I’ve chosen to focus today on a recent decision by the UK regulator to authorise oil and gas extraction at Rosebank, off the coast of Scotland.
This is a very topical issue in the UK, but it also illustrates many important arguments that are relevant to the energy security and climate debate more broadly.
In today’s exercise, you are going to be improvising a short speech about the Rosebank project.
The first thing to do is for you to find out a bit about Rosebank.
Start by reading these articles (click on the images).
Structuring your thoughts
Now grab a pen and write down:
- a few basic points about Rosebank (what it is, where it is located, what its potential production is)
- the government’s arguments in favour of drilling
- arguments against the project
When you’ve finished, you can compare with my ideas if you like.
Your task is to prepare a short speech based on the information you have gathered. You have one additional challenge: to incorporate the following phrases:
- the green light was given
- it gives the lie to arguments that
- playing politics with the climate emergency
- it sends a disastrous message
- for short term electoral gain
- economic myopia is sabotaging
Here’s the process to follow (if you like!):
- Choose which arguments you will use
- see where you can incorporate the phrases I’ve given you
- write a bullet point outline
- switch on your recording device and give your speech in English
- listen back to your performance, and see if you can pick up any sections that could have been phrased better.
Obviously I’m not with you right now to correct your English or give you suggestions, so on this occasion I’m going to show you how you can use Artificial Intelligence to give you a helping hand.
Comparing your version with others
When you don’t have a tame native speaker to help you out, you can use an AI like ChatGPT. We may as well harness AI for our own purposes, since it can sometimes be useful!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that ChatGPT is always perfect, but it can be a useful tool.
If you’ve read both texts generated by the AI, you may feel, as I do, that the arguments can be a bit vague and circular; but that’s not what we’re using it for! Its usefulness to you lies in its ability to generate quite well-written English with phrases that you can lift and re-use in other contexts.
I hope you found this exercise useful!