含有〈环境〉标签的文章(24)

[译文]复兴中的可再生能源

Europe’s “Green” Power Fueled by Burning Wood
欧洲的“绿色”能源——烧木头

作者:Jamie @ 2017-02-24
译者:eGregius (@eGregius)
校对:龙泉
来源:The American Interest,http://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/02/23/europes-green-power-fueled-by-burning-wood/

Nearly two-thirds of the Europe’s renewable energy comes from burning wood. No, this isn’t some time capsule report from 500 years ago—that’s actually what the European Union is doing to meet its vaunted climate targets. The BBC reports:

欧洲近三分之二的可再生能量来自于木材燃烧——这可不是出自500年前时间胶囊中的记述,而是欧盟为了达到它吹嘘的气候目标所正在做的。据BBC报道:

While much of the discussion has focused on wind and solar power, across Europe the biggest source of green energy is biomass. It supplies around 65% of renewable power – usually electricity generated from burning wood pellets. EU Governments, under pressure to meet tough carbon cutting targets, have been encouraging electricity producers to use more of this form of ener(more...)

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Europe’s “Green” Power Fueled by Burning Wood 欧洲的“绿色”能源——烧木头 作者:Jamie @ 2017-02-24 译者:eGregius (@eGregius) 校对:龙泉 来源:The American Interest,http://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/02/23/europes-green-power-fueled-by-burning-wood/ Nearly two-thirds of the Europe’s renewable energy comes from burning wood. No, this isn’t some time capsule report from 500 years ago—that’s actually what the European Union is doing to meet its vaunted climate targets. The BBC reports: 欧洲近三分之二的可再生能量来自于木材燃烧——这可不是出自500年前时间胶囊中的记述,而是欧盟为了达到它吹嘘的气候目标所正在做的。据BBC报道:
While much of the discussion has focused on wind and solar power, across Europe the biggest source of green energy is biomass. It supplies around 65% of renewable power – usually electricity generated from burning wood pellets. EU Governments, under pressure to meet tough carbon cutting targets, have been encouraging electricity producers to use more of this form of energy by providing substantial subsidies for biomass burning. 尽管有大量的议题集中在风能和太阳能,生物质能仍然是目前整个欧洲最主要的绿色能源。它提供了约65%的可再生能量——以木屑颗粒燃烧发电为主。在严苛的减碳目标压力之下,欧盟各国政府为电力生产商制定了大量的补贴政策以激励他们采用此类能源。
If cutting down trees and burning them doesn’t sound green to you, that’s because, well, it’s not. It only becomes “climate neutral” when you include some clever accounting: if foresters replant a tree for every one they cut down, then from a “life-cycle” perspective, the emissions involved in burning that wood is offset by the carbon captured by the new forests. 如果你觉得伐木烧柴听起来并不那么“绿色”的话,那是因为,它确实不。哪怕你引入一些精明的算计:如果每伐一株木,护林人都会进行再种植,那么从“生命循环”的角度来看,烧柴所导致的碳排放会被新种树木的光合作用抵消,这也仅仅导致“气候中和”。 But a new report from Chatham House scrutinizes that calculus as little more than fuzzy math: 但来自Chatham House的一项最新报道仔细审视了上述算计,发现那仅仅是含糊的数学:
“It doesn’t make sense,” said [Duncan Brack, the report’s author], who is also a former special adviser at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. “The fact that forests have grown over the previous 20 or 100 years means they are storing large amounts of carbon, you can’t pretend it doesn’t make an impact on the atmosphere if you cut them down and burn them…You could fix them in wood products or in furniture or you could burn them, but the impact on the climate is very different.” “那说不通,”报道的作者Duncan Brack表示——他同时也是英国能源与气候变化部的前任特别顾问——“无论过去20还是过去100年,森林面积都在增长,这一事实表明森林存储了大量的碳,你没有办法假装砍伐和燃烧它们对气候不会产生任何影响……你可以把这些碳继续固定闸木制品或家具里,你也可以把它们烧掉,但两种做法对气候的影响是很不同的。” Mr Brack says the assumption of carbon neutrality misses out on some crucial issues, including the fact that young trees planted as replacements absorb and store less carbon than the ones that have been burned. Brack先生表示碳中和的设想遗漏了一些重要的问题,包括新种植小树苗的贮碳能力并不及那些被烧掉的树。
This dodgy carbon accounting has come under fire (no pun intended) before, and for good reason: it doesn’t pass the common sense test. Even if you claim that the carbon capturing abilities of felled trees are offset by new forests, you need to consider that those new trees will take decades to reach full maturity—decades in which they won’t be sequestering carbon. Then too, consider that every step of the biomass production process—cutting trees down, trucking them out, machining them into pellets, and then shipping those pellets to the power plants where they’ll be burned—all entail emissions of their own. 这种鸡贼的碳核算方法此前就曾经受舆论炙烤(无意双关),这也理所应当,因为它并不符合常识。即使你声称新种植的木头会替代被伐木贮碳,你也需要考虑到这些替代者需要几十年的时间才能完全成熟——而在这几十年间,它们不怎么会吸碳。此外,想想生物质能生产的各个环节——伐木、运输、加工成颗粒再被运到发电厂(燃烧它们的地方)——都会产生排放。 There’s another big problem here, too. Europe buys much of their wood pellets from outside the bloc, and there’s little in the way of regulatory oversight to ensure felled trees are replanted, opening the door to opportunists looking to make a quick buck. And, as the BBC explains, the vagaries of international carbon accounting are producing some odd numbers for Europe: 还有一个不小的问题。欧洲大量的木屑颗粒采购于欧洲之外,没有多少监管措施去保证被伐木材会有新的树木取代,这为只想着快速捞一笔的机会主义者敞开了大门。正如BBC所解释的,国际间碳核算领域的奇招妙术正在给欧洲制造一些奇怪的数据:
[U]nder UN climate rules, emissions from trees are only counted when they are harvested. However the US, Canada and Russia do not use this method of accounting so if wood pellets are imported from these countries into the EU, which doesn’t count emissions from burning, the carbon simply goes “missing”. 根据联合国制定的气候规则,燃烧木材的排放只在被砍伐时记录一次,然而美国、加拿大和俄罗斯并不采取这样的计算方法,这样一来从这些国家进口到欧盟的木屑颗粒所导致的碳排放便不会被记录,就这么消失了。
With 65 percent of Europe’s renewable energy coming from biomass, you’d think this would be a bigger scandal. Perhaps the Eurocrats in Brussels are unwilling to examine the problem too closely, fearful that an in-depth investigation might kill the region’s best chance at meeting the climate targets it set for itself. Countries in Europe seem to be doubling down on biomass, too, a decision some observers say is “disastrous” for the environment. The longer this goes on, the more apparent it is that the EU cares more about appearing to be green than it does about actually tackling the issues it makes such a big to-do about on the international stage. 若再考虑到欧洲65%的可再生能源由生物质能组成,你会愈发觉得这是一桩丑闻。也许布鲁塞尔的欧盟官员们更愿意与这些调查保持距离,他们害怕深入的调查会让他们达到为自己设定的气候目标的希望落空。同时,欧洲各国在生物质能使用上似乎正在变本加利,一些观察家认为,对生态环境来说,这是“灾难性”的决定。这样的局面持续越久,欧盟的心思就愈发明显——相比应对让他们真正费力的气候问题,他们更在意台面上的“绿色”。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

迟来的花粉过敏

【2017-01-16】

听说不少人来澳洲五六年之后开始出现花粉过敏,为什么是五六年后而不是马上?我猜是因为空气太干净,免疫系统过度拉低了反应阈值,所以,墙内兄弟们,吸点雾霾也不是完全没好处~ ​​​​

 

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【2017-01-16】 听说不少人来澳洲五六年之后开始出现花粉过敏,为什么是五六年后而不是马上?我猜是因为空气太干净,免疫系统过度拉低了反应阈值,所以,墙内兄弟们,吸点雾霾也不是完全没好处~ ​​​​  
[译文]摘下德国的小绿帽看看

Looking Under Germany’s “Green” Hood
摘下德国的“小绿帽”看看

作者:Jamie Horgan @ 2016-05-27
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:babyface_claire (@许你疯不许你傻)
来源:The American Interest,http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/05/27/looking-under-germanys-green-hood/

Germany has tripled its renewable power production over the past decade. But how green is its energiewende, really?
过去十年间,德国可再生能源生产增加了三倍。但是,德国的“能源转型”(energiewende)到底有多绿色?

There’s no denying that the energiewende—Germany’s much ballyhooed and supposedly green energy transition—has accomplished a great deal in recent years, but whether the country (and the environment) is better off for it requires a closer examination. Let’s start with the good news and focus on the extraordinary growth of renewable energy in Germany over the past decade.

毫无疑问,“能源转型”——德国大肆宣扬的所谓绿色环保的能源转变计划——在过去数年间达成了很多目标,但该国(及其环境)是否因此而变好了,则需要更细致的考察。我们首先来看看好消息,关注一下过去十年间德国可再生能源的非凡增长。

According to data compiled in a recent briefing by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “[e]lectricity generated from renewable sources has tripled in Germany over the past 10 years.” Most of that added capacity has come from new wind and solar farms (a direct result of energiewende policies) and Berlin hopes to rely on renewables for more than four-fifths of its power by 2050—a remarkably ambitious goal.

根据美国能源情报署(EIA)最近发布的一份简报上搜集的数据,“过去十年间,德国的可再生能源发电量增加了三倍。”这种新增发电能力大部分来自于新建的风力发电厂和太阳能发电厂(这正是“能源转换”政策的直接成果),而且柏林还期望到2050年时其电力需求的五分之四能够依赖可再生能源——一个非常野心勃勃的目标。

But as much of a reach as that mid-century target appears to be, what Germany has already accomplished is nothing short of striking. Most of the time when we hear about the growth of renewables(more...)

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Looking Under Germany’s “Green” Hood 摘下德国的“小绿帽”看看 作者:Jamie Horgan @ 2016-05-27 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:babyface_claire (@许你疯不许你傻) 来源:The American Interest,http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/05/27/looking-under-germanys-green-hood/ Germany has tripled its renewable power production over the past decade. But how green is its energiewende, really? 过去十年间,德国可再生能源生产增加了三倍。但是,德国的“能源转型”(energiewende)到底有多绿色? There’s no denying that the energiewende—Germany’s much ballyhooed and supposedly green energy transition—has accomplished a great deal in recent years, but whether the country (and the environment) is better off for it requires a closer examination. Let’s start with the good news and focus on the extraordinary growth of renewable energy in Germany over the past decade. 毫无疑问,“能源转型”——德国大肆宣扬的所谓绿色环保的能源转变计划——在过去数年间达成了很多目标,但该国(及其环境)是否因此而变好了,则需要更细致的考察。我们首先来看看好消息,关注一下过去十年间德国可再生能源的非凡增长。 According to data compiled in a recent briefing by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “[e]lectricity generated from renewable sources has tripled in Germany over the past 10 years.” Most of that added capacity has come from new wind and solar farms (a direct result of energiewende policies) and Berlin hopes to rely on renewables for more than four-fifths of its power by 2050—a remarkably ambitious goal. 根据美国能源情报署(EIA)最近发布的一份简报上搜集的数据,“过去十年间,德国的可再生能源发电量增加了三倍。”这种新增发电能力大部分来自于新建的风力发电厂和太阳能发电厂(这正是“能源转换”政策的直接成果),而且柏林还期望到2050年时其电力需求的五分之四能够依赖可再生能源——一个非常野心勃勃的目标。 But as much of a reach as that mid-century target appears to be, what Germany has already accomplished is nothing short of striking. Most of the time when we hear about the growth of renewables, the numbers only look impressive when you discuss them in terms of growth, and tend to pale in significance when you place them in the wider context of an energy mix. 虽然这个截至本世纪中叶的目标看起来很宏伟,但德国目前所取得的成绩也是十分夺目的。多数情况下,当我们听到可再生能源的发展时,只有在当你讨论增长时数字才令人印象深刻。如果把这些数字放到能源结构这一更大的背景中去,它的重要性往往就会相形见绌。 For example, there have been plenty of headlines recently about the stellar year renewables had here in the United States in 2015, with wind and solar respectively accounting for 41 and 26 percent of new electricity generation capacity. But looking under the hood, we find that after all of that growth, renewable energy sources still account for just 7 percent of our nation’s overall power generation (wind is at 4.7 percent while solar produces a measly 0.6 percent), a pittance next to real green workhorses like nuclear power (20 percent) or natural gas (33 percent). 比方说,我们已经在报纸上看过很多头条文章,谈论2015年是美国可再生能源的闪亮年份——风能和太阳能分别占到新增发电能力的41%和26%。但是揭开帽子一看,我们就会发现,在经历所有这些增长之后,可再生能源在全国发电总量中仍然只占有7%(风力发电占4.7%,而太阳能发电更是只有可怜的0.6%),与真正的绿色老马如核电(20%)或天然气(33%)相比差距甚远。 However in Germany, renewables contributed to a whopping 31 percent of electricity generation in 2015, and on particularly windy or sunny days that number spiked much higher. Environmentalists around the world are jumping up and down, pointing at this progress as evidence that renewables’ day has finally come. Still, most other countries aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to replicate energiewende strategies. Why is that? 但是在德国,可再生能源为2015年发电量贡献了31%,占比非常之高。而且,赶上风特别大或光照特别充足的日子,这个数字还能爬得更高。全球的环保主义者都手舞足蹈,认为这种变化正是可再生能源全盛之日终于来临的证据。然而,大部分其他国家却并没有迫不及待地想要复制“能源转型”这一战略。原因何在? The growth of renewables didn’t occur because of market forces—wind and solar aren’t out-competing fossil fuels on price. Rather, Berlin had to subsidize their growth through the use of feed-in tariffs, which essentially guaranteed wind and solar producers privileged grid access and long-term, above-market rates for their power. The costs of these feed-in tariffs have been passed along to German consumers in the form of a green surcharge on their electricity bills. 因为,可再生能源的增加并不是市场作用的结果,风力和太阳能并不是通过价格优势而战胜化石燃料的。为了增加可再生能源发电量,柏林必须通过强制价回购政策(feed-in tariffs)对其进行补贴。这种补贴政策实质上为风力和太阳能发电厂提供了入网特权,并且让他们能在很长时间内以高于市场价的价格售电。这类强制价回购政策的成本被转嫁到德国消费者身上,他们的电费账单上因此增加了一种绿色附加费。 You don’t have to be a beltway insider to see how politically poisonous a policy predicated on higher power bills might be to leaders looking at their own energy mixes elsewhere in the world. At a time when oil and gas markets are fairly flooded with supplies and prices are correspondingly low, it’s an even harder sell for policymakers: “never mind that cheap (and relatively clean burning) natural gas. Here, have some expensive wind power.” 对于世界其他地方的政治领导人来说,面对他们国家的能源结构,这种只能由更高的电费账单才能维持的政策在政治上将会多么有害,你无需是个官场老手也能想明白。特别是,现在石油和天然气市场供给泛滥,因此价格相应很低,要说服政策制定者接受上述政策就更是难上加难了:“别理那些便宜(且相对而言更能清洁燃烧的)天然气了。来,用用更贵的风力发电。” These aren’t nominal price hikes, either. Feed-in tariffs double the average German household’s power bill, and according to the EIA, they’re spiraling up: 而且,这并非名义物价上涨。强制价回购政策使得德国家庭的平均电费上涨了一倍。根据EIA,目前它还在螺旋上升:
[O]ne surcharge for renewable electricity increased from 8.8% of the residential electricity price in 2010 to 17% in 2013…In 2014, the average sales-weighted retail price for residential consumption in Germany was about 35 cents/kWh, while the average residential retail price in the United States was about 13 cents/kWh. Along with Denmark, Germany has among the highest residential electricity prices in Europe. “民用电价格中因可再生能源而产生的一项附加费从2010年的8.8%上涨到2013年的17%……2014年,德国的民用电零售价格依销售额加权平均后为35美分/千瓦时,而美国的民用电平均零售价约为13美分/千瓦时。在民用电价格方面,德国与丹麦同居全欧之首。”
Cheap energy is foundational for economic growth, and expensive electricity can be seen as a regressive tax on poorer households. Upper class homes might not notice their power bill doubling as a result of green surcharges because it makes up a much smaller slice of their monthly budget, but for working class families the cumulative effect of paying off that eco-premium can be devastating. 廉价能源对于经济增长具有基础性作用,而昂贵的电费则可以被看作是加于贫困家庭身上的一种累退税。电费账单因为绿色附加费而上涨一倍,这一点上层阶级家庭可能不会注意到,因为电费在他们的每月开支中只占到很小一部分,但对于工人阶级家庭而言,持续支付这种生态附加费的累积后果则非常大。 And that’s just the beginning of the energiewende‘s problems. Wind and solar power are by their very nature intermittent energy sources, meaning they can only supply the grid when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. That’s a big problem for grid operators, because above all else, society needs its electricity supply to be dependable. 而这在“能源转型”所面临的诸多问题中还只是个开头。就其性质而言,风能和太阳能都只是间歇性的能量来源,只有刮风或出太阳的时候才能给电网供电。这对电网运营企业来说是个大麻烦,因为社会需要其电力供应稳定可靠,这一点至关重要。 Moreover, wind and solar farms tend to be much smaller and more numerous than coal- or gas-fired power plants or nuclear reactors (more on those later). The inconsistency of these renewables and their more distributed siting pattern both pose big challenges to grids, and Germany hasn’t updated its electricity transmission systems at the same pace as it has incentivized the development of green energy. 另外,相较于燃煤或燃气发电厂或者核电站(下文再详述),风力发电厂和太阳能发电厂一般都更小、更多。这些可再生能源发电厂的不稳定,以及更为分散的选址,都对输电网带来了极大的挑战,而德国虽然一直在刺激绿色能源发展,但并没有同步更新其电力输送网络。 As you might expect, that’s proving problematic. As seems to be the case with any new energy project, NIMBY-ism reared its head. Local German communities vigorously protested the construction of high-voltage transmission lines that would have brought power from offshore wind farms in the Baltic and North Seas southward. 不难预料,这必定是个麻烦事。跟几乎任何新建能源项目都会遭遇的一样,邻避一族首先出来阻扰。为了将电力从位于波罗的海和北海海边的离岸风力发电厂往南输送,需要修建高压输电线,而这在德国遭到了各地方社区的猛烈抵制。 Grid problems extend beyond the country’s borders to Germany’s neighbors, too. The Czech Republic and Poland have had to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to protect their own grids from surging German power on those especially sunny and breezy days. As the Czech Permanent Representative to the EU, Martin Povejšil, put it last summer, “if there is a strong blow of the wind in the North, we get it, we have the blackout.” 电网问题还越过国界,影响到了德国的邻国。为了保护各自的电网抵御大风或烈日天气里来自德国的电压突增问题,捷克共和国和波兰都已经花费了数亿美元。捷克驻欧盟的常任代表Martin Povejšil去年夏天就说:“如果北欧刮大风,我们有体会,我们会停电。” As Germany’s energiewende leads it down that road to 80+ percent renewables, these intermittency issues will become even more extreme. To get an idea of just how unreliable the German power supply has become, intraday energy trading in the German power market is now too volatile for humans to keep up, so traders have to rely on algorithms to do their jobs for them. 随着德国的“能源转型”政策朝着可再生能源发电占比80%以上的目标一路进发,上述因发电间歇而导致的问题将会愈演愈烈。为了了解一下德国的电力供应已经变得多不稳定,我们可以看个例子。德国电力市场的当日能源交易波动之大,单凭人脑已经无法跟踪,所以交易员们只能依靠计算机算法来做事。 But wait! There’s more. In some bizarre twist of tortured green logic, Germany’s “clean” energy transition also included the shuttering of the country’s only source of baseload (read: consistent) source of zero-emissions power: its fleet of nuclear reactors. This move was hastened by the 2011 Fukushima disaster, despite the fact that Germany, unlike Japan, straddles no tectonic boundary and therefore faces none of the same environmental challenges that the island nation does. 等一下!这还没完。在扭曲的绿色逻辑的古怪推理之下,德国的“清洁”能源转型还包括关闭该国唯一的零排放基载(即稳定可靠)电力来源——核反应堆机组。因2011年福岛事件爆发,这一举动得以加速,尽管德国跟日本不同,并不位于任何地质构造边界之上,因此也并不面临日本这一岛国所面临的任何类似环境挑战。 Whether you ascribe Berlin’s decision to snub nuclear power to fear or base political pandering to clueless environmentalists that have long held an anti-nuclear bias, the end result has been a loss of clean power, and most of that lost capacity has been replaced by the dirtiest fossil fuel around, coal—and not just any coal, but one of the dirtiest varieties of the sooty rock called lignite. 不管你认为柏林作出停止核能发电的决策是出于恐惧还是出于对愚蠢的环保主义者(他们从来都在偏执地反对核能)的可耻政治迎合,最终结果都很明白,那就是清洁电力变少了,而损失的发电量绝大多数又是由各种化石燃料中最脏的一种来填补的,那就是煤——而且不仅仅是普通的煤,而是这类乌黑矿石中最脏的一种,叫做褐煤。 Coal accounted for a plurality of Germany’s power production last year, a whole 44 percent of it, and until researchers discover a technological fix for the intermittency of wind and solar power, there’s not a great deal renewables can do to encroach on Old King Coal’s fiefdom. 煤炭在德国去年的电力生产中占比最高,总共达到44%。而且,除非研究者找到了风力和太阳能发电间歇性问题的技术解决办法,否则可再生能源要想蚕食“煤炭老国王”的领地,恐怕将无处下手。 energiewendeIf Germany was really serious about working towards a clean energy mix, they’d be spending less on propping up today’s generation of renewables and more on the research and development of the next generation of wind turbines, solar panels, and energy storage options that could allow those green energy sources to compete with fossil fuels on their own merit. 如果德国确实真的想要塑造出一个清洁能源结构,他们就应该少在扶持这一代可再生能源发电上花钱,多在研究开发下一代风轮机、太阳能电池板和储能设备等方面花钱,以便这些绿色能源能够凭自身的长处和化石能源进行竞争。 If Germany was really interested in acting as an eco-friendly example for the rest of the world, it would be embracing nuclear power (and investing in the next generation of nuclear technologies) with both arms, rather than shunning it in favor of lignite coal. 如果德国确实真的有心想要为世界其他地方做一个生态友好的典范,它就应该张开手臂拥抱核能(并在下一代核技术上增加投资),而不是有意回避核能,偏向褐煤。 Berlin hoped to set an example for the world with its energiewende, and there’s no denying that it has done just that—ten years ago, most would have scoffed at the notion that Germany could grow its renewable power generation as quickly as it has. However the German example isn’t a positive one, but rather a cautionary tale to world leaders of what can happen when you let environmentalist biases guide strategic energy planning. 柏林意图将“能源转型”政策树立为全世界的典范,而且无可置辩实现了这一目的——十年前,如果有人说德国的可再生能源发电量增长速度会有实际这么快,大多数人都会嗤之以鼻。但是,德国的样本并不是正面的。对于世界各国的领导人来说,它更像是一则警示寓言,提醒他们一旦让环保主义偏见主导战略性能源规划会有什么后果。 We can applaud the motivations of the energiewende—creating a sustainable energy mix is going to be a top priority not just for Germany but for our species over the coming decades—while still criticizing the tools it has tried to use to accomplish that goal. Regrettably, for all the impressive (and costly) progress Germany has made growing its renewable energy sector, it hasn’t seriously committed itself to the pursuit of an actually sustainable energiewende, hype be damned. 我们赞赏“能源转型”政策的动机。在未来数十年内,创建一个可持续的能源结构不但将是德国,而且将是整个人类种族的头等大事。但是,我们仍然可以批评德国用以实现这一目标的工具。尽管德国的可再生能源部门取得了引人注目(且昂贵的)长足增长,但遗憾的是,德国并没有认真地致力于追求一个真正可持续的“能源转型”,该死的炒作! (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]自由市场环保主义

