________________y or u____________________e of the r__________________s of their actions but individuals today cannot make such e_____________s. For example, the r_________________________________s are d___________________g the n_____________________s of animals around the world and some climate scientists believe that an u___________k in n______________________s is also related to this and other m______________e changes to the e__________________m. Past generations who s_________________________h cannot come back and r_________________________s and future generations will r_____________t the c_______________e if s__________________________n towards d___________________s.

In conclusion, though people today b_______________________y for climate change, they must c______________t to r_______________________s. L________________________m for the c_______________________e will put them in a p______________________________n.

Listening Practice

Keep your studies interesting by watching videos related to the topics:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic below in The New York Times climate section:

https://www.nytimes.com/section/climate

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Talk about a person you know who is doing something to help the environment.

Writing Practice

Practice with the following related question from the exam then check with my sample answer:

The manufacturing and use of cars damages the environment but their popularity is increasing.

Why is this?

How could this be controlled?


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