What can governments do to address these problems?

sania-baharat

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This is the title of an essay:

Explain some of the ways in which humans are damaging the environment. What can governments do to address these problems? What can individual people do?

The government section:
Governments could certainly make more effort to reduce air pollution. They could introduce laws to limit emissions from factories or to force companies to use renewable energy from solar, wind or water power. They could also impose ‘green taxes’ on drivers and airline companies. In this way, people would be encouraged to use public transport and to take fewer flights abroad, therefore reducing emissions.

I want to know if the government section is hypotethical situation or not. (Type 2 if-conditional)
 
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Lynxear

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They could also impose ‘green taxes’ on drivers and airline companies. In this way, people would be encouraged to use public transport and to take fewer flights abroad, therefore reducing emissions.

A gasoline tax is sort of a "green tax" on drivers. The tax is not necessarily devoted to Green issues. It is basically a user pay method of collecting a tax and if used properly by governments it is supposed to be used for road improvement. A "carbon tax" is another tax added onto the price of fuels and it is supposed to be used on green projects. A carbon tax has been applied in many provinces of Canada so it is not a hypothetical tax.

I can see an objective of encouraging people to take public transit. I however doubt they want to discourage people from overseas travel by air. What about domestic air travel? there are far more flights within a countries like Canada and the USA due to their size. Rail traffic is not as popular as it is in Europe.

I had a discussion with Belgium students while traveling on a train in France. They were disgusted that Canada did not have electric trains. Well what they don't know is that France (pop: 67 million, area: 643,000 square km) is the same size of my province of Alberta (pop: 4 million, area: 661,000 square km) and Canada (pop: 36million, area: 90 million square km) is over 100 times bigger with half the population of France. Freight travels by rail but except for a few high population areas of Ontario, there is little intercity rail travel in Canada. The distances are too great and the ridership is too small to support it.

While it would be nice to have electric trains in Canada, it would be a a herculean effort to do so, even in major population areas. The cost of the infrastructure would be in the many trillions of Canadian dollars and take decades to complete. It is impractical to convert to electric trains for intercity travel, not to mention the length of time to travel long distances.

So diesel train and truck engines are great for hauling freight. Aircraft are a necessity for passenger traffic.

So in summary, the government section you show is possible but would vary from country to country as to how it might be applied.
 
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yi-ing

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Can I ask if we can replace all could with may or might? I think could here suggestions possibility or probability in the future.
For example, eating too much junk food could/may/might lead to obesity.
 

Lynxear

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There is a slight difference between using "could" and "might". "Could" as far as possibility goes is a little stronger than "might".

John could be president of the class - shows a definite possibility.
John might be president of the class - shows less of a certainty that this will come true.

With respect to your original post, "could" is the better word.
 

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Lynxear

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‘green taxes’

What's that about, Lynxear?

The original post used the term "green taxes". I did not introduce the phrase here.

Having said that, in Canada we have a "carbon tax" that is already in place in several provinces of this country and soon will be applied across the country as a whole. This tax is supposed to encourage industry to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released to the air. Carbon dioxide is thought to be a main contributor to global warming so reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released to the air may influence climate change.

I am not going to enter the debate as to whether climate change is a natural event or man made. The fact is that climate change is occurring so any attempt to lessen the effect is probably worthwhile. Also pollution from fossil fuel consumption is another issue. Making industry change from inefficient polluting practices through such a thing as a carbon tax is probably a good thing especially if the taxes that are collected are reinvested in technologies to reduce pollution in other ways.

As a result of the imposition of the carbon tax in Alberta, several coal-fired power plants have been converted to cleaner natural gas. Before this tax went into effect, the coal-fired industry said this would take years to implement. However, surprise, surprise, the conversion took only one year to do so. Canada has a deposit of oil that is bigger than the reserves of Saudi Arabia, but it is a solid that is mined, the tar sands. It is a difficult polluting process to extract this oil. Through implementation of this tax, industry has realized increased efficiencies. We don't hear grumblings by the oil industry in Alberta about having to adjust to this carbon tax. They seem to have found efficiencies to improve their production, saving them operating cost plus reducing that tax burden. They still have a long way to go, but change is started.

So "green taxes" are taxes that are focused on improving the environment.
 