Free-Market Environmentalism
自由市场环保主义

作者:Richard L. Stroup
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值)
来源:EconLib, http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/FreeMarketEnvironmentalism.html

Free-market environmentalism emphasizes markets as a solution to environmental problems. Proponents argue that free markets can be more successful than government—and have been more successful historically—in solving many environmental problems.

自由市场环保主义强调将市场作为环境问题的解决办法。这一观念的倡议者认为,在解决许多环境问题方面,自由市场能够做得比政府更成功——历史上也一直更为成功。

This interest in free-market environmentalism is somewhat ironic because environmental problems have often been seen as a form of market failure (see PUBLIC GOODS and EXTERNALITIES). In the traditional view, many environmental problems are caused by decision makers who reduce their costs by polluting those who are downwind or downstream; other environmental problems are caused by private decision makers’ inability to produce “public goods” (such as preservation of wild species) because no one has to pay to get the benefits of this preservation.

对自由市场环保主义的关注多少有点反讽,因为环保问题一向都被看作是一种市场失灵的体现(见词条“公共物品”和“外部性”)。传统观点认为,许多环境问题之产生,是由于决策者会通过污染处于下风向或下游的人们来减少自身的成本;其他环境问题之产生,则是由于私人决策者无力生产“公共物品”(如野生物种保护),因为人们无需支付价格就能获得此种保护所带来的收益。

While these problems can be quite real, growing evidence indicates that governments often fail to control pollution or to provide public goods at reasonable cost. Furthermore, the private sector is often more responsive than government to environmental demands. This evidence, which is supported by much economic theory, has led to a reconsideration of the traditional view.

尽管这类问题相当实际,但是越来越多的证据表明,政府常常无法以合理的价格控制污染或提供公共(more...)

