2015年考研暑假必读文章:AS the Waters Rise

来源:新东方 2019-02-26


AS the Waters Rise

As world leaders met to discuss climate change at the United Nations this week, protesters outside seemed unconvinced that drowning islands and expanding deserts were the plane's biggest woe. Latin Americans lamented the imperialism of the United States. Vietnamese with Buddhist flags decried their governments impiety, while émigrés from Iran deplored their rulers' religious fervor.

Inside the building, concerns were almost as diffuse. Some thought the most pressing aspect of climate change was rising sea levels; others, the growing intensity of storms and droughts; and others the spread of pests and diseases. Many poor countries felt more money was needed to address the problem; rich ones fretted about a lack of political will and popular enthusiasm. South Africa wanted more "mainstreaming of women and youth". Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, called capitalism theworst enemy”,A sheikh from the United Arab Emirates said too vigorous a response to global warming could wreck oil-dependent economies. And President George Bush, not content with the UN event, held his own meeting on climate change on September 27th.

In theory, both his gathering and the UN one aimed to foster debate about a successor to the Kyoto protocol the UN's existing treaty on climate change, which expires in 2012. But the rhetoric surrounding the two deliberations was very different. At the UN meeting, almost every leader spoke of "common but differentiated responsibilities”---jargon for the idea that rich countries must cut their emissions of greenhouse gases, while poor ones carry on as normal unless the rich world pays for them to clean up their act. The White House affair, meanwhile, focused on disseminating green technology. The implicit message was that binding emissions targets are counter-productive, and that any solution must involve poor countries as well as rich ones.

Yvo de Boer, head of the agency that oversees Kyoto and its precursor, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, says the gulf between America and the rest is less wide than it appears. Although Mr. Bush is not yet ready to contemplate a binding international treaty that would limit greenhouse-gas emissions, he does advocate policies that could help trim America's emissions. As it is, states representing over half of America's emissions have pledged cuts of some kind. Congress, meanwhile, is contemplating several bills that would impose a national cap. Australia, the other rich country that rejected Kyoto, is also working on an emissions-reduction plan.

Poor countries, for the most part, are still refusing to accept any targets of their own. They

argue that rich countries have not made enough use of the Clean Development Mechanism(CDM), a scheme under Kyoto that lets countries with emissions-reduction targets meet them in part through projects in poor countries. Cuba's foreign minister, for one, dismissed rich countries' efforts to date as modestisimo: he questioned the "moral authorityof leaders like Mr. Bush. India merely vowed that its emissions per head would never exceed the level of rich countries, a formula that still permits enormous growth.

But a few developing countries hinted at a more flexible stance. Mexico suggested tying the aid given to poor countries through programmes like the CDM to their efforts to combat climate change. Indonesia's president, amid more talk of "differentiated responsibilities", said all countries should take on bigger burdens, and told fellow leaders to "think outside the box". There was much discussion--albeit mostly on the sidelines--of poor countries taking on targets for emissions per head, or per unit of output in certain industries.

All this hints at the shape of things to come. America and Australia can probably be enticed to limit emissions, especially if, as expected, both get new governments in the next year or two. But the oversight and administration of such a deal might be looser than under Kyoto, given America's suspicion of global bureaucrats. Poor countries might he induced to take on targets of some sort, albeit of a less exacting sort than the straight emissions cuts faced by rich countries. But forging such a deal could take an age: neither America nor the UN expect any conclusion before late 2008.Perhaps those low-lying islands should not count on staying dry.



diffuse / di'fju:z/
【大纲全义】V.扩散;传播 adj.(文章等)冗长的,

intensity /in'tensiti/

drought /draut/

fret /fret/
【大纲全义】n.烦躁,磨损,焦急 v.烦恼,不满,磨损

expire /iks'pai?/

deliberation / di,lib?'re??n /

implicit / im'plisit/

contemplate /'k?ntempleit/

bind /baind/

treaty /'tri:ti/

reject / ri'd?ekt /
【文中释义】 v.拒绝,驳回
【大纲全义】 v.拒绝,抵制,丢弃,排斥,退掉

dismiss /dismis/

vow /vau/

formula /'f?:mjul?/

impiety n.无信抑,无信心,不虔诚 fervour n.热情(白热状态)
sheikh n.阿拉伯首长(族长) rhetoric adj花言巧语的
differentiate v.区别,差别 precursor n.先驱者,前导,先进者
albeit conj.虽然(即使)


联合国总部大楼内,不同的国家、不同的民族关心的问题也各不相同。一些国家认为当前最紧迫的问题是气候变化引起的海平面上升;有的国家认为是旱涝灾害 的加剧;还有的认为是虫害和疾病的传播。许多贫困国家觉得他们需要获得更多的资金以解决问题;发达国家对国民普遍缺乏政治热情而焦虑不已;南非要求允许更 多妇女和年轻人回归主流;玻利维亚总统伊·莫拉莱斯声称资本主义才是罪魁祸首;一位阿拉伯联合酋长国的酋长说对全球气候变暖的过分关注可能切断石油大国的 经济命脉。而布什总统则无视联合国的事务,于9月27日在白宫召开了有关环境变化的会议。

从理论上来讲,不论是布什的小会还是联合国大会,都是为寻求《京都协议》的后继条约而努力,联合国有关环境变化的现有条例将在2012年失效。但是, 两个会议所高谈阔论的重点又是截
然不同的。联合国大会上,大多数国家领导人都主张国际法所确立的“共同而有区别的责任”原则,这一原则规定发达国家必须减 少温室气体的排放量,发展中国家维持现有的排放量,除非发达国家为他们的排放量买单。与此同时,白宫将主要问题放在绿色环保技术的推广上,也就是说,白宫 认为在减排问题上如果将发达国家与发展中国家区别对待,效果只会适得其反。无论采取什么方法解决,对发达国家和发展中国家应该一视同仁。

据京都议定书的监督者,《联合国气候变化框架协议》秘书处执行秘书伊弗·德布尔介绍,在温室气体的减排这一问题上,美国正在缩小与其他国家的差距。虽 然布什尚未考虑制定一项限制温室气体排放的国际性公约,但他已同意采取措施削减美国的排放量,事实也的确如此,美国有一半以上的州已经做出减排及其他措施 的保证。同时美国国会也正考虑设立议案限制温室气体的排放。如反对《京都协议》的其他一些发达国家,如澳大利亚也正在建立一个减少温室气体排放的计划。

大部分发展中国家仍然拒绝他们的减排义务,他们认为发达国家并未完全遵守《京都协议》的清洁发展机制,这项机制允许一些国家为了符合减排要求,在发展 中国家设厂投资。例如,古巴外交部长对发达国家的努力不以为然,他认为那是微不足道的,他对布什等一些所谓的道德政府表示质疑。印度领导人仅仅承诺他们的 人均排放量绝不会超过发达国家,这就使印度未来排放量的大幅增长合理化了。