A Sunshade for the Planet

  Even with the best will1 in the world, reducing our carbon emissions is not going prevent global warming. It has become clear that even if we take the most strong measures to control emissions, the uncertainties in our climate models still leave open the possibility of extreme warming and rises in sea level. At the same time, resistance by governments and special interest groups makes it quite possible that the actions suggested by climate scientists might not be implemented soon enough.

  Fortunately, if the worst comes to the worse2, scientists still have a few tricks up their sleeves3. For the most part they have strongly resisted discussing these options for fear of inviting a sense of complacency that might thwart efforts to tackle the root of the problem. Until now, that is. A growing number of researchers are taking a fresh look at large-scale “geoengineering” projects that might be used to counteract global warming. “I use the analogy of methadone4,” says Stephen Schneider, a climate researcher at Stanford University in California who was among the first to draw attention to global warming. “If you have a heroin addict, the correct treatment is hospitalization, and a long rehab. But if they absolutely refuse, methadone is better than heroin.

  Basically the idea is to apply “sunscreen” to the whole planet. One astronomer has come up with a radical plan to cool Earth: launch trillions of feather-light discs into space, where they would form a vast cloud that would block the sun’s rays. It’s controversial, but recent studies suggest there are ways to deflect just enough of the sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface to counteract the warming produced by the greenhouse effect. Global climate models show that blocking just 1. 8 per cent of the incident energy in the sun’s rays would cancel out the warming effects produced by a doubling of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That could be crucial, because even the most severe emissions-control measures being proposed would leave us with a doubling of carbon dioxide by the end of this century, and that would last for at least a century more.

  词汇: emission /i5miFEn/v.发射,发射物 heroin / 5herEuin /n.海洛因 complacency /kEm5pleIsEnsI/n.满足 hospitalization/7hCspitElai5zeiFEn /n.住院治疗 thwart /WwC:t/v.反对,阻绕 rehab /`ri:hAb /n.接受康复治病 geoengineering /7endVi5niEriN/n.地质工程 astronomer / E5strRnEmE/n.天文学家 trillion /5triljEn/n. (英、德)百万兆 (1018); (美、法)万亿,counteract / 7kauntE5rAkt/v.抵消;抵制 兆( 1012 ) analogy / E5nAlEdVi/n.类似;模拟 controversial /7kCntrE5vE:FEl /adj.有争议的 methadone /meWB:daun/n.美沙酮,美散痛deflect /deflect /v. (使)偏转 注释:

  1. the best will:昀好的愿望

  2. if the worst comes to the worst:如果昀昀糟糕的事情发生了。这是英式英语的用法,在美式英语中它说成 if worst comes to worst。在不同的语境中,有不同的译法。如 : “If the worst comes to the worst,” Becky thought, “my retreat is secure; and I have the right-hand seat in the barouche.”蓓基想道 :“逼到昀后一条路,逃难是不怕的了,在他的大马车里,我险稳地有一个位了。”又如 : If the worst comes to the worst,we’ll sell the car.大不了我们把车卖了。

  3. scientists still have a few tricks up their sleeves:科学家们仍然有些不为人所知的招数。 have something up one’s sleeve是英语成语,意思是 : to have a secret idea or plan,有锦囊妙计,有所保留的,秘而不宣的谋略或计划,例如 : If this trip doesn’t work out I've still got a few ideas up my sleeve.

  4. methadone:美沙酮,一种有效的合成麻醉药,它不像吗啡或海洛因那样容易让人上瘾,在戒毒治疗中被用作这些毒品的替代品。练习:

  1. According to the first two paragraphs,the author thinks that A strong measures have been taken by the government to prevent global warming. B to reduce carbon emissions is an impossible mission. C despite the difficulty, scientists have some options to prevent global warming. D actions suggested by scientists will never he realized.

  2. Scientists resist talking about their options because they don’t want people to A know what they are doing. B feel their efforts are useless C think the problem has been solved. D see the real problem.

  3. What does Stephen Schneider say about a heroin addict and methadone? A Methadone is an effective way to treat a hard heroin addict. B Methadone is not a correct way to treat a heroin addict. C Hospitalization together with methadone can work effectively with a heroin addict. D Methadone and heroin arc equally effective in treating a heroin addict.

  4. What is Stephen Schneider’s idea of preventing global warming? A To ask governments to take stronger measures. B To increase the sunlight reaching the Earth. C To apply sunscreen to the Earth. D To decrease greenhouse gases.

  5. What is NOT true of the effectiveness of “sunscreen”, according to the last paragraph? A It deflects sunlight reaching the Earth to counteract the warming. B It blocks the incident energy in the sun’s rays. C It is a controversial method. D It decreases greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  答案与题解 :

  1. C 短文第一段讲了防止地球变暧是一项艰巨的任务,第二段说,尽管如此,科学家还是有些办法,所以 C是正确选择。 A是错误选择,因为作者认为政府和一些利益集团阻碍了科学家所倡导的行动的实施; B不是作者的观点; D也不是正确选择,因为第一段的昀后一句“ might not be implemented soon enough”并不表明永远不能实现。

  2. C 文章的第二段说,即使昀糟糕的情况发生,科学家还是有几招的。但他们不希望讨论他们的招数,因为恐怕人们不再有危机感而削弱彻底解决问题的努力。所以 C是正确选择。

  3. A文章的第二段 Stehgen Schneider教授将自己解决地球变暖问题的办法比作美沙酮。因为在瘾君子拒绝正常住院治疗时,服用美沙酮是一种缓解海洛因毒瘾的有效方法。所以 A是正确的选择。

  4. C文章昀后一段的第一个句子提供的答案。

  5. D 短文昀后一段描述了“ sunscreen”如何解决地球变暖问题。尽管有争议,但是研究证明,“太阳屏”能反射和阻碍阳光,起到抵消由温室效应引起的地球升温。昀后一段的第三和第四句是理解这个问题的关键。 D不是文章所表达的内容,所以是正确答案。