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Free-Market Environmentalism 自由市场环保主义 作者:Richard L. Stroup 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值) 来源:EconLib, http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/FreeMarketEnvironmentalism.html Free-market environmentalism emphasizes markets as a solution to environmental problems. Proponents argue that free markets can be more successful than government—and have been more successful historically—in solving many environmental problems. 自由市场环保主义强调将市场作为环境问题的解决办法。这一观念的倡议者认为,在解决许多环境问题方面,自由市场能够做得比政府更成功——历史上也一直更为成功。 This interest in free-market environmentalism is somewhat ironic because environmental problems have often been seen as a form of market failure (see PUBLIC GOODS and EXTERNALITIES). In the traditional view, many environmental problems are caused by decision makers who reduce their costs by polluting those who are downwind or downstream; other environmental problems are caused by private decision makers’ inability to produce “public goods” (such as preservation of wild species) because no one has to pay to get the benefits of this preservation. 对自由市场环保主义的关注多少有点反讽,因为环保问题一向都被看作是一种市场失灵的体现(见词条“公共物品”和“外部性”)。传统观点认为,许多环境问题之产生,是由于决策者会通过污染处于下风向或下游的人们来减少自身的成本;其他环境问题之产生,则是由于私人决策者无力生产“公共物品”(如野生物种保护),因为人们无需支付价格就能获得此种保护所带来的收益。 While these problems can be quite real, growing evidence indicates that governments often fail to control pollution or to provide public goods at reasonable cost. Furthermore, the private sector is often more responsive than government to environmental demands. This evidence, which is supported by much economic theory, has led to a reconsideration of the traditional view. 尽管这类问题相当实际,但是越来越多的证据表明,政府常常无法以合理的价格控制污染或提供公共物品。此外,私营部门通常比政府更能响应环保需求。此类证据得到了许多经济理论的支持,现已引导人们重新考量传统观点。 The failures of centralized government control in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union awakened further interest in free-market environmentalism in the early 1990s. As glasnost lifted the veil of secrecy, press reports identified large areas where brown haze hung in the air, people’s eyes routinely burned from chemical fumes, and drivers had to use headlights in the middle of the day. 在1990年代早期,东欧和苏联中央集权政府的控制失败进一步唤醒了人们对自由市场环保主义的关注。随着“公开性”政策拉开遮掩的帷幕,新闻媒体报道了在被黄色雾霾覆盖的大片地区中人们的眼睛经常因化学烟雾而刺痛,以及司机们大白天都需要开车灯。 In 1990 the Wall Street Journal quoted a claim by Hungarian doctors that 10 percent of the deaths in Hungary might be directly related to pollution. The New York Times reported that parts of the town of Merseburg, East Germany, were “permanently covered by a white chemical dust, and a sour smell fills people’s nostrils.” 《华尔街日报》在1990年曾引用过一些匈牙利医生的说法,即匈牙利10%的死亡与污染直接相关。《纽约时报》报道说,在东德梅泽堡,市镇的部分地区“常年覆盖着一层白色化学粉尘,一股股恶臭扑鼻而来。” For markets to work in the environmental field, as in any other, rights to each important resource must be clearly defined, easily defended against invasion, and divestible (transferable) by owners on terms agreeable to buyer and seller. 要让市场在环保领域发挥作用,跟在其他领域一样,对于重要资源的权利归属必须得到清晰界定(defined),对于侵犯行为能够轻松防卫(defended),并且权利所有人应当能基于买卖双方均能接受的条款而剥离(divestible)(或转让)之。 Well-functioning markets, in short, require “3-D” PROPERTY RIGHTS. When the first two are present—clear definition and easy DEFENSE of one’s rights—no one is forced to accept pollution beyond the standard acceptable to the community. Local standards differ because people with similar preferences and those seeking similar opportunities often cluster together. 简而言之,运转良好的市场要求存在这种“3D”财产权。一旦具备前面两条(某人的权利界定清晰并易于防卫),就没有任何人会被迫接受超过所在社群接受标准的污染。各地标准会有所不同,因为具有相同偏好的人和追寻相同机遇的人通常会聚集在一起。 Parts of Montana, for example, where the key economic activity is ranching, are “range country.” In those areas, anyone who does not want the neighbors’ cattle disturbing his or her garden has the duty to fence the garden to keep the cattle out. On the really large ranches of range country, that solution is far cheaper than fencing all the range on the ranch. But much of the state is not range country. There, the property right standards are different: It is the duty of the cattle owner to keep livestock fenced in. People in the two areas have different priorities based on goals that differ between the communities. 比如,在蒙大拿州的部分地区,关键的经济活动是牧场经营,可以说是“牧乡”。在这类地区,任何人如果不希望邻居的牧群打扰他或她的园子,自己就有义务修建花园栅栏,把牧群拦在外边。在牧乡的大型牧场上,这种解决办法远比给牧地上所有牧场都装上栅栏要来得便宜。但蒙大拿州许多其它地区并不是牧乡。在这些地方,财产权的标准就有所不同:牧群所有者有义务将牲畜用栅栏围住。不同地区的人们考虑的优先次序不同,根源在于不同社群拥有不同的目标。 Similarly, the “acceptable noise” standard in a vibrant neighborhood of the inner city with many young people might differ from that of a dignified neighborhood populated mainly by well-to-do retirees. “Noise pollution” in one community might be acceptable in another, because a standard that limits one limits all in the community. Those who sometimes enjoy loud music at home may be willing to accept some of it from others. 类似地,内城区年轻人很多的那些小区活力十足,这些地方的“可容忍噪音”标准可能就会不同于居民主要为生活优裕的退休人员的高端小区。某个社群的“噪音污染”在另外一个社群可能是可接受的,因为限制单个人的标准应当对于社群内的所有人都适用。偶尔喜欢在家里听听吵闹音乐的那些人很可能也愿意接受别人家里不时放放这种音乐。 Each individual has a right against invasion of himself and his property, and the courts will defend that right, but the standard that defines an unacceptable invasion can vary from one community to another. And finally, when the third characteristic of property rights—divestibility—is present, each owner has an incentive to be a good steward: preservation of the owner’s wealth (the value of his or her property) depends on good stewardship. 每个个体都有权反对对他本人及其财产的侵犯,且法院会捍卫这种权利。但在不同社群之间,如何界定不可容忍之侵犯的标准是可以不同的。最后,当财产权具备第三个特征(即可剥离性)时,每个所有者就都有做好管理人的激励:良好的管理才能维护业主的财富(财产的价值)。 Environmental problems stem from the absence or incompleteness of these characteristics of property rights. When rights to resources are defined and easily defended against invasion, all individuals or CORPORATIONS, whether potential polluters or potential victims, have an incentive to avoid pollution problems. When air or water pollution damages a privately owned asset, the owner whose wealth is threatened will gain by seeing—in court if necessary—that the threat is abated. 环境问题的根源在于财产权不具备或部分缺失上述特性。如果资源的权属界定清晰,对于侵权能够轻松防卫,那么所有个体或公司,不管他们是潜在污染者还是潜在受害者,就都具有激励去避免污染。当空气污染或水污染损害到私人所有的资产时,财富受到威胁的所有者通过确保威胁得以解除(必要时通过法院)就能获利。 In England and Scotland, for example, unlike in the United States, the right to fish for sport and commerce is a privately owned, transferable right. This means that owners of fishing rights can obtain damages and injunctions against polluters of streams. Owners of these rights vigorously defend them, even though the owners are often small anglers’ clubs with modest means. 比如,英格兰和苏格兰就与美国不同,以运动和商业为目的的钓鱼活动是私有的、可转让的权利。这就意味着钓鱼权的所有者能够从河流污染者那里获得赔偿或是用禁令禁止污染河流的行为。这些权利的所有者会积极地捍卫权利,尽管他们通常都只是些小型垂钓俱乐部,财产并不太多。 Fishers clearly gain, but there is a cost to them also. In 2005, for example, INTERNET advertisements offered fishing in the chalk streams of the River Anton, Hampshire, at 50 pounds British per day, or about $90 U.S. On the River Avon in Wiltshire, the price per day was 150 pounds, or $270. Valuable fishing rights encouraged their owners to form an association prepared to go to court when polluters violate their fishing rights. Such suits were successful well before Earth Day in 1970, and before pollution control became part of public policy. 钓鱼的人显然会得利,但他们也需承担成本。比如,2005年,网上广告说到汉普郡一条白垩河(安东河)上钓鱼每天需50英镑,合90美元;而在维尔特郡的埃文河上,价格更是高达每天150英镑,合270美元。价值高昂的钓鱼权促使其所有者组成联盟,一旦污染者损害他们的钓鱼权,就时刻准备走上法庭。早在1970年“世界地球日”诞生之前很久,早在污染控制进入公共政策之前很久,这类诉讼就已经很成功了。 Once rights against pollution are established by precedent, as these were many years ago, going to court is seldom necessary. Potential plaintiffs who recognize they are likely to lose do not want to add court costs to their losses. 一旦反对污染的权利经由先例得以确立,就像上述权利多年以前实现的那样,以后就很少有必要上法庭了。如果潜在的原告察觉到他们很可能会输掉官司,他们就不会愿意再往自己的损失上添一份诉讼开销。 Thus, LIABILITY for pollution is a powerful motivator when a factory or other potentially polluting asset is privately owned. The case of the Love Canal, a notorious waste dump, illustrates this point. As long as Hooker Chemical Company owned the Love Canal waste site, it was designed, maintained, and operated (in the late 1940s and 1950s) in a way that met even the Environmental Protection Agency standards of 1980. The corporation wanted to avoid any damaging leaks, for which it would have to pay. 因此,当工厂或其它有可能造成污染的资产为私人所有时,对造成的污染需付的责任就是一个强大的激励因素。发生在“爱河”这一臭名远扬的废料堆上的事件很好地表明了这一点。在胡克化学公司拥有“爱河”填埋场期间,它的设计、维持和运转(从1940年代晚期至1950年代)始终都做得很好,甚至能够满足美国环保署1980年的标准。公司希望能够避免任何有害泄露,要不然它就得出钱。 Only when the waste site was taken over by local government—under threat of eminent domain, for the cost of one dollar, and in spite of warnings by Hooker about the chemicals—was the site mistreated in ways that led to chemical leakage. The government decision makers lacked personal or corporate liability for their decisions. 只有在填埋场被当地政府接管(在政府威胁实施土地征用的情况下,胡克公司以一美元价格转让,并且当时它还就化学品提出过警告)以后,场地才遭到滥用,最后导致了化学泄露。政府决策者不需为他们的决定承担个体或公司责任。 They built a school on part of the site, removed part of the protective clay cap to use as fill dirt for another school site, and sold off the remaining part of the Love Canal site to a developer without warning him of the dangers as Hooker had warned them. The local government also punched holes in the impermeable clay walls to build water lines and a highway. This allowed the toxic wastes to escape when rainwater, no longer kept out by the partially removed clay cap, washed them through the gaps created in the walls. 他们在填埋场的部分地面上建了一所学校;移除了部分起保护作用的黏土盖层,用到另一学校工地去做填土;把“爱河”填埋场的剩余部分卖给了开发商,却没有像胡克公司那样附上危险警告。当地政府还在不渗水的黏土墙上开挖孔洞,用于建设水管和公路。由于黏土盖层部分被拆,挡不住雨水,结果有毒废弃物就被雨水从墙上的破洞里冲刷了出来。 The school district owning the land had a laudable but narrow goal: it wanted to provide EDUCATION cheaply for district children. Government decision makers are seldom held accountable for broader social goals in the way that private owners are by liability rules and potential PROFITS. Of course, anyone, including private parties, can make mistakes, but the decision maker whose private wealth is on the line tends to be more circumspect. The liability that holds private decision makers accountable is largely missing in the public sector. 拥有这片土地的学区所抱持的目标虽然值得称赞,但却过于狭隘:它就想为学区的孩子们提供便宜的教育。政府决策者几乎从来不会因更广泛的社会目标而遭到问责,这一点与私人所有者不同,后者需受责任原则和潜在利益的限制。当然,任何人都可能犯错,包括私方在内。但是,当决策者需要用个人财富来承担风险时,他会更加慎重。与对私人决策者问责的情况不同,在公共部门中,问责要求总体上是缺失的。 Nor does the government sector have the long-range view that property rights provide, which leads to protection of resources for the future. As long as the third D, divestibility, is present, property rights provide long-term incentives for maximizing the value of property. If I mine my land and impair its future PRODUCTIVITY or its groundwater, the reduction in the land’s value reduces my current wealth. 政府部门也不具备财产权所带来的长远视野,而这种视野会鼓励资源保护,以备未来之需。只要财产权具备第三个“D”即“可剥离性”,财产权就能提供将财物价值最大化的长期激励。如果我在我的土地上进行开采,破坏了它未来的生产率或其地下水,那么土地价值的减少就会导致我当前的财富的减少。 That is because land’s current worth equals the PRESENT VALUE of all future services. Fewer services or greater costs in the future mean lower value now. In fact, on the day an appraiser or potential buyer can first see that there will be problems in the future, my wealth declines. The reverse also is true: any new way to produce more value—preserving scenic value as I log my land, for example, to attract paying recreationists—is capitalized into the asset’s present value. 这是因为,土地的当前价值等于所有未来得益的折现值。未来得益减少或成本增加就意味着当前价值变低。事实上,只要有一个估价人或潜在买家首先看出未来会出问题,从这时起,我的财富就减少了。这话反过来也成立:任何能够产出更多价值的新办法(比如伐木时注意保护地面的观赏价值以吸引付费消遣的客人)都可以折算为资产的现值。 Because the owner’s wealth depends on good stewardship, even a shortsighted owner has the incentive to act as if he or she cares about the future usefulness of the resource. This is true even if an asset is owned by a corporation. Corporate officers may be concerned mainly about the short term, but as financial economists such as Harvard Business School’s Michael C. Jensen have noted, even they have to care about the future. If current actions are known to cause future problems, or if a current INVESTMENT promises future benefits, the stock price rises or falls to reflect the change. Corporate officers are informed by (and are judged by) these stock price changes. 财产所有者的财富取决于良好的管理,因此,即便是目光短浅的所有者也有动力表现出关心资源未来价值的样子。即便资产由公司所有,情况也是如此。公司管理者更多关心的可能是短期,但是正如哈佛商学院的Michael C. Jensen等金融经济学家所指出的那样,即便是这些人,也不得不着眼长远。如果人们知道当前行为在未来有可能引起麻烦,或者他们知道当前投资有望在未来获利,那么这种变化就会在股票价格的涨落上体现出来。公司管理人能够通过这种股票价格变化来获得信息,他们的工作成效也能由此得以判断。 This ability and incentive to engage in farsighted behavior is lacking in the political sector. Consider the example of Seattle’s Ravenna Park. At the turn of the twentieth century it was a privately owned park that contained magnificent Douglas firs. A husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Beck, had developed it into a family recreation area that, in good weather, brought in thousands of people a day. 政府部门缺乏行长远之事的能力和动力。这方面可以看看西雅图拉文纳公园的例子。20世纪初,这一公园属于私人所有,里面长有华贵的花旗松。W. W. Beck夫妇将公园打理成了一个家庭休闲场所,天气好的时候每天能吸引数千人来玩。 Concern that a future owner might not take proper care of it, however, caused the local government to “preserve” this beautiful place. The owners did not want to part with it, but the city initiated condemnation proceedings and bought the park. 然而,当地政府担心下一位所有者不会用心打理公园,因此要“保护”该公园。尽管公园所有者不愿意,但该市启动了征用程序,最终买下了公园。 But since they had no personal property or income at stake, local officials allowed the park to deteriorate. In fact, the tall trees began to disappear soon after the city bought it in 1911. A group of concerned citizens brought the theft of the trees to officials’ attention, but the logging continued. 然而,由于当地官员并不需要担心私人财产或收入受损,公园状况在他们的管理下日益恶化。事实上,在市政府于1911年买下之后,公园里面的高大树木很快就开始消失。一群热心市民还曾将偷树贼逮捕送官,但砍伐并没有停止。 Gradually, the park became unattractive. By 1972 it was an ugly, dangerous hangout for drug users. The Becks, operating privately at no cost to taxpayers, but supported instead by user fees, had done a far better job of managing the park they had created. 日复一日,这个公园不再有吸引力了。到1972年,它已经变成了一个丑陋危险的地方,只有吸毒者出没。Beck夫妇的私人经营没有花费纳税人一分钱,但他们能够得到使用者付费。在管理他们创造出来的这一公园方面,他们的成绩可漂亮多了。 Could parks, even national parks like Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, be run privately, by individuals, clubs, or firms, in the way the Becks ran Ravenna Park? Would park users suffer if they had to support the parks they used through fees rather than taxes? 公园、甚至是像大峡谷这样的国家公园是否能够以Beck夫妇经营拉夫纳公园的方式,由私人(包括个体、俱乐部或公司)来经营呢?如果公园使用者需要通过付费而非纳税的方式来维持他们所用的公园,他们因此就受损了吗? Donald Leal and Holly Fretwell studied national parks and compared certain of them with state parks nearby. The latter had similar characteristics but, unlike the national parks, were supported in large part by user fees. Donald Leal和Holly Fretwell对国家公园进行了研究,并将其中部分与临近的州立公园进行了比较。州立公园与国家公园在许多地方都很相似,但有一个区别:它们大部分都通过使用者付费来维持。 The comparisons were interesting. Leal and Fretwell noted, in 1997, that sixteen state park systems earned at least half their operating funds from fees. The push for greater revenue led park managers to provide better services, and more people were served. 比较结果非常有意思。Leal和Fretwell在1997年提到,有16个州立公园体系通过收费赚取到了一半以上的运营经费。为了获得更大收益,公园管理者愿意提供更好服务,公园也迎来了更多的游客。 For example, in contrast to nearby national parks with similar natural features, Texas state parks offered trail runs, fun runs, “owl prowls,” alligator watching, wildlife safaris, and even a longhorn cattle drive. Costs in the state parks were also lower. Park users seem happy to pay more at the parks when they enjoy more and better services. 比如,与附近自然景观相似的国家公园相比,德克萨斯的州立公园向游客开放山路跑、乐跑、“寻找猫头鹰”、鳄鱼观赏、野生动物游猎,甚至包括长角牛骑行等活动。州立公园的支出也更低一些。如果能够享受到更多更好的服务,逛公园的人似乎很乐意花更多钱。 Private individuals and groups have preserved wildlife habitats and scenic lands in thousands of places in the United States. The 2003 Land Trust Alliance Census Tables list 1,537 local, state, and regional land trusts serving this purpose. Many other state and local groups have similar projects as a sideline, and national groups such as The Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society have hundreds more. 私人和私人团体已经在美国数千个地方对野生动物栖息地和风景胜地进行了保护。土地信托联盟2003年的普查表中列有1537个地方性、全州性以及地区性的土地信托在从事这一事业。还有许多其他全州性或地方性的团体业余举办类似项目,而全国性团体如“大自然保护协会”和“奥杜邦协会”则有数百个此类项目。 None of these is owned by the government. Using the market, such groups do not have to convince the majority that their project is desirable, nor do they have to fight the majority in choosing how to manage the site. The result, as the federal government’s Council on ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY has reported, is an enormous and healthy diversity of approaches. 这些团体全都不归政府所有。由于它们利用的是市场,它们在其项目值得与否的问题上不用去说服多数人。同样,在选择如何管理保护地的问题上,它们也无需和多数人争执。结果,照联邦政府环境质量委员会报告的说法,我们在保护方法上具备了极为丰富且极为有益的多样性。 Nevertheless, it is important to note that the government is still involved, even in the case of privately donated and privately owned trust lands. Most of these private conservation choices benefit from tax advantages, as conservers gain charitable deductions from taxable income. Tax law, therefore, influences what sorts of donations qualify; it also increases the total amounts by rewarding all qualifying choices by tax reductions. 不过,有一个重要之处值得注意,那就是这里仍然会牵涉到政府,即便是那些私人捐赠或私人所有的信托土地也是如此。绝大多数选择进行私人环保的经营者都会获得税赋优惠,因为保护者的应税收入能够获得慈善事业减免。因此,税法会影响到哪种捐赠符合条件。它也能通过税赋减免来奖赏所有符合条件的选择,从而增加此类捐赠总量。 Who gains from the increased conservation? Most often it is first and foremost the nearby landowners. When donors of trust lands retain adjacent property, they benefit from the existence of the trust lands to a degree greater than other citizens more distant. Open space usually raises the value of nearby lands. 谁会从环保增进中获益?绝大多数时候,首先是临近地区的土地所有者。如果信托土地的捐赠者保留有临近地产,他们就会从信托土地的存在中获益,且这种获益程度会高于离该信托土地相对更远的市民。开阔的空间通常都能增加附近土地的价值。 Further, when many polluters and those who receive the pollution are involved, how can property rights force accountability? The nearest receivers may be hurt the most, and may be able to sue polluters—but not always. Consider an extreme case: the potential GLOBAL WARMING impact of carbon dioxide produced by the burning of wood or fossil fuels. If climate change results, the effects are worldwide. 更进一步说,如果涉及到的污染者和受污者人数众多,财产权又如何能推动问责呢?离得最近的受污染者可能受损最大,也可能有能力起诉污染者,但情况并非总是如此。这里可以考虑一个极端例子,即燃烧木头或化石燃料所产生的二氧化碳可能造成的全球变暖影响。如果气候变化发生,其影响将会遍及全球。 Nearly everyone uses the ENERGY from such fuels, and if the threat of global warming from a buildup of carbon dioxide turns out to be as serious as some claim, then those harmed by global warming will be hard-pressed to assert their property rights against all the energy producers or users of the world. The same is true for those exposed to pollutants produced by autos and industries in the Los Angeles air basin. Private, enforceable, and tradable property rights can work wonders, but they are not a cure-all. 如果二氧化碳增加所导致的全球变暖最后确实像某些人所宣称的那么严重,由于几乎所有人都使用此类燃料所产生的能源,全球变暖的受害者就要针对全世界的能源生产者或使用者主张其财产权利,而这会相当艰难。同理,洛杉矶空气盆地中受到汽车和工业污染物影响的人也很难主张其权利。私人所有的、可强制生效的、可交易的财产权能发挥妙用,但并非万灵药。 Still, even the lack of property rights today does not mean that a useful property rights solution is forever impossible. Property rights tend to evolve as technology, preferences, and prices provide added incentives and new technical options. Early in American history, property rights in cattle seemed impossible to establish and enforce on the Great Plains. But the growing value of such rights led to the use of mounted cowboys to protect herds and, eventually, barbed wire to fence the range. 不过,即便目前缺失相关的财产权,也并不意味着可行的财产权解决方案永远不可能出现。财产权常常会跟着技术、偏好和价格所导致的激励和新技术的增加而发生演变。在美国早期历史上,大平原上似乎根本不可能建立和实施对牛群的财产权。但随着这一权利的价值增加,人们开始利用牛仔骑士保护畜群,最终还用上了带刺铁丝网来围护牧场。 As economists Terry Anderson and Peter J. Hill have shown, the plains lost their status as commons and were privatized. Advances in technology may yet allow the establishment of enforceable rights to schools of whales in the oceans, migratory birds in the air, and—who knows?—even the presence of an atmosphere that clearly does not promote damaging climate change. Such is the hope of free-market environmentalism. 经济学家Terry Anderson和Peter J. Hill已经表明,草原由此失去了公地地位,被私有化了。随着技术的进步,将来某个时候,对于海中的鲸群、空中的候鸟,甚至是(天知道呢)对于一种明显不会造成有害气候变化的气体的存在,我们都可能建立起一种可以强制生效的权利。这正是自由市场环保主义的愿景。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]二氧化碳的益处

The benefits of carbon dioxide
二氧化碳的益处

作者:Matt Ridley @ 2015-10-20
译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
校对:淡蓝
来源:作者个人博客,http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-benefits-of-carbon-dioxide/

Global greening may save more lives and forests than warming costs

比起变暖之害,全球绿化有可能拯救更多生命和森林。

My Times Column on the surprisingly large benefits of carbon dioxide emissions:

我在的《泰晤士报》上的专栏分析了二氧化碳排放所带来的令人震惊的巨大好处:

France’s leading television weather forecaster, Philippe Verdier, was taken off air last week for writing that there are “positive consequences” of climate change. Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus of mathematical physics and astrophysics at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, declared last week that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are “enormously beneficial”. Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, said in a lecture last week that we should “celebrate carbon dioxide”.

Philippe Verdier,法国电视天气预报员中的佼佼者,因写到气候变化具有“积极效应”而于上周被调离播报岗位。Freeman Dyson,普林斯顿大学高等研究院数学物理学和天体物理学荣休教授,上周称,二氧化碳的非气候影响“极为有益”。Patrick Moore,绿色和平组织创始人之一,在上周的一次讲座中说,我们应该“为二氧化碳而欢庆”。

Are these three prominent but very different people right? Should we at least consider seriously, before we go into a massive international negotiation based on the assumption that carbon dioxide is bad, whether we might be mistaken? Most politicians today consider such a view to be so beyond the pale as to be mad or possibly criminal.

这三位杰出而各不相同的人物说的对吗?基于二氧化碳有害的假设而展开大规模国际谈判之前,我们至少应该严肃地思考一下,有没有可能我们是错的?今天,大多数政客都将这视作无比出格、近乎疯狂,甚或是有罪的观点。

Yet the benefits of carbon dioxide emissions are not even controversial in scientific circles. As Richard Betts of the Met Office tweeted last week, the “CO2 fertilisation effect” — the fact that rising emissions are making plants grow better — is not news and is discussed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

然而,在科学圈里,二氧化碳排放的好处连“颇可争议”都谈不上。正如英国气象局的Richard Betts上周的一条推文所说的那样,“CO2的施肥效应”——即逐渐增加的排放量使得植物生长得更好——并不是新闻,而且曾在政府间气候变化专门委员会的报告中得到讨论。

The satellite data show that there has been roughly a 14 per cent increase in the amount of green vegetation on the planet since 1982, that this has happened in all ecosystems, but especially in arid tropical areas, and that it is in large part due to man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

卫星数据显示,自1982年以来,地球上的绿色植被总量大约增长了14%。这种增长出现于所有生态系统中,但在干旱的热带地区最明显。并且,大部分增长主要源于人为的二氧化碳排放。

Last week also saw the publication of a comprehensive report on “Carbon Dioxide — the Good News”(more...)