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emsr2d2

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I think Rover was referring to the fact that, to the rest of us, the words green taxes have a strange capital A with a circumflex over it before and after them. To the right of the first A is a reversed apostrophe and to the right of the second A is an apostrophe. I assume you were trying to do something to the words but the coding hasn't worked (or isn't recognised by the forum software). How did you expect the words to appear?
 

Lynxear

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I think Rover was referring to the fact that, to the rest of us, the words green taxes have a strange capital A with a circumflex over it before and after them. To the right of the first A is a reversed apostrophe and to the right of the second A is an apostrophe. I assume you were trying to do something to the words but the coding hasn't worked (or isn't recognised by the forum software). How did you expect the words to appear?


I see such a thing often when I quote some posters. It happens with the apostrophe in general especially contractions as well as quotation marks.

You will note that it only appears in a copied part of the quotation. I can only assume it has to do with the font used by some users when they posted their questions. I usually delete these occurrences when I notice them. It is not a statement on my part and only happens when I copy a quotation from certain posters.

If Rover had been clearer with his question as you have been, I would not have wasted my time on that post on "green taxes"
 

emsr2d2

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I've fixed post #2 so that the quote actually appears in a quote box. I'm not sure why the quote box didn't appear in the first place (I'm assuming you used the "Reply with quote" button).
 

teechar

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It is basically a user-pay method of collecting a tax and, if used properly by governments, it is supposed to be used for road improvement. A "carbon tax" is another tax added onto the price of fuels, and it is supposed to be used on green projects. A carbon tax has been applied in many provinces of Canada, so it is not a hypothetical tax.

I can see an objective of encouraging people to take public transit. I, however, doubt they want to discourage people from overseas from traveling by air. What about domestic air travel? There are far more flights within countries like Canada and the USA due to their size. Rail traffic is not as popular in North America as it is in Europe.

I had a discussion with [STRIKE]Belgium[/STRIKE] Belgian students [or "students from Belgium"] while traveling on a train in France. They were disgusted that Canada did not have electric trains. Well what they [STRIKE]don't[/STRIKE] didn't know is that France (pop: 67 million, area: 643,000 square km) is the same size [STRIKE]of[/STRIKE] as my province of Alberta (pop: 4 million, area: 661,000 square km), and Canada (pop: 36million, area: 90 million square km) is over 100 times bigger with half the population of France. Freight travels by rail but, except for a few high-population areas of Ontario, there is little intercity rail travel in Canada. The distances are too great and the ridership is too small to support it.

While it would be nice to have electric trains in Canada, it would be a herculean effort to do so, even in major population areas. The cost of the infrastructure would be in the many trillions of Canadian dollars and take decades to complete. It is impractical to convert to electric trains for intercity travel, not to mention the length of time to travel long distances.

So diesel train and truck engines are great for hauling freight. Aircraft are a necessity for passenger traffic.

So in summary, the government [STRIKE]section[/STRIKE] role you show is possible but would vary from country to country as to how it might be applied.
.
 

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probus

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This is the title of an essay:

Explain some of the ways in which humans are damaging the environment. What can governments do to address these problems? What can individual people do?

I want to know if the government section is hypotethical situation or not. (Type 2 if-conditional)


I don't think it is "the title of an essay". In my opinion it is a homework question. So can we please just answer the OP's question, which was: hypothetical or not?
 

sania-baharat

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sania-baharat

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With respect to your original post, "could" is the better word.​

Thank you Lynxear. May I ask whether "may or will" is possible here ot not?
 

Lynxear

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Thank you Lynxear. May I ask whether "may or will" is possible here ot not?


I am sorry for not responding sooner. I just stumbled on your question.

This is the section that you are referring to, I believe.

The government section:
Governments could certainly make more effort to reduce air pollution. They could introduce laws to limit emissions from factories or to force companies to use renewable energy from solar, wind or water power. They could also impose "green taxes" on drivers and airline companies. In this way, people would be encouraged to use public transport and to take fewer flights abroad, therefore reducing emissions.

From a grammar point of view, yes, you could replace all references of "could" with "may" and "would" with "will". However, you would be changing the meaning slightly. Changing "could" to "may" would make something that is quite possible into something that is less certain.

Also bear in mind, that this is only one paragraph. You would have to make sure that your changes would be consistent with all other verbs used in the document.

So grammatically, in this paragraph, it is fine. Whether you should or not do it is not that clear.
 
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