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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 清洁再生能源应用范围存疑

2017年12月12日13:42 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 清洁再生能源应用范围存疑图1

Renewable Energy Targets——A GREen red herring

再生能源目标:用绿色来转移注意力

The goal should be to curb global warming, not to achieve 100% renewable energy.

目标应该是遏制全球变暖,而不是实现100%的可再生能源。

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Not that long ago, the world wondered whether clean energy could survive without lavish government support.

在不久前,人们想知道在没有政府的大力支持下,清洁能源是否能存活下来。

Now the question is how far it can spread.

现在的问题是清洁能源的应用范围能扩散到多远。

The number of electric vehicles, which breached 1m in 2015, last year reached 2m; countries like France and firms like Volvo are looking ahead to the demise of the internal combustion engine.

在2015年,电动车的数量达到了100万,去年达到了200万。像法国这样的国家和像沃尔沃这样的公司正在展望内燃机的消亡。

In electricity generation, too, momentum is with the greens.

在发电上也是如此,动力与环保相结合。

In June the Chinese province of Qinghai ran for seven consecutive days on renewable energy alone; in the first half of this year wind, solar and hydro generated a record 35% of Germany's power.

六月时,中国的青海省连续七天都只靠清洁能源。在今年的上半年,风能,太阳能和水利能发电创纪录地占了德国电力的35%.

Greater success is breeding greater ambition.

更大的成功孕育更大的野心。

California is proposing to reach 60% renewable energy by 2030; 176 countries have clean-energy goals.

加利福尼亚提议在2030年时可再生能源将达到60%,176个国家有着清洁能源的目标。

Hawaii, America's most oil-dependent state, has pledged to be 100% renewable by the middle of the century.

美国最依赖石油的州,夏威夷,保证在这个世纪中叶将100%使用可再生能源。

So have 48 poor countries vulnerable to climate change.

所以只有48个贫穷国家易受气候变化的影响。

This week the number of multinationals making a commitment to running their operations on 100% renewable energy rose to 100.

本周,承诺将100%使用可再生能源运营其业务的跨国公司增至100家。

Even if such targets are never met, they galvanize effort.

虽然这些目标绝不会实现,但是他们激发了人们的努力。

They also provide reassurance about long-term climate policy, despite reversals such as America's withdrawal from the Paris agreement.

他们还提供关于长期气候政策的保证,尽管出现过如美国退出巴黎协定等一些反转情况。

The resulting economies of scale help bring down the costs of wind and solar projects.

由此产生的规模经济有助于降低风能和太阳能项目的成本。

But not every target is helpful.

但是并非每一个目标都是有益的。

To see why, consider that goal of 100% renewable energy. It makes solving climate change seem deceptively easy.

这是为什么呢?考虑到100%的可再生能源的目标使得解决气候变化看起来过于简单。

In fact, though wind and solar can generate all a country's electricity on some days, renewables still account for less than 8% of the world's total power output.

实际上,虽然风能和太阳能可以在几天之内可以产出一个国家所有的用电,但是可再生能源依然占世界总电力输出量少于8%。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 清洁再生能源应用范围存疑图2

Moreover, cleaning up electricity is only part of the battle.

此外,清洁电力只是斗争的一部分。

Even though gas-fired heating and cooking can be at least as big a source of greenhouse-gas emissions, renewable heating gets minuscule attention.

尽管燃气取暖和烹饪至少是温室气体排放的一大源头,但是可再生能源供热还是得到极少被关注。

Transport policy is erratic, too.

交通政策也有点古怪。

Carmakers may hit their goal of annual sales of 10m electric vehicles in a decade, but battery-powered road haulage, shipping and aviation are dreams.

汽车制造商可能会实现在十年之内每年销售一千万辆电动车的目标,但是电池驱动的道路运输,海运和航空则成了梦想。

A much-quoted claim that America could rely on wind, solar and hydro alone for its electricity has recently been witheringly criticised by a group of respected academics.

一份被广泛引述的声明称,美国可能仅仅依靠依赖风能,太阳能和水利发电,因为它的电力最近受到一群令人尊敬的学者难堪地批判。

Most important, a 100% renewables target confuses means with ends.

最重要的是,一个100%的可再生目标混淆本末。

The priority for the planet is to stop net emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide.

需要优先考虑地是停止地球上的温室气体排放,尤其是二氧化碳的排放。

Putting too much emphasis on wind, solar and other renewables may block off better carbon-reduction paths.

将太多重点放在风能,太阳能和其它的可再生能源上可能会阻挡更好的碳减排途径。

After decades of investment, it is wrong to leave nuclear power off the table.

经过几十年的调查,停止核能是不对的。

Carbon emissions in Germany actually rose because it chose to phase outnuclear power and so burned more coal.

在德国,碳排放增多了,是因为国家选择逐步淘汰核能,所以烧了更多的煤。

New technologies, such as “direct air capture” systems designed to separate carbon dioxide from the air, may in time prove vital.

就像“直接捕获空气”的系统设计是为了将二氧化碳从空气中分离,新技术可能是至关重要的。

Likewise, greater energy efficiency could reduce emissions by even more than deploying renewables would.

同样的,更高的能源效率可以降低排放量,甚至多于发展可再生能源后减少的排放量。

Indians last year consumed twice as much energy from newly installed air conditioners as they produced from new solar farms.

去年,印度人新安装的空调消耗了两倍的能量,因为它们产自新的太阳能农场。

More accurate metering of energy consumption could encourage companies and households to rein in power demand.

更准确的能耗计量可能会鼓励公司和家庭控制电力需求。

It would be better, as the Paris agreement urges, for countries to focus on reductions in emissions rather than to set goals for renewable energy.

如巴黎协定要求的那样,国家致力于减少排放量,而不是订立可再生能源的目标,这样更好。

Global emissions have stabilised in the past three years, which is encouraging.

在过去的三年里全球排放量已经稳定了,这是鼓舞人心的。

But to stand a chance of mitigating global warming, they must start falling sharply and keep doing so for decades.

但是为了有机会减轻全球变暖,它们必须开始急剧减少,并且这样保持几十年。

The world will move in that direction with the help of wind and solar.

这个世界会在风能和太阳能的帮助下朝着那个方向前进。

It will not get there without big advances on every other front as well.

没有其他各个方面的巨大进步,它也不会到达。

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