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The benefits of carbon dioxide 二氧化碳的益处 作者:Matt Ridley @ 2015-10-20 译者:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 校对:淡蓝 来源:作者个人博客,http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-benefits-of-carbon-dioxide/ Global greening may save more lives and forests than warming costs 比起变暖之害,全球绿化有可能拯救更多生命和森林。 My Times Column on the surprisingly large benefits of carbon dioxide emissions: 我在的《泰晤士报》上的专栏分析了二氧化碳排放所带来的令人震惊的巨大好处: France’s leading television weather forecaster, Philippe Verdier, was taken off air last week for writing that there are “positive consequences” of climate change. Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus of mathematical physics and astrophysics at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, declared last week that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are “enormously beneficial”. Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, said in a lecture last week that we should “celebrate carbon dioxide”. Philippe Verdier,法国电视天气预报员中的佼佼者,因写到气候变化具有“积极效应”而于上周被调离播报岗位。Freeman Dyson,普林斯顿大学高等研究院数学物理学和天体物理学荣休教授,上周称,二氧化碳的非气候影响“极为有益”。Patrick Moore,绿色和平组织创始人之一,在上周的一次讲座中说,我们应该“为二氧化碳而欢庆”。 Are these three prominent but very different people right? Should we at least consider seriously, before we go into a massive international negotiation based on the assumption that carbon dioxide is bad, whether we might be mistaken? Most politicians today consider such a view to be so beyond the pale as to be mad or possibly criminal. 这三位杰出而各不相同的人物说的对吗?基于二氧化碳有害的假设而展开大规模国际谈判之前,我们至少应该严肃地思考一下,有没有可能我们是错的?今天,大多数政客都将这视作无比出格、近乎疯狂,甚或是有罪的观点。 Yet the benefits of carbon dioxide emissions are not even controversial in scientific circles. As Richard Betts of the Met Office tweeted last week, the “CO2 fertilisation effect” — the fact that rising emissions are making plants grow better — is not news and is discussed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 然而,在科学圈里,二氧化碳排放的好处连“颇可争议”都谈不上。正如英国气象局的Richard Betts上周的一条推文所说的那样,“CO2的施肥效应”——即逐渐增加的排放量使得植物生长得更好——并不是新闻,而且曾在政府间气候变化专门委员会的报告中得到讨论。 The satellite data show that there has been roughly a 14 per cent increase in the amount of green vegetation on the planet since 1982, that this has happened in all ecosystems, but especially in arid tropical areas, and that it is in large part due to man-made carbon dioxide emissions. 卫星数据显示,自1982年以来,地球上的绿色植被总量大约增长了14%。这种增长出现于所有生态系统中,但在干旱的热带地区最明显。并且,大部分增长主要源于人为的二氧化碳排放。 Last week also saw the publication of a comprehensive report on “Carbon Dioxide — the Good News” for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by the independent American scientist Indur Goklany, to which Freeman Dyson wrote the foreword. The report was thoroughly peer-reviewed, as was almost all of the voluminous literature it cited. (Full disclosure: I helped edit the report.) 上周,更有一份关于“二氧化碳——大好消息”的很全面的报告出炉,这是由美国独立科学家Indur Goklany向全球变暖政策基金会(GWPF)提供的,并由Freeman Dyson作序。该报告经过了充分的同行评议,报告所引用的巨量文献也几乎全都如此。(大曝光:我参与编辑了该报告。) 11 Goklany points out that whereas the benefits of carbon dioxide are huge and here now, the harms are still speculative and almost all in the distant future. There has so far been — as the IPCC confirms — no measurable increase in droughts, floods or storms worldwide, no reversal in the continuing rapid decline in deaths due to insect-borne diseases, and no measurable impacts of the continuing very slow rise in global sea levels. Goklany指出,二氧化碳的好处不但巨大,而且就在眼前,其害处则仍是推测性的,且几乎全部都只会出现于遥远的未来。迄今为止——如政府间气候变化专门委员所确认的——世界范围内的干旱、洪涝或暴雨并未出现可衡量的增加,虫媒传染病致死病例持续快速减少的现象并未逆转,全球海平面极为缓慢的持续上升也并没有产生可衡量的影响。 In stark terms, Bangladesh is still gaining land from sedimentation in its rivers’ deltas, has suffered no increase in cyclones, but has benefited from reduced malnourishment to the tune of billions of dollars from higher crop yields as a result of carbon dioxide emissions. 粗暴点说,孟加拉国现在仍然不断从其河流三角洲的沉积中获得土地,并未因大气气旋增加而备受折磨,却得益于因价值数十亿美元的粮食增收所带来的营养不良减少,而这正是二氧化碳排放的结果。
[This is the summary from Goklany's report: [以下为Goklany报告的总结: 1. This paper addresses the question of whether, and how much, increased carbon dioxide concentrations have benefited the biosphere and humanity by stimulating plant growth, warming the planet and increasing rainfall. 1. 本论文讨论了升高的二氧化碳浓度 是否以及多大程度上,以刺激植物生长、暖化地球、增加雨量的方式,使生物圈和人类受益。 2. Empirical data confirms that the biosphere’s productivity has increased by about 14% since 1982, in large part as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels. 2. 经验数据确认,生物圈的生产率自1982年以来已增加了大约14%,大部分是二氧化碳水平持续上升的结果。 3. Thousands of scientific experiments indicate that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the air have contributed to increases in crop yields. 3. 数千项科学实验表明,提升大气中二氧化碳浓度,促进了农作物收成增加。 4. These increases in yield are very likely to have reduced the appropriation of land for farming by 11–17% compared with what it would otherwise be, resulting in more land being left wild. 4. 上述收成的增加非常有可能使得用于耕作的土地数量相对于产量未增长时数量减少了11-17%,导致有更多土地被抛荒。 5. Satellite evidence confirms that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also resulted in greater productivity of wild terrestrial ecosystems in all vegetation types. 5. 卫星证据确认,持续提升二氧化碳的浓度也在所有植被类型的野生陆地生态系统中导致了生产率提高。 6. Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also increased the productivity of many marine ecosystems. 6. 持续提升的二氧化碳浓度也增加了许多海洋生态系统的生产率。 7. In recent decades, trends in climate-sensitive indicators of human and environ- mental wellbeing have improved and continue to do so despite claims that they would deteriorate because of global warming. 7. 最近数十年,人类和环境健康方面的气候敏感指数的变化趋势已经且持续改善,尽管有人宣称它们将会因全球变暖而出现恶化。 8. Compared with the benefits from carbon dioxide on crop and biosphere productivity, the adverse impacts of carbon dioxide – on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, on sea level, vector-borne disease prevalence and human health – have been too small to measure or have been swamped by other factors. 8. 与它在农作物和生物圈生产率上所带来的好处相比,二氧化碳的负面影响——在极端天气发生的频率和强度上,在海平面高度上,在传染病流行与人类健康上——实在太小以至难以测量,或被其他因素所抵消。 9. Models used to influence policy on climate change have overestimated the rate of warming, underestimated direct benefits of carbon dioxide, overestimated the harms from climate change and underestimated human capacity to adapt so as to capture the benefits while reducing the harms. 9. 用于影响气候变化政策的那些模型高估了变暖的速度,低估了二氧化碳的直接好处,高估了气候变化的害处,低估了人类适应变化从而抓住好处同时减少害处的能力。 10. It is very likely that the impact of rising carbon dioxide concentrations is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally. These benefits are real, whereas the costs of warming are uncertain. Halting the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations abruptly would deprive people and the planet of the benefits of carbon dioxide much sooner than they would reduce any costs of warming.] 10. 极有可能的是,对于人类乃至整个生物圈,二氧化碳浓度持续上升的影响时下大体上是一种净收益。这些好处真实可见,而暖化的代价则并不确定。若二氧化碳浓度上升戛然而止,当然可能减少暖化成本,但与此相比,也会更快地剥夺人类和地球自二氧化碳获得的诸多益处。]
It is worth remembering that commercial greenhouses buy carbon dioxide to enhance the growth of plants, so the growth responses are well known — and it’s not until carbon dioxide reaches five times current concentrations that the benefits level out. As Patrick Moore pointed out, those were normal levels for much of earth’s history. 我们最好记住这样一个事实,商业温室会购买二氧化碳来促进植物生长,所以生长率对二氧化碳的这种反应是众所周知的——并且,也不是只有当二氧化碳浓度到了当前水平的5倍时这种益处才显现出来。如Patrick Moore指出,足以促进生长的浓度,只须地球历史上多数时候的正常水平。 In addition, hundreds of “free-air concentration experiments” have measured how much increased carbon dioxide levels enhance crop yields in open fields. So it is fairly easy to work out how much carbon dioxide emissions are helping world agriculture: by about $140 billion a year, or $3 trillion in total so far. If reparations are to be paid, perhaps farmers should pay coal producers (full disclosure: I’m both). 此外,数百项“自由空气浓度试验”已经对大气二氧化碳水平提高多少会增加开旷地上作物产量进行了测量。所以要回答“二氧化碳排放对世界农业发挥了多大促进作用”这个问题就相当容易了:增产价值约每年1400亿美元,或迄今总计3万亿美元。如果说真要支付赔款,说不定农户还应该向煤炭生产商交钱呢(大曝光:我两种身份都有【编注:作者身为第5代Ridley子爵,拥有Northumberland郡的Blagdon庄园产业,该地产上有农地,也有两座煤矿,Ridley家族从中获取地租。】)。 Actually, this may be an underestimate: experiments show that crops tend to benefit more than weeds (most crops have a more responsive kind of photosynthetic machinery called C3, while weeds mostly have a less responsive kind called C4). 事实上,这还可能是种低估:有实验显示,农作物通常比杂草受益更多(绝大多数农作物都具备一种反应更敏捷的光合作用机制,叫做C3,而杂草的光合作用机制绝大部分是C4,后者反应敏捷度较低)。 Increased carbon dioxide enhances drought resistance in plants, benefiting dry regions such as the Sahel, which has greened significantly in recent decades. And Goklany calculates that we need 11-17 per cent less land for feeding the world than we would if we had not increased carbon dioxide levels: so emissions have saved — and enhanced the growth of — a lot of rainforest. 增加二氧化碳会加强植物的抗旱性,使干旱地区受益,如萨赫勒地区最近数十年已显著变绿。并且据Goklany计算,和二氧化碳水平上升前相比,现在养活全世界所需的土地数量可以少11-17%:也可以说,二氧化碳排放拯救了大量热带雨林——而且也促进了其生长。
[Here's one weed experiment, as described in Goklany's report: [以下为Goklany报告中描述的一项杂草实验: "A Chinese experiment tested this idea by enriching carbon dioxide levels over plots of rice to almost twice the ambient level. This enhanced the ear weight of the rice by 37.6% while reducing the growth of a common weed, barnyard grass, by 47.9%, because the faster-growing rice shaded the weeds. Figure 1 illustrates the differing responses to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations of rice, a C3 plant, and the green foxtail Setaria viridis, a grass some- times proposed as a genetic model system to study C4 photosynthesis."] “一项中国实验检测这个想法,通过在稻田上富集近两倍于周边水平的二氧化碳,将稻穗重量增加了37.6%,同时将稗子(一种普通杂草)的生长抑制了47.9%,因为快速生长的水稻遮挡了杂草。图1显示了不同植物对二氧化碳浓度提高的不同反应,水稻,一种C3植物,另一个则是狗尾草,后者常被当做C4光合作用研究的模式生物。”] [For instance a study published last week found the following: [比如,上周发表的一项研究有如下发现: Since 2012, the researchers have pumped extra CO2 into three of six basketball court-sized rings of 80-year-old bush. This has raised the CO2 concentration in the three plots to about 550 parts per million, up from the ambient level of 400 ppm. Measurements revealed that for each unit of water absorbed, the trees in the CO2-enriched rings reaped 35 per cent more carbon than the trees in the control plots.] 自2012年以来,在六块篮球场大小的、生长着80岁树龄灌木丛的环形地块上,研究者在其中三个地块灌注了超量的CO2,这三个地块的CO2浓度提升到了550ppm,而环境水平为400ppm。测量显示,针对每一吸水单位,富含CO2 的地块的林木所获得的碳量比控制地块要多出35%。]
Well, all right, but surely the climate harms will one day outweigh the growth benefits? Not necessarily. 好吧,就算是这样,但总有一天气候危害肯定会超过生长之利吗?未必。 At the moment, impacts from the modest warming we saw in the 1980s and 1990s are also positive: slightly fewer premature deaths, which peak in cold weather more than in hot weather, slightly longer growing seasons and so on. 目前看来,我们从1980年代和1990年代的最温和的变暖中所看到的影响是正面的:早逝数量稍有减少(早逝通常在天气寒冷时达到峰值,比在炎热时严重),生长季节稍有延长,等等。 A paper published last week concludes that if the world does warm significantly, China’s rain systems will shift north, increasing rainfall in the dry north and reducing flooding in the hot south. 而上周发布的一项报告得出的结论是,如果全球确实大幅变暖,那中国的降雨系统将会北移,北部干旱地区的雨量会持续增加,南方炎热地区的洪涝将持续减少。 Besides, human adaptation means we can capture the benefits and avoid the harms. The IPCC’s forecast warming range includes the possibility that we will still be enjoying net benefits by the end of the century, when the world will (it says) be three to 16 times richer per capita. The fastest way to cut deaths from bad weather today (such as the storm that just battered the Philippines) is to make people richer, not to make weather safer: we have already cut world death rates from droughts, floods and storms by 98 per cent in the past century. 此外,人类的适应能力意味着我们能够抓住好处,同时规避危害。IPCC预测的变暖范围中,便包含了我们在本世纪末仍能享受变暖净收益的可能性,那时全世界人均富裕程度将是目前的3-16倍(报告如是说)。今天,要减少因恶劣天气(如刚刚袭击菲律宾的暴风雨)致死数量的最快方法是让人们变得更加富裕,而不是使天气更安全:过去一个世纪中,我们已将因干旱、洪涝和暴风雨的世界死亡率降低了98%。 As Goklany demonstrates, the assessments used by policy makers have overestimated warming so far, underestimated the direct benefits of carbon dioxide, overestimated the harms from climate change, and underestimated the human capacity to adapt. 如Goklany所论证的,迄今政策制定者所用那些评估高估了变暖,低估了二氧化碳的直接好处,高估了气候变化的危害,低估了人类调整适应的能力。 Well, what about the ocean? Here too there’s good news. More carbon dioxide means faster growth rates of photosynthesisers in the sea as well as on land, an effect that is being observed in algae, eelgrasses, corals and especially plankton, such as the abundant creatures known as coccolithophores, whose biomass has increased by 40 per cent in the last two centuries. 好吧,那海洋呢?这里也有好消息。更多的二氧化碳,意味着海中能进行光合作用的生物生长速度也会更快,和陆上的一样,这一效应已在海藻、鳗草、珊瑚,特别是浮游生物(比如颗石藻这种数量巨多的生物)身上观察到,颗石藻的生物量过去20个世纪以来已增长了40%。
[This is what the authors said about coccolithophores: [作者们如此提到颗石藻: "Here, we present laboratory evidence that calcification and net primary production in the coccolithophore species Emiliania huxleyi are significantly increased by high CO2 partial pressures. Field evidence from the deep ocean is consistent with these laboratory conclusions, indicating that over the past 220 years there has been a 40% increase in average coccolith mass. Our findings show that coccolithophores are already responding and will probably continue to respond to rising atmospheric CO2 partial pressures, which has important implications for biogeochemical modeling of future oceans and climate."] “我们在此展示的实验室证据表明,由于更高的CO2分压,使得颗石藻物种的郝氏颗石藻的钙化和净初级生产量显著增加。采自深海的野外探查证据也与这种实验室结论一致,它们指明过去220年间,颗石藻种群的重量平均有40%的增长。我们的发现表明,颗石藻已经并且可能继续对持续上升的大气中CO2分压做出反应,这对未来的海洋和气候的生物地球化学建模具有重要含义。”]
That’s not to say coral reefs and fisheries are not in trouble — they are, but because of pollution, overfishing and run-off, not carbon dioxide. The tiny reduction in alkalinity (misleadingly termed “acidification”) caused by dissolved carbon dioxide is potentially negative in the distant future, but has been much exaggerated — as a big review of 372 studies has concluded. One recent experiment with a common Caribbean coral found that rising carbon dioxide levels would have no impact on its ability to build reefs for several centuries, while modest warming would actually help it slightly. 这并不是说珊瑚礁和渔场现在没有麻烦——它们有,但那是因为污染、滥捕和径流,而非二氧化碳。由二氧化碳分解所导致的碱度微量减少(“酸化”这个术语是误导性的)在遥远的未来是潜在负面的,但这也被极度夸大了——正如一份基于372项研究的大型综述所显示。近期针对一种普通的加勒比珊瑚所做的一项实验发现,提高二氧化碳含量对其在数世纪内形成珊瑚礁的能力没有影响,而且温和变暖实际上还对之稍有帮助。
[This is what that meta-analysis concluded from a comprehensive survey of all studies: [以下是在对所有的研究综述进行统合分析后得出的结论: "In summary, our analysis shows that marine biota is more resistant to ocean acidification than suggested by pessimistic predictions identifying ocean acidification as a major threat to marine biodiversity (Kleypas et al., 1999; Orr et al., 2005; Raven, 2005; Sponberg, 2007; Zondervan et al., 2001), which may not be the widespread problem conjured into the 21st century. Ocean acidification will enhance growth of marine autotrophs and reduce fertility and metabolic rates, but effects are likely to be minor along the range of pCO2 predicted for the 21st century, and feedbacks between positive responses of autotrophs and pH may further buffer the impacts."] “总之,我们的分析显示,与悲观预测将海洋酸化认定为对海洋生物多样性的一种主要威胁相比,海洋生物群更耐酸化。这种威胁不可能是21世纪的一个普遍问题。海洋酸化将加强海洋自养生物的生长,减少生育及代谢率,然而按照对21世纪的pCO2变动范围的预测,其效应很可能是轻微的,并且自养生物的积极响应与ph值之间的反馈机制可能进一步缓冲这种影响。”]
With tens of thousands of activists and bureaucrats heading for a UN conference in Paris next month, there is such vast vested interest now in demonising carbon dioxide that it will be hard to change the world’s mind. Freeman Dyson laments that “scientific colleagues who believe the prevailing dogma about carbon dioxide will not find Goklany’s evidence convincing”, but hopes that a few will try. Amen. 下月,有数万名活动人士和政府官员将奔赴巴黎的一个联合国会议,当下对二氧化碳的妖魔化背后有着大量的既得利益,很难改变世人的想法。Freeman Dyson叹惜“在二氧化碳问题上相信主流教条的科学界同行们将不会觉得Goklany的证据有说服力”,但希望仍有一些人会去尝试。阿门。
[Dyson went on: [Dyson接着说: "That is to me the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts? “对我来说,那就是气候科学的核心谜团。它不是个科学的谜团,而是人类的谜团。究竟是什么导致整整一代科学专家看不到明显的事实? ...Indur Goklany has assembled a massive collection of evidence to demonstrate two facts. First, the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are dominant over the climatic effects and are overwhelmingly beneficial. Second, the climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial. ……Indur Goklany汇编了巨量证据来证明两个事实。第一,相比其气候效应,二氧化碳的非气候效应要突出得多,而且益处是压倒性的。第二,真实世界中观察到的气候效应,其破坏性大大低于气候模型的预测,而且经常是有利的。 I am hoping that the scientists and politicians who have been blindly demonizing carbon dioxide for 37 years will one day open their eyes and look at the evidence. 我一直希望,那些37年来盲目妖魔化二氧化碳的科学家和政治家们有一天能够睁开他们的眼睛,看看证据。 Goklany and I do not claim to be infallible. Like the climate-model experts, we have also evolved recently from the culture of the cave-children. Like them, we have inherited our own set of prejudices and blindnesses. Truth emerges when different groups of explorers listen to each other’s stories and correct each other’s mistakes."] Goklany和我并不自认绝对正确。跟那些气候模型专家们一样,我们也刚刚从洞穴儿童文化中进化出来。和他们一样,我们也继承了自己那套偏见和盲目。当不同的探索者群体相互倾听彼此的故事,相互纠正彼此的错误时,真相才会浮现。”]
Post-script: 附: This column produced a lot of commentary. In response to one especially misleading article in the Guardian, Indur Goklany made the following point: 本专栏引发了大量评论。在回应《卫报》上一篇具有相当误导性的文章时,Indur Goklany如此说道:
Your correspondent, Mr. Nuccitelli, hasn’t read with sufficient care the GWPF report he is criticizing. Had he done so, he would have known better than to present the figure from the IPCC of estimated crop yields through the year 2109, or repeat Dr. Betts' claim that studies on crops include CO2 effects, without noting that the vast majority of crop studies did not, in fact, consider CO2 effects. Specifically, the GWPF report (at page 29) notes: 你们的记者,Nuccitelli先生,并未充分仔细地阅读他所批评的GWPF报告。假如他仔细阅读了,他会明白更多而不仅仅是拿出IPCC对截止2109年的作物产量的估测数字,或只是重复Dr. Betts关于作物研究包含CO2效应的声明,而不去注意到事实上绝大部分作物研究并未考虑CO2效应。具体来说,GWPF报告(第29页)提到: The IPCC AR5 synthesis of modelled estimates of the impact of recent climate trends on yields for major staple crops notes, in a remarkable understatement, that ‘[s]ome included effects of positive carbon dioxide trends...but most did not’ (Ref. 175). In fact, only 2 of 56 studies considered carbon dioxide increases (Ref. 176). For this reason alone the IPCC’s claim that the impacts of global warming to date on agricultural productivity and food security are likely negative is suspect. IPCC第五次评估报告在综述有关最近气候趋势对主要作物产量之影响的模型估测时,以令人吃惊的轻描淡写口气提出,“其中有些考虑到了二氧化碳增加的影响……但多数则没有”(引用175)。事实上,56项研究中只有2项考虑了二氧化碳的增加(引用176)。仅此一点,IPCC关于迄今为止的全球变暖对农业生产率和食物安全的影响趋于负面的断言,便是很可疑的。 References 175 and 176 (within the quote) both refer to the IPCC AR5 WGII’s chapter 7 (on Food Security and Food Production Systems), page 492, Figure 7–2. Ref. 176 also notes that “Remarkably, according to Figure 7–2, the studies that considered carbon dioxide suggest that the carbon dioxide effect reduces yields.” To put that into plain English, these studies, or their interpretations, are not credible. 引用175和引用176(在引文以内)提及的都是IPCC第五次评估报告第二工作组部分第7章(“食品安全与食品生产体制”),第492页,图7-2。引用176还提到,“值得注意的是,根据图7—2,考虑了二氧化碳的那些研究提出,二氧化碳效应会减少产量。”直白地说,这些研究,或是他们的解释,都无法令人信服。 Note that the figure on future crop yields presented in Mr. Nutticelli’s article draws from Figure 7-2 referred to in the foregoing. 注意,Nutticelli先生的文章中展示的关于未来作物产量数据,就来自刚刚提到的图7-2。 The GWPF report also notes that impact assessments in general and crop studies in particular: GWPF报告还一般的,就影响评估,以及特别的,就农作物研究,指出: 1. Employ scenarios that overstate warming rates by anywhere between 2- to 4-fold. Even the IPCC has noted the tendency of models to exaggerate the rate of warming. See pages 24-25 of the GWPF report, and p. 769, Chapter 9, IPCC AR5 WGI. This matters for two reasons. Firstly, the world is unlikely to be as warm as projected by the IPCC’s scenarios. Secondly, the lower the rate of warming, the lower the magnitude of negative impacts. 1. 运用了夸大变暖速度2-4倍的设想场景。甚至连IPCC也已经注意到各类模型夸大变暖速度的倾向。见GWPF报告第24-25页,第769页,第9章及IPCC第五次评估第一工作组部分。这很重要,原因有二。第一,世界不太可能像IPCC设想场景那样温暖。第二,变暖速度越慢,负面影响的程度越低。 2. Do not fully account for technological change that ought to occur between now and 2109 (the date used in your correspondent’s figure), which would reduce the net negative impacts of climate change while simultaneously making it easier to adapt to them. 2. 没有充分考虑到从今至2109年间(贵刊记者的数据中所用日期)肯定会发生的技术变革 ,而这些技术变革将会在减少气候变化净负面影响的同时,使得适应它们变得更容易。 For all these reasons the IPCC’s estimates of future impacts are prone to large overestimates, and the figure presented by your correspondent is suspect, to put it mildly. 由于以上所有理由,客气点说,IPCC对未来影响的预测倾向于大大高估,而你们的记者所使用的数据则很可疑。
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千年等一淹

【2015-12-08】

@吴红波 出席了挪威外交部举办的“眼见为实”北极专题活动。北极正在加速融化已为不争事实。挪威官方讲,北极冰储量如全融化,将使海平面上升7米!不知你家海拔多高?看来治理气候变暖真的可不容缓了!

@南洋富商饱醉豚: 你们这些环保蠢货有多蠢。北极的冰若全化了,俄罗斯加拿大格陵兰可以移民80亿人口。而把沿海堤坝提高7米,实在是太省钱了,也就是到蓝翔找几个挖掘机工人。

@whigzhou: 这种幅度的海平面上升就算真的发生,也需要上千年时间,暖(more...)

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【2015-12-08】 @吴红波 出席了挪威外交部举办的“眼见为实”北极专题活动。北极正在加速融化已为不争事实。挪威官方讲,北极冰储量如全融化,将使海平面上升7米!不知你家海拔多高?看来治理气候变暖真的可不容缓了! @南洋富商饱醉豚: 你们这些环保蠢货有多蠢。北极的冰若全化了,俄罗斯加拿大格陵兰可以移民80亿人口。而把沿海堤坝提高7米,实在是太省钱了,也就是到蓝翔找几个挖掘机工人。 @whigzhou: 这种幅度的海平面上升就算真的发生,也需要上千年时间,暖球恐吓党总是假定世人会傻等千年等着被淹死 @whigzhou: 此类忽悠无非利用受众对尺度的不敏感,好像一千年后你的子孙们还会生活在同样的城市,住在同样的房子里,以同样的方式生产粮食,傻等在原地,完全无视因暖化而变得宜居的数千万平方公里土地 @whigzhou: 暖球党最离奇的说法是暖化会导致干旱增加,得烧掉多少历史书才能让人相信这一点啊,可不把地球都给烧热了~ @whigzhou: 真信暖球党的人里面,应该没什么有钱人,否则至少其中一部分早就冲到加拿大冻土带去买土地了吧,我还是那句话,愿赌才是真信  
[译文]塑料袋果真是大祸害吗?

Plastic Bags Are Good for You
塑料袋是个好东西

作者:Katherine Mangu-Ward @ 2015-10
译者:混乱阈值 (@混乱阈值)
校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy),小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子)
来源:Reason,http://reason.com/archives/2015/09/01/plastic-bags-are-good-for-you/

What prohibitionists get wrong about one of modernity’s greatest inventions
禁用主义者对现代最伟大发明之一的理解错在何处

Here is a list of things that are thicker than a typical plastic grocery bag: A strand of hair. A coat of paint.A human cornea.

以下所列物品都比普通的塑料购物袋要厚:一绺头发、一层涂漆、人类的眼角膜。

High-density polyethylene is a miracle of materials science.

高密度聚乙烯是材料科学的一项奇迹。

Despite weighing less than 5 grams, one bag can hold 17 pounds, well over 1,000 times its own weight. At about a penny apiece, the bags are cheap enough for stores to give away and sturdy enough to carry home two gallons of milk in the evening and still be up to the task of scooping Cujo’s poop the next morning.

尽管自身不足5克,一个塑料袋却可以装载17磅的重物,这超过它自身重量足足1000多倍。塑料袋非常便宜,大约每个才一分钱,商店不介意免费发放;塑料袋也非常牢固,晚上装着两加仑牛奶回家后,第二天早上还能用来装宠物狗的粪便。

Yet almost as soon as grocers started offering their customers the choice of “paper or plastic?” these modern marvels became a whipping boy for environmentalists, politicians, and other well-intentioned, ill-informed busybodies. Plastic bags for retail purchases are banned or taxed in more than 200 municipalities and a dozen countries, from San Francisco to South Africa, Bellingham to Bangladesh.

然而几乎就在杂货商开始让顾客选择“纸袋还是塑料袋?”的时候,这些现代奇迹却开始沦为环保主义者、政客和其他出于善意却知之甚少的好管闲事者的替罪羊。从旧金山到南非,从贝灵汉到孟加拉国等超过200个市和十多个国家,禁用零售塑料购物袋,或对其征税。

Each region serves up its own custom blend of alarmist rhetoric; coastal areas blame the wispy totes for everything from asphyxiated sea turtles to melting glaciers, while inland banners decry the bags’ role in urban landscape pollution and thoughtless consumerism.

每个地区都炮制出各自版本的危言耸听之词;海岸区域把从窒息而死的海龟到冰川融化的一切问题都怪在这纤弱袋子头上,而内陆地区的宣传则谴责塑料袋造成了城市污染和没心没肺的消费主义。

But a closer look at the facts and figures reveals shaky science and t(more...)

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Plastic Bags Are Good for You 塑料袋是个好东西 作者:Katherine Mangu-Ward @ 2015-10 译者:混乱阈值 (@混乱阈值) 校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy),小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子) 来源:Reason,http://reason.com/archives/2015/09/01/plastic-bags-are-good-for-you/ What prohibitionists get wrong about one of modernity's greatest inventions 禁用主义者对现代最伟大发明之一的理解错在何处 Here is a list of things that are thicker than a typical plastic grocery bag: A strand of hair. A coat of paint.A human cornea. 以下所列物品都比普通的塑料购物袋要厚:一绺头发、一层涂漆、人类的眼角膜。 High-density polyethylene is a miracle of materials science. 高密度聚乙烯是材料科学的一项奇迹。 Despite weighing less than 5 grams, one bag can hold 17 pounds, well over 1,000 times its own weight. At about a penny apiece, the bags are cheap enough for stores to give away and sturdy enough to carry home two gallons of milk in the evening and still be up to the task of scooping Cujo's poop the next morning. 尽管自身不足5克,一个塑料袋却可以装载17磅的重物,这超过它自身重量足足1000多倍。塑料袋非常便宜,大约每个才一分钱,商店不介意免费发放;塑料袋也非常牢固,晚上装着两加仑牛奶回家后,第二天早上还能用来装宠物狗的粪便。 Yet almost as soon as grocers started offering their customers the choice of "paper or plastic?" these modern marvels became a whipping boy for environmentalists, politicians, and other well-intentioned, ill-informed busybodies. Plastic bags for retail purchases are banned or taxed in more than 200 municipalities and a dozen countries, from San Francisco to South Africa, Bellingham to Bangladesh. 然而几乎就在杂货商开始让顾客选择“纸袋还是塑料袋?”的时候,这些现代奇迹却开始沦为环保主义者、政客和其他出于善意却知之甚少的好管闲事者的替罪羊。从旧金山到南非,从贝灵汉到孟加拉国等超过200个市和十多个国家,禁用零售塑料购物袋,或对其征税。 Each region serves up its own custom blend of alarmist rhetoric; coastal areas blame the wispy totes for everything from asphyxiated sea turtles to melting glaciers, while inland banners decry the bags' role in urban landscape pollution and thoughtless consumerism. 每个地区都炮制出各自版本的危言耸听之词;海岸区域把从窒息而死的海龟到冰川融化的一切问题都怪在这纤弱袋子头上,而内陆地区的宣传则谴责塑料袋造成了城市污染和没心没肺的消费主义。 But a closer look at the facts and figures reveals shaky science and the uncritical repetition of improbable statistics tossed about to shore up the case for a mostly aesthetic, symbolic act of conservation. 然而如果你仔细审视事实和数据就会发现,上述做法在科学上牵强附会,对荒谬的统计数字不加鉴别、人云亦云。人们用它们来支撑的,差不多只是一种审美上的、符号化的环保行动。 How did one of the most efficient, resource-saving inventions of the 20th century become an environmentalist bugaboo? 那么,20世纪最具有效率、最节省资源的发明之一是如何成为环保人士眼中的妖孽的? Research 研究 Before 1800, if you bought or traded for an object, you were pretty much on your own to get it home. People carried baskets for the little stuff and wheeled carts for the bigger items, often toting scraps of canvas or other durable fabric to wrap messier or more fragile goods, such as meat or pastries. This was back when the germ theory of disease was yet to be broadly accepted, and there were not yet Laundromats on every street corner. 在十九世纪之前,如果你购买或交换到一件物品,基本上需要靠自己把物品带回家。如果是小件物品,人们用篮子装,大件则用轮车载。人们还常常携带帆布或其它耐用织物来包裹较脏乱或较易碎的物品,比如肉或糕点。那时细菌致病的理论尚未被广泛认同,自助洗衣店也还没有遍及每一个街角。 In the early 19th century, paper became cheap enough that merchants started using it to package their wares, tying off the bundles with string—a huge leap for both convenience and sanitation. The paper bag was invented in the 1850s, but it wasn't until the 1870s that a factory girl named Margaret Knight cobbled together a machine that cut, folded, and glued flat-bottomed paper receptacles. 19世纪早期,因为纸价变得足够低,商人开始用纸张包装商品并用绳子捆绑——这在便捷和卫生方面都是一个巨大进步。纸袋发明于1850年代,但直到1870年代,才由一个叫Margaret Knight的女工拼装出了一台可以剪裁、折叠并粘合平底纸袋的机器。 While the brown paper bag seems like the height of humdrum to modern eyes, Knight's machine was kind of a big deal: She won a bitter intellectual property fight to receive one of the first patents ever awarded to a woman, and was eventually decorated by Queen Victoria for her efforts. Over time, the paper bag got cheaper and stronger and sprouted handles, but it remained essentially unchanged, comfortably dominating the stuff-schlepping market for the next 100 years. 那种棕色纸袋如今看起来平淡无奇,但当时Knight的机器在某种意义上却是一个了不得的发明:她赢得了一场艰苦的知识产权官司,成为最早获得专利的女性之一,并因此最终获维多利亚女王授勋。随着时间推移,纸袋变得更便宜,更坚固,并长出了手环,但本质未变,在随后的100年里轻松地主宰了物品携带市场。 Meanwhile, German chemist Hans von Pechmann was messing around with methane and ether in a lab in 1898 when he happened to notice a waxy precipitate called polymethylene. Unfortunately, no one could puzzle out what to do with the goo, so another 30 years would pass before DuPont chemists stumbled upon a similar compound, polyethylene. This time, the British figured out they could use it to insulate radar cables, which is where the substance served its war duty. 与此同时,1898年当德国化学家Hans von Pechmann在实验室中捣鼓甲烷和乙醚时,他碰巧注意到一种被称为聚亚甲基的蜡状凝结物。不幸的是,当时没人知道这种黏糊糊的东西能用来干什么。又过了30年,杜邦公司的化学家们偶然发现了一种相似的化合物:聚乙烯。这一次,英国人发现他们可以用聚乙烯来为雷达的电线做绝缘层,这就是聚乙烯在战时的功用。 In 1953, Karl Ziegler of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (later re-christened the Max Planck Institute, for obvious reasons) and Erhard Holzkamp invented high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and soon after figured out how to use it to make pipes. Ziegler even snagged a Nobel Prize for the invention in 1963. 1953年,“威廉皇帝研究所”(后因众所周知的原因改名为“马克斯·普朗克研究所”)的Karl Ziegler和Erhard Holzkamp发明了高密度聚乙烯(HDPE),并很快设法用该物质制造管子。Ziegler还因为这项发明获得了1963年的诺贝尔奖。 But GustafThulinSten is the real hero (or villain, depending on your point of view) of our tale. An employee of the Swedish company Celloplast, Sten was the person who had the inspiration to punch holes into the side of super-thin tubes of HDPE, thus creating the ubiquitous, filmy "T-shirt bags" we know and love (to ban) today. 然而,在塑料袋的传奇故事里,真正的英雄(或恶棍,取决于你怎么看)是Gustaf Thulin Sten。作为瑞典Celloplast公司的雇员,Sten想出了在HDPE超薄管的一侧打孔的主意,创造了今天我们所熟知并热爱(或希望禁止)的无处不在的薄膜般的“T恤袋”。 In a 1993 book that claims to reveal the "hidden life of groceries and other secrets of the supermarket," journalist Vince Staten pinpoints the moment that the global takeover of the plastic bag became inevitable: a 1985 gathering of the New Materials and Profits in Grocery Sacks and Coextrusions Conference at a Holiday Inn in Somerset, New Jersey, at which a representative from Chem Systems announced that plastic bags were 11.5 percent cheaper than paper. 在一本出版于1993年的书里,记者Vince Staten声称揭示了“杂货业的隐秘生活以及超市的其它秘密”。作者指出了塑料袋风靡世界的决定性时刻:1985年,在新泽西州Somerset的假日酒店,举行了一个叫做“杂货袋和压膜袋的新材料和利润大会”的活动。会上,来自Chem Systems的代表宣布塑料袋比纸袋要便宜11.5%。 Just like that, the world changed. Plastic bags were stocked in 10 percent of grocery stores in 1983, according to Plastics World magazine. By 1985 it was 75 percent. "Paper or plastic?" immediately became an everyday question, a punchline, and a source of angst. 就这样,整个世界都变了。根据《塑料世界》杂志的信息,1983年时10%的杂货店备有塑料袋,到了1985年这个数字上升到了75%。 “纸袋还是塑料袋?”立刻成为了日常问句,脍炙人口的妙语,以及忧虑之源。 Almost from the beginning, plastic bags were controversial. After several high-profile suffocation deaths of children, manufacturers worked together to create a public safety campaign, staving off regulation and reducing accidents. As grocers substituted plastic for paper to bolster their bottom lines, suburban shoppers, who preferred to line up flat-bottomed paper bags in the backs of their cars, complained, even as urban shoppers rejoiced at the ability to comfortably and reliably carry more than two bags at a time. 几乎从一开始,塑料袋就备受争议。在数起备受瞩目的儿童窒息死亡事件发生后,塑料袋生产商聚在一起搞了一个公众安全运动,以此来延缓对塑料袋的监管,并减少事故的发生。杂货商用塑料袋代替纸袋以节约成本后,尽管市区购物者因为从此可以舒适稳当地同时手提多个袋子而感到高兴,那些更喜欢在车后摆满平底纸袋的郊区购物者却对此有了怨言。 The booming environmental movement was initially flummoxed. Forest conservation was a big deal in the '80s, a point in favor of plastic. But fossil fuels were a no-no, so maybe paper was better? Both types of bags at the time were tough to recycle. The debate raged on, leaving eco-conscious shoppers unclear about the best course of action. 蓬勃兴起的环境运动最开始被搞懵了。森林保护在80年代是件大事,使用塑料袋在这方面能得分。但是耗用化石燃料也是要不得的,那么也许纸袋更好?这两种购物袋在当时都不容易回收利用。争论持续升温,让有环保意识的购物者搞不清楚到底哪种选择最好。 Reduce 减少使用 In 2010, Guinness World Records named plastic bags the most ubiquitous consumer item in the world. But peak bag may already be upon us. 2010年,吉尼斯世界纪录把塑料袋确认为世界上最普及的消费品。然而,塑料袋使用的最高峰也许已然临近。 In 2007, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to prohibit plastic bags, citing concerns about water pollution and waste disposal. Chicago, Austin, Portland, and nearly all of Hawaii soon followed suit, chiming in with complaints about wastefulness, climate change, and more. 2007年,出于对水污染和垃圾处理的担忧,旧金山成为了美国第一个禁用塑料袋的城市。随后芝加哥、奥斯丁、波特兰和几乎整个夏威夷都群起效仿,它们纷纷抱怨塑料袋导致浪费、气候变化和其它问题。 Chinese officials banned plastic bags two months before hosting the 2008 Olympics, for the same reason they banned high-emissions vehicles and daytime pajama-wearing-such unsightly displays didn't match up with the image the People's Republic wanted to present to the world. In China, they call the floating sacks "white pollution." South Africans refer to bags snagged in bushes as their "national flower." 中国官员在2008年奥运会举办前两个月禁止了塑料袋,理由与他们禁止高排放汽车以及白天穿睡衣相同——这些不雅景观与人民共和国想要展现给世界的形象不相符。在中国,人们把漂浮的塑料袋称为“白色污染”。南非人则将缠在灌木丛中的塑料袋称为他们的“国花”。 In Washington, D.C., concern about used plastic bags finding their way down storm drains, through the Anacostia River, and into the Chesapeake Bay was the primary justification for the capital city's 5-cent bag tax in 2010, under the slogan "Skip the Bag, Save the River." In 2006, the California Coastal Commission claimed that plastic bags make up 3.8 percent of beach litter, and a few years later the California Ocean Protection Council upped the ante to 8 percent of all coastal trash. Last year the Dallas City Council pinned 5 percent of the area's refuse on bags. 2010年,首都华盛顿特区对每个塑料袋征税5美分,口号是“救救河流,不用塑料袋”,主要的理论依据是废弃塑料袋会被冲进雨水道,通过阿纳卡斯提亚河进入切萨皮克海湾。2006年,加州海岸委员会声称塑料袋在海滩垃圾中占3.8%,几年后加州海洋保护委员会把塑料袋在所有海滨垃圾的份额提高到8%。去年,达拉斯市议会认定辖区内垃圾的5%由塑料袋构成。 But the definitive American litter study—yep, such a thing exists—reports much lower figures. The 2009 Keep America Beautiful Survey, run by Steven Stein of Environmental Resources Planning, shows that all plastic bags, of which plastic retail bags are only a subset, are just 0.6 percent of visible litter nationwide. 然而关于美国垃圾的权威研究——没错,这种研究确实存在——发布的数字要低很多。2009年,由“环境资源规划”组织的Steven Stein发起的一项名为“保持美国的美”的调查显示,所有塑料袋加在一起仅占了全国可见垃圾的0.6%,而塑料购物袋只是塑料袋中的一小类。 And those California data? They come from the International Coastal Commission (ICC), which the California Coastal Commission notes relies on information "collected by volunteers on one day each year, and is not a scientific assessment." (This insight, and many others in this story, is derived from a study produced last year by Julian Morris and Brian Seasholes for Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes reason.) 那么加州的数据从何而来?它来自国际海岸委员会(ICC)。加州海岸委员会提到,该数字 “由志愿者每年花一天搜集,并非科学评估”。(这个见解,以及此文中很多其它见解,都来自去年由Julian Morris和Brian Seasholes为“理性基金会”所作的研究,该基金会是一家非营利组织,出版刊物Reason。) In D.C., a 2008 analysis prepared for the city's Department of the Environment by the Anacostia Watershed Society found that plastic bags were only the third-largest contributor to litter in the river, after food wrappers and bottles and cans. 在华盛顿特区,2008年一份由“阿纳卡斯提亚流域协会”为市环境部提供的分析报告发现,塑料袋只是河流垃圾的第三大来源,排在食物包装和瓶罐之后。 Stein's study did find plastic bags in storm drains, but again, they made up only about 1 percent of the total litter. Stein的研究确实在雨水道中发现了塑料袋,然而,塑料袋同样仅占垃圾总量的1%。 Some plastic bags do find their way into the sea, of course. And one of the other concerns cited for the banning and regulation of plastic grocery bags is the safety of marine wildlife. The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation is just one organization among many that claim that more than 1 million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year from eating or getting entangled in plastic. 当然,有些塑料袋确实进入了海洋。人们禁用或管制塑料购物袋时的忧虑之一,就是海洋野生动物的安全。包括“蓝色大洋海洋保护协会”在内的很多组织声称,每年有超过一百万只鸟和十万以上的海洋哺乳动物以及海龟因为吞食塑料袋或被塑料袋缠绕而死,。 Morris and Seasholes reconstructed an elaborate game of statistical telephone to source this figure back to a study funded by the Canadian government that tracked loss of marine animals in Newfoundland as a result of incidental catch and entanglement in fishing gear from 1981 to 1984. Importantly, this three-decade-old study had nothing to do with plastic bags at all. 针对上述数字,Morris和Seasholes重建了一个复杂的统计学电话游戏【校注:电话游戏即由一个人小声跟下一个人说一句话,不断传递,最终得出荒谬结果】,将其来源追溯到一项由加拿大政府资助的研究。这项研究将纽芬兰的海洋动物减少归咎于1981年至1984年间的误捕和捕鱼装备的缠绕。重要的是,这项三十年前的研究完全和塑料袋无关。 Porpoises and sea turtles are undeniably charismatic megafauna—the pandas of the deep—and it's understandable that environmental groups would want to parade them around in a bid to drum up sympathy, almost certainly driven by the sincere belief that plastics put the beloved animals at grave risk. But in the end, there's little evidence that that's true. 不可否认,鼠海豚和海龟都是极具魅力的巨型海洋动物——它们就像深海中的熊猫——并且,环保团体几乎肯定是受真诚的信念所驱使,认定是塑料袋让这些可爱的动物陷入危险境地,并想拉着它们招摇过市以竭力争取同情,这是可以理解的。但归根到底,没有什么证据证明确有其事。 As David Santillo, a senior biologist with Greenpeace, told The Times of London, "It's very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags. The evidence shows just the opposite. We are not going to solve the problem of waste by focusing on plastic bags. With larger mammals it's fishing gear that's the big problem. On a global basis plastic bags aren't an issue." 就像绿色和平组织的高级生物学家David Santillo对《泰晤士报》所说的那样,“许多动物被塑料袋害死是不太可能的。证据显示情况恰恰相反。如果我们把重点放在塑料袋上,垃圾废料问题是得不到解决的。对大型哺乳动物来说,捕鱼装备才是大问题。从全球范围来看,塑料袋并不是个问题。” Reuse 重复利用 But what about larger-scale impacts, such as climate change? Where do grocery bags stack up there? A 2011 study from the U.K.'s Environmental Agency attempted to quantify the emissions footprint both of plastic bags and of their substitutes. Holding the typical HDPE grocery bag up as the standard, researchers found that the common reusable non-woven polypropylene bag—the ubiquitous crinkly plastic tote, typically made with oil—had to be used at least 11 times to hold its own against an HDPE grocery bag. Cotton bags had to be used an amazing 131 times to do the same. 那么大范围的影响,比如气候变化,又如何呢?购物塑料袋与此有何关系?英国环境局在2011年做了一项研究,尝试量化使用塑料袋及其替代品的碳排放量。以普通的高密度聚乙烯(HDPE)购物袋作为比较基准,研究者发现,常见的可重复使用无纺聚丙烯袋——那种四处可见的起皱塑料袋,一般以石油作原料——至少需要重复使用11次才能在排放量上匹敌HDPE购物袋。要达到同样的水平,棉布袋则需重复使用惊人的131次。 In 2007, for a brief moment, the "It bag" wasn't a $30,000 Hermes Birkin, it was a cotton tote designed by Anya Hindmarch that read: "I'm NOT A Plastic bag." Celebrities from Ivanka Trump to Keira Knightly were snapped toting the sold-out satchels for glossies like Life&Style and Grazia. While we can never know for sure, it seems wildly unlikely that Ivanka Trump has carried 131 loads of groceries in her life, much less in that particular bag. 在2007年,“It bag”(“当季必备包包”)曾经一度不是价值三万美元的爱马仕铂金包,而是由Anya Hindmarch设计的一款棉布包,上面印着几个字:“我不是塑料袋。”从Ivanka Trump到Keira Knightly等社会名流都拎着这个销售一空的手提包,为诸如Life&Style和Grazia的精美杂志拍定型照。尽管我们永远没法肯定,但看起来Ivanka Trump一辈子曾提过131袋生活杂物的可能性相当小,更不用说用这种小提包了。 What's more, those U.K. Environmental Agency figures assume the HDPE bag is not being reused. Nor do they account for the energy and materials needed to regularly wash the reusable bags in hot soapy water. Other alternatives did perform somewhat better in the global-warming matchup, including paper bags (which would have to be reused three times to match the single-use HDPE bag's footprint) and another type of reusable bag made of low-density polyethylene (four times). 此外,上述英国环境局的数字是基于HDPE购物袋不会被重复使用的假设得出的,他们也没有把用热肥皂水定期清洗可重复使用购物袋时所需的能源和材料考虑在内。一些其它替代品确实在防止全球变暖方面中表现更好,包括纸袋(需要重复使用三次才能和一次性HDPE袋在碳排放量上相当)和另一种可重复使用的低密度聚乙烯袋(需要重复使用四次)。 About 65 percent of Americans report that they repurpose their grocery bags for garbage. By contrast, a survey by the marketing research firm Edelman Berland found that consumers reported forgetting their reusable bags on 40 percent of grocery trips and opted for plastic or paper instead. 大约有65%的美国人称他们会用使用过的购物袋装垃圾。与此形成对比的是,由市场研究公司Edelman Berland所做的一项调查发现,消费者称他们去购物时有40%的可能性忘记携带可重复使用的购物袋,最终需要用塑料袋或纸袋来代替。 Prior to the movement to ban plastic bags, many American homes had a nook, cranny, or drawer that functioned as a kind of grocery-sack clown car. It seemed that whatever the size of the container, an infinite number of bags could be stuffed inside. My family called it the bag o' bags. As in: "Katherine! This mold experiment has gone on long enough! Go get me a bag from the bag o' bags so that I can throw it away," or "Karina, you better remember to get a bag from the bag o' bags for that wet swimsuit, unless you want the books in your backpack to get wet." If we wound up with an unmanageable surplus, we could just drop the bags at the recycling centers that used to sit in the parking lots of most suburban grocery stores. 在禁用塑料袋运动之前,许多美国家庭都有个角落、缝隙或抽屉,用作放购物袋小丑车。不管那个地方大小如何,似乎总是可以不断地往里面塞袋子。我家称之为“袋之袋”。比如:“凯瑟琳!这东西都生霉很久了!从袋之袋里拿个袋子给我,我好把这玩意丢掉。”,或是“卡琳娜,你要不想把你背包里的书都弄湿,最好记得从袋之袋里拿个袋子来装湿泳衣。”。如果我们有太多用不掉的多余袋子,只要放到以前大多数郊区杂货店的停车场里都有的回收中心去就可以了。 Then there are the frequently unmeasured consumption consequences of the bans themselves. For example, in San Francisco, after the grocery/retail plastic bag ban went into effect in 2007, depriving customers of a source of free bags, sales of still legal, low-density polyethylene plastic bags shot up 400 percent. 禁令本身还有很多尚未搞清的消费后果。举个例子,旧金山对零售购物塑料袋的禁令在2007年生效后,消费者无法再获得免费购物袋了,结果仍旧合法的低密度聚乙烯塑料袋的销量飙升了400%。 Recycle 回收 "It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce the 100 billion plastic bags that are thrown away in the U.S. every year." Versions of this claim show up everywhere from New York Times editorials to Save the Bay pamphlets. But the origins of the figures are murky and the dramatic tone is misleading. Even if the number is accurate, it is almost a literal drop in the bucket: Americans consume a total of about 19 million barrels of oil a day. “在美国,每年一千亿只废弃塑料袋需要耗费1200万桶原油来生产。”这类说法的不同版本出现在从《纽约时报》社论到《拯救海湾》宣传册的各种地方。然而这个数字的原始出处却是模糊不清的,而且其夸张口吻也有误导性。就算这个数字是准确的,这也几乎真正是九牛一毛:美国人每天消费大约1900万桶原油。 But as Morris and Seasholes point out, all that fretting about oil use "is surprising, not least because nearly all HDPE bags are produced from natural gas, not oil. Indeed, between 1981 and 2012, on average only 3.2% of polyethylene bags were made from oil. The reason is simple: it is far less expensive to produce ethylene, the feedstock for polyethylene, from natural gas (methane) than from oil." While the price of oil has recently declined, the assumption that plastic bags are made primarily from oil remains false. 然而就像Morris和Seasholes指出的那样,这种所有关于原油使用的焦虑“都是令人惊讶的,尤其是因为几乎所有的HDPE袋都是由天然气而非原油制造的。事实上正是这样,在1981年到2012年间,平均只有3.2%的聚乙烯袋由原油制造。原因很简单:用天然气(甲烷)生产乙烯这种制造聚乙烯的原材料要比用原油便宜得多。”尽管原油价格最近下降了,这种认为塑料袋主要由原油制造的想法依然是错误的。 In 2010, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans threw away 690,000 tons of HDPE bags. Of those, approximately 30,000 tons were recycled. That means a total of 660,000 tons were discarded, mostly into landfills (approximately 82 percent of non-recovered municipal solid waste goes to landfill; 18 percent is incinerated). That same year, Americans also chucked almost exactly the same amount of "reusable" polypropylene bags (680,000 tons), of which zero were recovered. In other words, those polypropylene reusable bags actually constituted a slightly higher proportion of all bags going to landfills. 根据美国环境保护局的说法,美国人在2010年丢弃了69万吨HDPE袋,其中大约3万吨被回收。这意味着总共有66万吨袋子被废弃,主要是被丢入垃圾填埋场(城市非再生固体废弃物中大约有82%进入垃圾填埋场;另外18%被焚烧)。同年,美国人还丢弃了几乎重量相当的“可重复使用”聚丙烯袋(68万吨),没有任何回收利用。换句话说,在流入垃圾填埋场的袋子里,可重复使用的聚丙烯袋占比事实上还要稍高一些。 In April, NPR's Planet Money reported on the economics of plastic recycling, and noted that while recycled plastic from bags and sacks was once a profitable industry, times have changed. The prices of oil and gas have fallen, which means it is cheaper to just make new bags rather than undertake the laborious process of recycling the old ones. As Tom Outerbridge, who runs a Brooklyn recycling center called Sims, explained, "We can't afford to put a lot of time and money into trying to recycle it" if no one's buying the final product. 今年四月,美国全国公共广播电台的“地球财富”节目报道了塑料回收中的经济学,并指出尽管从袋子中回收塑料以前是一项盈利的事,现在情况已经变了。原油和天然气的价格已经下降,意味着直接生产新的袋子要比通过复杂费力的程序对旧袋子回收利用更便宜。布鲁克林一个叫做Sims的回收中心的运营商Tom Outerbridge解释说,如果没人购买最终产品,“我们就无法在塑料袋回收上投入大量时间和金钱”。 Reject 拒绝 In March, The Washington Post reported on the surprising strength of the plastic bag industry in the face of regulatory onslaught. 今年三月,《华盛顿邮报》报道了塑料袋制造业在凶猛的管制面前所展现出来的惊人力量。 In 2008, officials in the deep blue city of Seattle voted to impose a 20-cent fee on both plastic and paper single- use bags. "There's a competitive side to seeing who can come up with the most progressive legislation," city councilman and former local Sierra Club leader Mike O'Brien told The New York Times. 在2008年,深蓝之城西雅图的官员们投票决定对塑料和纸质的一次性袋子收取每个20美分的费用。“这么做有攀比的一面,就是看看谁能搞出最进步主义的立法,”市议员、“塞拉聚乐部”【校注:美国环保组织】在当地的前领导者Mike O’Brien这样告诉《纽约时报》。 But industry rallied before the implementation date, spending $1.4 million on a citywide ballot measure to repeal the fee. The referendum campaign was a success; Seattle voters rejected the surcharge, which would have been the most punitive in the nation, in 2009. Still, three years later, Seattle became the fourth city in Washington State to approve an outright plastic- bag ban, along with a 5-cent fee on paper bags. 但业界在该法规实施之前团结了起来,投入140万美元举行了全市范围的投票表决活动来撤销该收费。这场公决运动成功了;西雅图人投票拒绝了这项本会在2009年成为全国之最的惩罚性额外收费。然而,三年后,西雅图还是成了华盛顿州第四个通过彻底禁用塑料袋的城市,同时还对纸袋征收5美分的费用。 In Dallas, a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers are challenging a 5-cent markup that the city has imposed on single-use bags. Hilex Poly (now Novolex), Superbag Operating, the Inteplast Group, and Advance Polybag argue that the fee is illegal under an obscure Dallas law that states: "A local government or other political subdivision may not adopt an ordinance, rule or regulation to: prohibit or restrict, for solid waste management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law; [or] assess a fee or deposit on the sale or use of a container or package." 在达拉斯,塑料袋生产商联盟正在挑战市政府对一次性袋子每个5美分的收费政策。Helix Ploy(即如今的Novolex),Superbag Operating,Inteplast Group和Advance Polybag这些公司认为收费是非法的,他们的依据是一条模糊的达拉斯的法律:“地方政府或其它政治分区不能实施条例、规则或规定来:出于控制固体废弃物的目的,不经州法律授权,禁止或限制容器或包装的贩卖或使用;(或)对贩卖或使用容器或包装进行收费或收取保证金。” In Georgia, the state Senate got a little meta, passing a ban on bag bans last session, which would have pre-emptively prevented restrictions. While the bill failed in the House, it may prove to be a model for other state pre-emptions around the country. 在佐治亚,州参议院的做法有点元规则的性质,在上个会期通过了一项对塑料袋禁令的禁令,该禁令将能预防性地阻止禁塑令。这个法案虽未能在州众院中通过,但可能在全国范围成为预防性立法的典型,被其它州效仿。 Ground Zero of the plastic wars, unsurprisingly, is California. Last year, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed a statewide ban against plastic grocery bags that was scheduled to take effect this July 1. But the implementation has been stalled, thanks to 800,000 signatories to a petition circulated by the American Progressive Bag Alliance, a new group funded by plastics manufacturers. Voters will now have to ratify the ban on their 2016 ballots for it to go into effect. "This is a cynical ploy by out-of-state interests desperate to delay a ban already adopted in more than 100 communities across California," a spokesperson for Brown told the Associated Press. 不出所料,塑料袋之战的中心战场是加州。去年,民主党州长Jerry Brown签署了一项在全州禁止塑料杂货袋的法令,原计划在今年七月一日投入实施。然而由于塑料品生产商资助的一个新团体“美国进步派袋子联盟”发起的一项请愿获得了80万个签名支持,禁令未能如期实施。现在选民只有等到2016年进行投票批准,禁令才能实施。“这是州外利益集团耍的冷漠自私的手段,他们拼命要推迟这项已被全加州超过一百个社区采用的禁令”,Brown的发言人告诉美联社。 Of course, if there's some banning going on, you can always rely on Congress to muscle in on the action. Rep. James P. Moran (D–Va.) has repeatedly introduced a bill to create a national 5-cent tax on all disposable plastic or paper bags supplied by stores to customers. The bill typically dies quietly in committee, but perhaps Moran was hoping that, as Gandhi famously didn't say: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win." 当然,哪里有禁令,哪里就会有国会伸手掺和进来。来自弗吉尼亚的民主党众议员James P. Moran已多次提出一项在全国范围内对所有由商店向顾客提供的一次性塑料袋或纸袋征收5美分税的法案。一如既往,法案在委员会无声无息地胎死腹中,但也许Moran希望的是,就像那句甘地没说过的名言:“一开始他们无视你,然后他们嘲笑你,接下去他们攻击你,再然后你就胜利了。” Regurgitate 反刍译注:regurgitate也有呕吐的意思,这里可能是一语双关:重复使用的袋子有时脏得令人作呕。】 As I write this, a load of reusable grocery bags is tumbling around in my dryer. In the course of researching this article, I got so thoroughly grossed out by the malevolent horror lurking in my pantry that I had to stop writing and start washing. 就在我写此文时,一堆可重复使用的杂货袋正在我的烘干机内翻滚。在对此文的内容进行调研时,我被潜伏在我的餐具室内的可怕的脏东西彻底恶心到了,不得不停止写作开始清洗。 I may love plastic bags, but I'm not immune to cultural and economic pressure, so when I remember to, I tote my reusable bags to the store like a good little yuppie. But this ostensibly modern act brings me back to conditions a little too reminiscent of the sub-hygienic reality faced by my great-great-grandmother, with her blood-and-crumb-covered reusable canvas wrapper. 我也许喜欢塑料袋,但我并不能对文化和经济压力免疫,因此我要是想得起来,就会像个善良的雅皮士一样带着可重复使用的袋子去商店购物。然而这个表面上现代的行为会把我带回到不太卫生的现实情境,非常容易让我想起我的曾曾祖母和她那满是血污和面包屑的可重复使用的帆布袋子。 If you're like most people, here's what you have probably done at least once: Put a leaky package of chicken in your cloth or plastic tote. Then go home, empty the bag, crumple it up, and toss it in the trunk of your car to fester. A week later, you go shopping again and throw some veggies you're planning to eat raw into the same bag. Cue diarrhea. 如果你和多数人一样,那么你肯定经历过下述事情:把一包汁水滴漏的鸡肉放进你的布袋或塑料包中。然后回家,拿出鸡肉,把袋子揉成一团扔进车的后备箱让其发霉发臭。一周后,你又去购物,把一些你准备生吃的蔬菜丢进同一只袋子。腹泻就是这么来的。 A 2011 survey published in the journal Food Protection Trends found coliform bacteria in fully half of the reusable shopping bags tested in a random survey of shoppers in Arizona and California. The same 2014 Edelman Berland study that found consumers frequently forgot their bags also unearthed the fact that only 18 percent of shoppers reported cleaning their bags "once a week or more." An article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases traced a 2010 outbreak of norovirus to nine members of an Oregon soccer team who had touched or eaten food stored in a contaminated reusable bag. 根据2011年一项发表在《食品保护趋势》杂志上的调查,在对亚利桑那和加州的购物者进行随机调查时,他们发现有足足半数的可重复使用购物袋中存在大肠型细菌。前面提到的2014年Edelman Berland那项发现消费者经常忘带购物袋的研究,还发现了这样一个事实:只有18%的购物者声称他们每周清洁购物袋“至少一次以上”。一篇登在《传染疾病杂志》上的文章发现,2010年诺如病毒爆发的起因是九名俄勒冈足球队员接触或食用了存放在被污染的可重复使用袋子中的食物。 Your cute reusable tote decorated with whimsical watercolors of eggplants may actually be causing those stomach cramps. 你肚子疼的罪魁祸首,事实上也许是你那装点着奇形怪状的茄子水印、可爱无比的可重复使用袋呢。 Reconsider 重新考量 Set your mind back to 1999, before our current wave of bag crackdowns, but well after the "plastic" answer to "paper or plastic?" began giving environmentalists the tremors. In that year's Oscar-winning American Beauty, an ambitious young filmmaker within the dull confines of suburbia captures an iconic image of a plastic sack—that product of banal late-capitalist excess—twirling artistically in the wind. 把思绪转回到1999年,那时还没有目前这波对塑料袋的打击取缔。但面对“纸袋还是塑料袋?”这一问题,回答“塑料袋”已经开始让环保主义者战栗。在那年获得奥斯卡奖的电影《美国丽人》中,一位雄心勃勃的年轻制片人在郊区生活的无聊框架内抓住了一幅具有象征意义的塑料袋的画面——晚期资本主义无聊纵欲的产品——在风中艺术地旋转。 "And this bag was just dancing with me," he says dreamily. "Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For 15 minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever." “这袋子只是在和我跳舞,”他梦幻般地说道。“像一个小孩恳求我和它玩耍。玩15分钟。那天,我意识到,在所有一切事物背后,有个完整的生命,而且有种不可思议的博爱的力量要我知道没有理由感到害怕,永远都没有。” Though it was meant as irony, there was an essential (if accidental) truth behind the speech. The technology behind plastic grocery bags is so useful it won a Nobel Prize. Employing an unimaginably small amount of base material, manufacturers can create tools of surprising strength and durability. Far from being the environmental threat activists make them out to be, plastic bags are not particularly to blame for clogged sewers, choked rivers, asphyxiated sea animals, or global warming. Instead, they are likely our best bet for carrying all of our junk in a responsible manner. 尽管本意是为了讽刺,这段话背后却有一种基本的(也许是凑巧的)真相。塑料购物袋背后的科技是如此有用,使其赢得了诺贝尔奖。利用一些用量小到无法想象的基本材料,制造者可以创造出具有惊人强度和耐用性的工具。与环保威胁论积极分子所描绘的形象大相径庭的是,实际上塑料袋并未导致下水道堵塞、河流填塞、海洋动物窒息或全球变暖。相反,如果我们要负责任装走垃圾,它们可能是最佳选择。 Don't believe the haters. Plastic bags are good for you. 别相信那些心怀怨恨的人。塑料袋是个好东西。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[微言]素食与环境

【2015-05-22】

@Ent_evo 假如一个人的食谱里肉降低了90%,虽然按任何标准他都不是素食者,但他在食谱上对环境的影响,其实已经和“真正的”素食者相差无几;反过来假如一个物种的分布面积降低了90%,哪怕剩下的活得很好,它对整个生态系统的贡献也和灭绝差不太多了。在它缺席的时候,也许已经发生了不可逆的变化。#继续感想#

@whigzhou: 素食的环境影响未必小于肉食,特别是有机素食,我怀疑很可能高于肉食,这从价格上可看出些端倪,正如@(more...)

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【2015-05-22】 @Ent_evo 假如一个人的食谱里肉降低了90%,虽然按任何标准他都不是素食者,但他在食谱上对环境的影响,其实已经和“真正的”素食者相差无几;反过来假如一个物种的分布面积降低了90%,哪怕剩下的活得很好,它对整个生态系统的贡献也和灭绝差不太多了。在它缺席的时候,也许已经发生了不可逆的变化。#继续感想# @whigzhou: 素食的环境影响未必小于肉食,特别是有机素食,我怀疑很可能高于肉食,这从价格上可看出些端倪,正如@tertio 总多年前所指出,价格是评估环境影响的最佳指标——虽然也算不上很好的指标。 @whigzhou: 比如蔬菜水果,水分含量高,营养密度极低,加工存储运输过程消耗的能量比同等营养的肉食高得多 @whigzhou: 蔬菜水果的地头价都很低,在零售价中所占比例几可忽略,两者间差价很大程度上反映了中间环节的资源消耗,而这些消耗,离开价格信号是无从估算的  
[微言]NGO工作原则

【2013-12-09】

抱歉,此微博不适宜对外公开。如需帮助,请联系客服。http://t.cn/z0D6ZaQ

@绿色和平:孟老师提到的第2点,我们做过详尽研究,分析了整个京津冀的污染物清单,发现:煤炭燃烧排放出的大气污染物是整个京津冀地区雾霾的最大根源。从行业来看,煤电、钢铁和水泥生产是京津冀首要的“污染”行业,详见《雾霾真相》:http://t.cn/8kGsrEL

@whigzhou: 誓死反对核电!

@取个冷名过夏天:为啥反对核电?求科普

@whi(more...)

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【2013-12-09】 抱歉,此微博不适宜对外公开。如需帮助,请联系客服。http://t.cn/z0D6ZaQ @绿色和平:孟老师提到的第2点,我们做过详尽研究,分析了整个京津冀的污染物清单,发现:煤炭燃烧排放出的大气污染物是整个京津冀地区雾霾的最大根源。从行业来看,煤电、钢铁和水泥生产是京津冀首要的“污染”行业,详见《雾霾真相》:http://t.cn/8kGsrEL @whigzhou: 誓死反对核电! @取个冷名过夏天:为啥反对核电?求科普 @whigzhou: 因为有了核电就不会剩下煤电了,那你让我抗议什么去?也不需要风电和光电了,那你让我赞同什么去? @whigzhou: NGO组织原则:你抗议的,必须是永远不会消失的东西,你呼吁的,必须是永远不会实现的事情 @whigzhou: 由此得出NGO行动原则:确保你抗议的东西不会消失,确保你呼吁的事情不会出现 @whigzhou: 我从2006年就开始思考绿和为何反对核电的问题,最近才悟出其中道理  
饭文#Z9:垃圾进口不必一律禁止

垃圾进口不必一律禁止
辉格
2012年6月4日

近日,南京海关截获了来自荷兰的30只集装箱走私进口垃圾,央视为此制作了专题节目,揭露一个专门从事洋垃圾走私、分拣、处理和销售的地下产业链;类似的拦截在2005年已有过一次,数量更高达1000多吨,只是那次垃圾船尚未驶离荷兰港口;90年代以来,国际垃圾贸易的规模便迅速增长,也日益引起世人关注。

不过,无论从垃圾处理还是环境保护的角度看,垃圾能够被以正的价格买卖,原本应被视为一件出人意料的大好事:顾名思义,对于产生并丢弃它的人来说,垃圾的价值要么是零(假如他(more...)

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垃圾进口不必一律禁止 辉格 2012年6月4日 近日,南京海关截获了来自荷兰的30只集装箱走私进口垃圾,央视为此制作了专题节目,揭露一个专门从事洋垃圾走私、分拣、处理和销售的地下产业链;类似的拦截在2005年已有过一次,数量更高达1000多吨,只是那次垃圾船尚未驶离荷兰港口;90年代以来,国际垃圾贸易的规模便迅速增长,也日益引起世人关注。 不过,无论从垃圾处理还是环境保护的角度看,垃圾能够被以正的价格买卖,原本应被视为一件出人意料的大好事:顾名思义,对于产生并丢弃它的人来说,垃圾的价值要么是零(假如他有权随意丢弃它),要么是负的(假如他需要付出代价才能丢弃它),现在,既然有人愿意以大于零的价格买入它,说明这些垃圾对他们是有用的,岂非皆大欢喜? 换句话说,让一些人头痛不已的垃圾,却由另一些人找出了可行的商业模式来帮他们免费处理,甚至愿意倒贴钱,这既让双方得利,也解决了一个重要的环境问题,难道不是好事吗?问题在于,那些买入垃圾的人,之所以愿意支付正的价格,可能不仅是因为他们在处理垃圾方面的比较优势,而更因为他们没有承担垃圾处理过程所造成的全部代价。 确有证据显示事实可能正是如此,这些垃圾分拣过程常给周边居民的生活环境造成污染,而后者又缺乏保障其环境免受污染的权利,或者即便这一权利得到社会与法律的认可,也没有有效的司法体系来保护和落实这一权利,另外,据说许多垃圾分拣者还将残余垃圾混入市政垃圾,从而将处理成本转嫁给了市政当局。 其实,从以往的其他事例中,我们也可以预计到此类权利的缺失,近年来在诸多工矿业重金属污染、印染业水源污染、机场噪音污染、垃圾填埋场和焚烧厂选址等等环境污染纠纷案件中,当地居民和社区很难从司法途径获得救济,通常只有当事情恶化导致冲突、成为新闻时才获得解决,这种机会主义的方式既无法形成清晰的权利边界,也难以让这些污染的真实代价以市场价格的形式准确体现出来。 所以,真正的问题不是垃圾贸易,而是权利缺失所导致的成本外部化,假如居民免受污染的权利是明晰且有保障的,而社区又拥有进行集体议价的组织机制,那么打算在当地建立垃圾分拣场的厂商便可与社区谈判商定污染控制标准和补偿额,如此一来,在南京合肥这样的人口密集区建分拣场的成本就很可能高的无人问津,洋垃圾问题也就无须担忧了。 当然,权利界定和司法保障的落实是个艰难而漫长的过程,在此之前禁止输入垃圾的规定确有其道理,但同时不可否认的是,假如国内某些地区确实在垃圾处理上拥有比较优势,那么禁令便让潜在交易者损失了大量获利机会,也压制了该产业的发展;这种优势可能来自荒芜土地的低机会成本,低工资水平,发达而需求旺盛的旧货市场,等等,这一优势究竟有多大,是否足以支撑一个产业,只能在权利明确的前提下由市场来回答。 在制度条件尚未成立之时,折中而稳妥的办法是在无人居住且土地荒芜的地方先建立特区,让进场企业自己给出确保周边地区免遭污染所需的垃圾处理标准;实际上,无论是否禁止垃圾进口,国内产生的垃圾本身就是个有待解决的大问题,随着工业和城市发展,这一问题会越来越紧迫,因而大规模的垃圾处理产业总是需要建立的,而它所面临的权利和制度问题,与洋垃圾问题完全一样。 既然如此,何不在界定和落实居民权利的同时,鼓励这些产业的发展呢?况且,与国内垃圾问题相比,洋垃圾至少在起点上较为集中而清晰:这些垃圾已经被收集到一起,并且有一个明确的个体对它负责,其后的责任链条也就更容易追索;假如洋垃圾问题能够推动污染与免污染边界的确立,从而让垃圾产业在法律规范之下得以建立,那倒是解决一个重大社会问题的契机。
[微言]人类与地球

【2012-03-22】

@布尔费墨:打开谷歌地球看看,人类活动对于地球的影响还不如蜘蛛对我们家房顶的影响明显。人类不要太自大了。什么全球变暖,什么增长极限,什么人口爆炸,自己糟践自己。真以为人类在地球上算个什么东西?

@tertio: 这个直观推理问题很严重,如果把所有核弹都点了呢?

@tertio: @whigzhou 这算直觉泵的一个负面案例吧

@whigzhou: 这个我看纯粹是对空胡喷嘛,直觉泵都算不上,最初直觉就不靠谱,谷歌地球我经常看,得不出人类影响很小这个直(more...)

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【2012-03-22】 @布尔费墨:打开谷歌地球看看,人类活动对于地球的影响还不如蜘蛛对我们家房顶的影响明显。人类不要太自大了。什么全球变暖,什么增长极限,什么人口爆炸,自己糟践自己。真以为人类在地球上算个什么东西? @tertio: 这个直观推理问题很严重,如果把所有核弹都点了呢? @tertio: @whigzhou 这算直觉泵的一个负面案例吧 @whigzhou: 这个我看纯粹是对空胡喷嘛,直觉泵都算不上,最初直觉就不靠谱,谷歌地球我经常看,得不出人类影响很小这个直觉 @whigzhou: 况且,今日人口密集区百年前地貌你见过吗?你第一次看谷歌地球是几年前?这个时间跨度上能对人类“影响”形成任何有意义的直觉吗? @小野猪君: 我看到博主的说法,在想,是不是谷歌地球出了什么新的应用?能看到人类活动对地球的影响? @whigzhou: 生物量(biomass)比例可以给你一个简单但有用的直觉:地球动物总干重约1150百万吨,其中约9%是人肉,60%是人吃的肉,还有百分之几是与人伴生的老鼠之类 @whigzhou: 由于人类食物生产效率极高,因而对食物链上游(植物界)影响相对较小,可降低一个半数量级考虑  
[微言]被暖球党刻意忽略的三个暖期

【2011-12-01】

@whigzhou: Most of the last 10,000 years were warmer

@whigzhou: 需要奇怪一下的是,为啥暖球派很少在全新世这个跨度上谈论气温走势,这段时间才是判断气温对文明影响的最佳区间,新仙女木结束之后的历次暖期,似乎都从他们的视野中消失了,而假如考虑这些暖期,还真看不出上升一两度有啥不好

@whigzhou: 维基上有另一张图,情况类似。

@whigzhou: 如果怀疑前面两张图不是主流意见,可以再看这张,拍自C.Barry Cox的教科书《生物地理学:生态和进化的途径》第七版,第10章,第249页,原文出版于2005年。左侧较平坦的一段是近一万年的情况,书太厚没能压的很平,但还是可以看出,左端(代表当今)在近一万年中明显处于低点。

@茶博未:“前面两张图”见http://weibo.com/1400461002/xzMtw7D64 下图曲线位置越高,表示温度越低(见图下文字说明)。左侧较平坦曲线代表的近一万年温度,比这段时间以前的(它的右侧)明显低

@whigzhou: 啊呀,博士理解错了,位置越高温度越高,我的“明显低”是指最左端(代表present)比平坦段平均水平低

@whigzhou: 注意时间轴是左近右古,平坦段右边最后一个低谷就是新仙女木,当时气温正在从末次冰期中回升,半路突然摔了一跤

@whigzhou: 为何我会感觉暖球派在回避全新世诸暖期的问题?搜索这三个关键字(more...)

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4059
【2011-12-01】 @whigzhou: Most of the last 10,000 years were warmer @whigzhou: 需要奇怪一下的是,为啥暖球派很少在全新世这个跨度上谈论气温走势,这段时间才是判断气温对文明影响的最佳区间,新仙女木结束之后的历次暖期,似乎都从他们的视野中消失了,而假如考虑这些暖期,还真看不出上升一两度有啥不好 @whigzhou: 维基上有另一张图,情况类似。 @whigzhou: 如果怀疑前面两张图不是主流意见,可以再看这张,拍自C.Barry Cox的教科书《生物地理学:生态和进化的途径》第七版,第10章,第249页,原文出版于2005年。左侧较平坦的一段是近一万年的情况,书太厚没能压的很平,但还是可以看出,左端(代表当今)在近一万年中明显处于低点。 @茶博未:“前面两张图”见http://weibo.com/1400461002/xzMtw7D64 下图曲线位置越高,表示温度越低(见图下文字说明)。左侧较平坦曲线代表的近一万年温度,比这段时间以前的(它的右侧)明显低 @whigzhou: 啊呀,博士理解错了,位置越高温度越高,我的“明显低”是指最左端(代表present)比平坦段平均水平低 @whigzhou: 注意时间轴是左近右古,平坦段右边最后一个低谷就是新仙女木,当时气温正在从末次冰期中回升,半路突然摔了一跤 @whigzhou: 为何我会感觉暖球派在回避全新世诸暖期的问题?搜索这三个关键字(Minoan warming/Roman warming/Medival warming),返回的大部分是怀疑派文章,说明暖球派拒绝面对这个问题,尽管有许多证据显示全新世多数年份气温高于今天,而在若干暖期中很可能高出一度以上 @whigzhou: 假如我们把时间尺度再拉大到整个第四纪(=更新世+全新世=过去200多万年),可以发现,过去45万年中的四个间冰期,温度都远高于现在(目前地球正处于最新一个间冰期中),这里是另一张图 @sw小橘子:暖球派中一个有煽动力的论点是海平面上升。过去45万年中的间冰期温度比现在高,并不能证明海平面不会上升。 @whigzhou: 海面上升所淹没的土地,远远少于因温度上升而从沙漠/冰川/冻原中获得的新土地,重要的是,海岸线上升是在百年跨度上完成的,人类有时间作出反应 @sw小橘子: 第二个论点是农业将遭到破坏,这其实也不能从45万年的跨度上反驳。 @whigzhou: 所以我先说了全新世跨度啊;45万年跨度的意义在于:智人是在这段时间内发展起来的,即,我们这个物种已经经历过至少四次温度比现在高出好几度的间冰期 @sw小橘子: 45万年似乎只支持地球不会毁灭,但不能支持人类不会付出难以承受的代价。 @whigzhou: 呵呵,假如要论证“地球不会毁灭”,那合适的跨度就是45亿年,这其中的气温波动幅度那就太离谱了,从整个冻成冰球的零下几十度到比现在高出几十度,都很平常 @Ent_evo: 是有时间做出反应,但是麻烦啊……人类环保总是以维持现状为最高标准的。 @whigzhou: 我说的反应是指个体反应,应对海面上升只需要有效的个体反应即可,不需要正确有效的集体决策/行动机制,这就看不出有多麻烦了 @Ent_evo:呃,个体反应够吗?觉得还是不太行啊……各大主要城市可以修建沿海大坝,但是小城市和农村地区呢?港口也要废掉一大批,最后估计还得是国家政府一级的来处理吧……? @whigzhou:关键前提是:其价值受海面上升所影响的资源的产权是分散的,随着受淹预期的形成和水患频率的提高,价值变动会在市场上表现出来,个体会随之而行动,比如移民,改变航线,改变设施选址等等 @Ent_evo:土地面积问题也是一样。被淹没的是优质土地,而新产生的则原来是劣质土地、现在也需要人工建设基建。这会涉及到批量的、集中的个体利益损失,他们一定会设法推动国家力量来补偿的。更何况受损者和受益者不在同一个国家……这是理论上可以由个体反应解决、实际上不太可能停留在个体层面的事情吧。 @whigzhou:当然,问题和反应不会都停留在个体层面,但相对于大气层,近岸资源是高度分立的,大量分散决策可以引向有效的重新配置,这一条件大气层是不具备的 @Ent_evo:我一直觉得人类整体是厌恶风险的,害怕改变。现在其实也是气候变化的可能后果vs.低碳生活的变化后果,哪个小我们选哪个。至于气候变化的好处和低碳的好处,大部分人其实是不考虑的。
饭文#S7: 建立碳排放产权应尊重既得利益

建立碳排放产权应尊重既得利益
辉格
2011年7月7日

近日,美国航空运输协会就欧盟针对航空业的碳管制法案提起诉讼,中国航空协会也对该法案表示了强烈反对,并宣称将建议中国政府采取反制措施;在欧盟之外,除了那些致力于减排的组织,欧盟的单方面行动遭遇了相关各方的普遍反对;在经济萎靡不振、贸易保护主义日益抬头的今天,假如这场纷争最终升级为又一场多方贸易报复战,实为世人之大不幸。

碳管制的依据是全球暖化论,这一理论目前已被许多人所接受,但需要指出的是,该理论包含了比大气碳浓度和气温同步上升强得多的内容,它由一(more...)

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建立碳排放产权应尊重既得利益 辉格 2011年7月7日 近日,美国航空运输协会就欧盟针对航空业的碳管制法案提起诉讼,中国航空协会也对该法案表示了强烈反对,并宣称将建议中国政府采取反制措施;在欧盟之外,除了那些致力于减排的组织,欧盟的单方面行动遭遇了相关各方的普遍反对;在经济萎靡不振、贸易保护主义日益抬头的今天,假如这场纷争最终升级为又一场多方贸易报复战,实为世人之大不幸。 碳管制的依据是全球暖化论,这一理论目前已被许多人所接受,但需要指出的是,该理论包含了比大气碳浓度和气温同步上升强得多的内容,它由一系列判断所构成——气温存在长期上升趋势,且已达到危险的程度,大气碳浓度增加是其主要原因,而人类活动又是碳浓度增加的主要原因——假如这些判断能够成立的话,那么,我们便可以说,低碳大气层已成为一种全新的稀缺资源,而迄今它都处于无产权保护的公地状态,因而其稀缺性并未转变为人们的节俭行为。 公地悲剧是老话题了,一种资源从不稀缺逐渐变得稀缺时,便构成了一种创建产权来内化成本/收益的需要,而创建失败的结果便是公地悲剧;在创建新型产权方面,人类有着许多成功而有益的经验,收费公园、道路通行权、狩猎捕鱼权、频道使用权,都是制度拟制的结果;然而,低碳大气却是种极为特殊的资源,其特殊之处在于:大气层是全球连通的,碳浓度和温室效应与排放源之间不存在空间上的相关性,这与一般的空气污染截然不同,通常,离污染源越近的地方受损害总是越大。 这一特性使得低碳大气无法随其拥挤度增加而自动建立排他性,而这是新型产权建立的最自然途径,比如,我开垦耕种一块土地的行为,自动排挤了其它人对这块土地的使用;由于碳排放的外部效应不存在空间梯度,因而它既不能影响土地价值,也无法激励本地受损者去对抗排放行为,而这是推动创建新型产权两个重要因素:土地主、社区和城市会为提升土地价值而限制排放,受损邻居发起的诉讼会导致排放权边界的建立。 看来,如何为低碳大气建立产权,确是人类面临的新问题——假如这果真是个问题的话,按上面的分析,它无法按先来先占原则自动建立,也无法在从若干局部开始逐渐建立,它只能由一个全球性的制度安排来人为的拟制。 经济学教科书上曾举出许多难以建立排他性的例子,如灯塔、路灯、治安、公共卫生等等,但实际上这些例子都是可疑的,灯塔只能照亮一小片海水,只能惠及特点航线上的船只,没人会特地老远赶来享受光亮,路灯也是,治安可以分层次提供,每个层次都只惠及一个区域,公共卫生也是如此,可现在,却真的出现了一种绝无拥挤性梯度、也没有物理上排他性的完美案例,这是对人类制度创新能力全新挑战。 在已经提出的各种方案中,单纯的排放管制是最差的,它如同其他管制一样,压制价格信号的供需调节作用和市场的资源配置机制,将导致信号扭曲和资源错配;庇古税方案在激励机制上是有效的,但它相当于由政府强行进占公地,把排放权国有化了,也不区分先来后到,在法理上缺乏正当性;相比之下,欧盟貌似采用的限额排放权交易制度是不错的选择,它把排放权赋予现有排放者,遵循了先来先得这一产权形成的一般原则,也充分利用了市场机制。 欧盟法案的问题在于它对限额交易制度的采纳只是表面上的,它一开始就剥夺了15%的自有免费配额,并规定免费配额从2013年到2020年逐步下降到零,这样,新产权其实还是被国有化了,只是允许免费使用若干年,这么做毫无道理,在激励效果上,自有配额和买入的配额是一样的,唯一的差别是增加了企业负担和政府财政收入,假如政府希望逐步降低排放限额,完全可以出钱从市场上分批收购排放权并予以封存。 在制度创新的过程中,承认和保护已经长期实施的习惯行为、已经长久享有的生产和生活便利,尊重合法的既得利益,既可获得正当性,也可减轻新制度所面临的阻力和障碍,假如欧盟立法当局懂得这一点,航空业限排所导致的国际冲突,原本是可以避免的。
饭文#Q9: 减排不能先拿穷人开刀

减排不能先拿穷人开刀
辉格
2011年3月30日

日前,前世行首席环境顾问罗伯特·古兰德博士在中国社科院主办的一个论坛上提出了他的阻止全球暖化新方案,通过对畜牧业征收重税,将畜产品消费降低25%,从而减少40%的谷物产量;之所以以畜牧业为目标,据他说,是因为畜牧业的温室气体排放占了总人为排放量的51%,尽管在2008年一份由他撰写的报告里,整个土地利用(畜牧业只是其中一部分)的排放份额还不足20%,而能源生产的份额则超出50%。

古德兰的建议可谓荒谬绝伦,即便他突然颠倒过来的数据是靠得住的,放着其它减排手段不用,却(more...)

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减排不能先拿穷人开刀 辉格 2011年3月30日 日前,前世行首席环境顾问罗伯特·古兰德博士在中国社科院主办的一个论坛上提出了他的阻止全球暖化新方案,通过对畜牧业征收重税,将畜产品消费降低25%,从而减少40%的谷物产量;之所以以畜牧业为目标,据他说,是因为畜牧业的温室气体排放占了总人为排放量的51%,尽管在2008年一份由他撰写的报告里,整个土地利用(畜牧业只是其中一部分)的排放份额还不足20%,而能源生产的份额则超出50%。 古德兰的建议可谓荒谬绝伦,即便他突然颠倒过来的数据是靠得住的,放着其它减排手段不用,却要首先拿穷人的饭碗开刀,是无法让人接受的;中国的大部分穷人在最近十几年才刚刚吃上肉,中国和印度还有数以亿计的穷人至今还没吃上肉,现在有人却要求政府用税收将肉奶价格抬高到让他们吃不起。 姑且不论暖化是否已成为迫在眉睫的危机,或人类活动带来的温室排放是不是其主因,即便我们假设人们已就此达成共识,也还远远轮不到减排运动来动穷人饭碗的脑筋;就在我们眼前,摆着一个成熟、廉价、安全、清洁的减排手段:核电,它的技术早在50年代就已成熟,也早已完成商业化,其安全性也经受了半个多世纪的考验,然而,正是那些呼天抢地要控制排放和阻止暖化的绿色和平和绿党们,始终在用一切可能手段阻止核电发展。 许多人误以为核电建设投资过大,发电成本高于化石燃料,事实完全相反,核电成本一点也不高,五六十年代的第一批核电厂就实现了盈利,而当时与其竞争的原油价格不到3美元,经通胀调整后相当于今天的十几美元;自那时以来,反应堆已发展到第三代,浓缩和反应技术都已有长足进步,原料利用率大幅提高,而同时,原油价格则已涨到100美元。 确实,投资核电的成本和风险很高,但并不是高在建设和生产成本上,相反,让投资者望而却步的,是法律、政治、行政管制和公共关系成本,一个核电项目从选址、评估、审批到开工,投资者除了要满足繁杂和严苛的行政管制要求,等待环境和安全方面的层层审批,还不得不与耗费大量精力进行游说和政治斗争,以克服来自利益集团、政治派系和环保组织的竭力阻挠。 在此过程中,项目随时可能在任何环节被无限期叫停,前期投入只好泡汤,所以,当小布什政府开始重启核电政策时,投资者响应寥寥,政府只好提供大额补贴,而补贴的用途正是为项目前期风险购买保险;核电所面临的种种阻力、风险和成本,都来自民众对核放射的恐惧,而这些恐惧,很大程度上是环保组织造谣、蛊惑和煽动的结果,他们完全无视过去半个多世纪中,核电在安全和环境上的杰出表现。 结果是,美国核电发展在三哩岛事故后停顿了三十年,以至于美国电力仍有45%来自煤炭,23%来自天然气,尽管那次事故并未造成任何实际伤害;有人说,核电虽说平时安全清洁,但一出事可不得了,然而最近的日本大地震恰好提供了反证,福岛案例表明,即便在如此小概率的极端事件中,即便运营商处置并不完美,核电仍未造成实际伤害,而与此同时,煤矿却正在以每年数千条的速度,稳定而可靠的吞噬着鲜活的生命。 反核电者唯一拿得出手的案例是切尔诺贝利,但那是在一个惯于草菅人命的制度下、以今天任何头脑健全的核电厂商都不会采用的方式来建造的反应堆,但即便如此,整个前苏联核工业所害死的人,也远不及其煤炭石油工业所埋葬的冤魂。 或许有人会说,尽管对核电的恐惧缺乏科学和事实基础,但这并不妨碍反对者基于非理性的担忧而表达他们的利益诉求和政治主张;是的,这也正是我多次表达的观点,但首先,反对者需要证明其诉求是基于他们自己的真实利益,而游行和抗议不是有效的证据,抗议活动算不上成本,相反常常是收益,它能给抗议者带来快感,而统计证据却表明,核电站的建立并不会对其周边地区的房地产价格带来负面影响,反而还可能提高房价。 其次,假如你只是在维护一项既有的权利,那你的确无须为此提供科学和理性基础,无须说明你为何非要坚持这项权利,所以,假如反核电者只是反对在他家附近修建核电站,那么担忧本身就是充足的反对理由,但问题是,反核电者的主张远不止与此,他们在全世界阻挠核电的同时,要求将其他严酷的排放限制强加给别人,要削夺他人的既有权利,这样,他们便负上了举证责任,而这些证据当然应在法庭上接受理性的检验;他们不能一方面顽固坚持对核电毫无理性的阻挠,同时却要求穷人停止吃肉,这是断难接受的。
饭文#H0: 国民无须承担更多气候义务

国民无须承担更多气候义务
辉格
2009年11月25日

就在气候变化框架公约哥本哈根会议即将召开之际,上周突然发生了“气候门”事件,有黑客侵入东英吉利大学气候研究中心的服务器,从中窃取了1000多封邮件和3000多份其他文件,并将窃得的共160MB数据上传到了多个网络服务器上,一时间在关注气候问题的评论圈和公共舆论中炸开了锅。

据一些读过部分邮件的评论者介绍,这些文件暴露了,持人为全球暖化学说的研究者,如何刻意选择统计方法修饰数据,如何在私下抱怨研究结果不确定的同时却对外界信誓旦旦,又如何在学术同行中拉帮结派排斥异己,甚至(more...)

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国民无须承担更多气候义务
辉格
2009年11月25日

就在气候变化框架公约哥本哈根会议即将召开之际,上周突然发生了“气候门”事件,有黑客侵入东英吉利大学气候研究中心的服务器,从中窃取了1000多封邮件和3000多份其他文件,并将窃得的共160MB数据上传到了多个网络服务器上,一时间在关注气候问题的评论圈和公共舆论中炸开了锅。

据一些读过部分邮件的评论者介绍,这些文件暴露了,持人为全球暖化学说的研究者,如何刻意选择统计方法修饰数据,如何在私下抱怨研究结果不确定的同时却对外界信誓旦旦,又如何在学术同行中拉帮结派排斥异己,甚至对学术对手的病逝幸灾乐祸;这些信息,经过人为暖化怀疑者的挑选、渲染和传播,在舆论中造成了巨大影响,很可能影响各国选民对气候政策的态度,这样的态度转变继而会影响政客们的姿态和立场,或许在哥本哈根就会有所显露。

讨论气候问题,需要意识到一个前提:地球气候是一个极其复杂、高度不确定、难以认识清楚的系统,对气候的研究包括了从天体物理、天文史、太阳物理,到空气力学和化学、地质史、生物史和生态学等诸多学科,这些研究所需要的事实,绝大部分已湮没在漫长的历史之中,而研究所依赖的诸学科,却多半还很年轻稚嫩。

所以,即便在这方面代表人类最高智慧的学者们,对于气候系统运行和历史演变的认识,迄今仍处于十分初步的探索阶段,因而,他们对气候趋势及其背后的动力机制所做出的任何总体性判断,都不能给予过高的置信度;可以这样说,如果具有同等可信度的证据用来提起刑事指控,是远远不足以让法官定罪的,甚至不足以立案;IPCC在人为暖化上的结论,应该放在这样背景下解读。

气候问题之所以如此充满激烈纷争,是因为一方面关于气候的学问庞杂深奥,为外人所难以理解,更无从评估和判断,但同时,如果IPCC的结论是可信的,且框架公约付诸实施,便意味着低碳大气已成为一项稀缺资源,因而需要为此资源创建排他性,而这将大大影响每个人的生活,不仅提高我们日常的生活成本,对某些产业还将带来毁灭性打击。

更严重的是,由于无法阻挡大气的全球性流动,碳浓度的排他性必须由一个全球性强制机制来实施,这将史无前例的为一项生存必需品建立全球排他性,是迈向创建全球政府的一大步;一个对权利、生活、法律和政治体系即将带来如此广泛而深刻变化的进程,无疑会激励人们对此作出评估和表达意见,此时此刻要求外行闭嘴,是粗暴和不切实际的。

作为外行,我们有理由怀疑IPCC的结论,尤其当得出这一结论所依赖的推理链条如此漫长的时候;在赞同气候政策的报道和评论中,最多听到的是关于全球暖化的各种迹象和警告,却常常忽视气候政策背后的逻辑链:存在暖化趋势,这种暖化从历史上看是异常的,异常暖化的主因是温室效应,温室效应的主因是碳浓度上升,碳浓度上升的主因是人类活动。

这是极端简化的推理链,实际上每个环节都需要大量复杂的因果推断和论证,如果其中许多环节的可信度都不高,那么基于整个链条的结论就十分可疑了;用如此高度可疑的结论去要求全世界每个人为此付出高昂的代价,这是难以令人接受的。

此次气候门所暴露的问题,由于尚没有足够的文件被仔细解读,还无从判断;且不论气候学界是否存在有组织的编造和歪曲,但可以相信的是,在科学意见从学术界走向舆论和政治的过程中,极可能被扭曲和放大,因为传播学和政治动员体系内在的具有这种扭曲和放大的本性。

媒体历来偏好灾难事件,这从灾难时期的收视率和点击率便可看出,而暖化危机是很好的危机题材,而且气候趋势的不确定性使耸人危言在短期内很难被证伪;同样,政治家也喜欢危机,所谓乱世出英雄,灾难是最有效的动员令,无论所动员的是战士、选票、还是税收。

所幸的是,媒体也喜欢丑闻,科学造假是很好的题材,而造假带来的选民愤怒和信任危机也定会引起某些政客的兴趣,或许气候门会发展为一次反方向的舆论和政治浪潮;这样的潮流反复是好事,有助于我们从双方的辩论和争斗中看清真相,作为最终承担代价的老百姓,不妨抱着警惕心静观其斗,而对于实际的政治进程和权利变动则尽量施加阻力,随着更多的事实、理论和逻辑过程被暴露,最终基于常识做出自己的判断;历史上,许多纷争反复都曾帮助我们看清道理和走向成熟。

退一步讲,即便IPCC结论可信,气候政策难以避免,中国国民也不应承担比现在更多的义务;事实上,过去数十年的人口形势大扭转和快速城市化,是中国人对全球环境的最大贡献,并且这种转变在今后几十年仍将继续,它的效果远超过将碳排放压缩几个百分点;与传统农牧业相比,城市的高度密集生活大大降低了对环境的影响,包括碳排放;与中国相比,许多发展中国家的人口年增长率高达2%以上,他们才应承担更多责任,如果必须有人承担责任的话。