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美国经济学家

2008年诺贝尔经济学奖得主。 美國經濟學家及紐約時報的專欄作家,普林斯頓大學經濟系教授,是新凱恩斯主義经济学派代表。1953年出生美國紐約,约翰·F·肯尼迪高中毕业。1974年就讀耶鲁大學,1977年在麻省理工學院取得博士學位,受到经济学家诺德豪斯的注意。畢業後先後於耶鲁大学、麻省理工及史丹福大學任教。2000年起,成為普林斯頓大學經濟系教授。

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出卖地球   

2009-07-03 10:48:44|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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   简介:                                 

      克鲁格曼629《纽约时报》专栏文章,评述美国国会通过环境保护法案。他认为,我们现在面对的是,对我们自己生活方式乃至文明本身的现实威胁,这种威胁清楚无比,而且就在眼前。继续无动于衷,大家都难辞其咎。

                                                  Betraying the Planet

                                            出卖地球 

                                 恒甫学社:youngerforever【译】

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

终于,众议院通过了魏克斯曼-迈凯气候变化法案。按政治术语说,可谓一项非凡的成就。

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

但是总数达212的众议员却投了反对票。其中一小部分反对票是认为该法案还不够强硬的议员投的,但绝大部议员投反对票,是因为他们对美国必须采取行动遏制温室气体的说法持全然拒绝的态度。

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

看到这些反对派大放厥词,我不禁想到眼前的是一种背叛 - 对地球的大背叛。

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

彻底认清否决者是多么不负责与不道德,我们需要了解最新气候研究的严峻转变。

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.

事实是,我们居住的这个星球变化之快甚至超过了悲观者的预计:冰盖变小,荒漠扩大,其速度令人恐惧。最新一系列的研究表明,难以想像的气候灾难现在已不再被认为仅是一种可能。如果我们继续沿着现在的行程走下去,气候灾难将成为几率最高的后果。

Thus researchers at M.I.T., who were previously predicting a temperature rise of a little more than 4 degrees by the end of this century, are now predicting a rise of more than 9 degrees. Why? Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than expected; some mitigating factors, like absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are turning out to be weaker than hoped; and there’s growing evidence that climate change is self-reinforcing — that, for example, rising temperatures will cause some arctic tundra to defrost, releasing even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

麻省理工学院研究人员过去曾预计,到本世纪末气温会升高华氏4度多一点,现在他们预计将升高9度。为什么?因为温室气体排放的速度超过预期,而减轻的因素,例如通过海洋吸收二氧化碳却比原先希望要弱的多;同时,越来越多的迹象表明,气温变化存在自我加强的作用。例如,气温上升使北极永冻区解冻,更多的二氧化碳将释放到大气中。

Temperature increases on the scale predicted by the M.I.T. researchers and others would create huge disruptions in our lives and our economy. As a recent authoritative U.S. government report points out, by the end of this century New Hampshire may well have the climate of North Carolina today, Illinois may have the climate of East Texas, and across the country extreme, deadly heat waves — the kind that traditionally occur only once in a generation — may become annual or biannual events.

MIT(麻省理工学院)研究人员及其他研究人员所预测的温升规模,将对我们的生活和经济造成规模巨大的颠覆性变化。根据最近美国政府发布的权威报告,本世纪末,新罕布什尔州的气候将与今天北卡罗莱纳州一样,伊利诺斯与今天的德克萨斯州相同,在全国范围内,过去平均每三十年才发生一次的致命热浪,将变成每年或每两年就发生一次的事件。

In other words, we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?

换句话说,我们现在面对的是,对我们自己生活方式乃至文明本身的现实威胁,这种威胁清楚无比,而且就在眼前。继续无动于衷,大家都难辞其咎。

Well, sometimes even the most authoritative analyses get things wrong. And if dissenting opinion-makers and politicians based their dissent on hard work and hard thinking — if they had carefully studied the issue, consulted with experts and concluded that the overwhelming scientific consensus was misguided — they could at least claim to be acting responsibly.

当然,即使最权威的分析家也会犯错。假如这些持不同意见人士与政客的意见是通过努力工作和认真思考得来的,假如他们认真研究了气候问题,并咨询了专家之后得出结论,认为这种压倒性的科学共识确属误导,他们至少可以宣称自己的行为是负责任的。

But if you watched the debate on Friday, you didn’t see people who’ve thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they’ve decided not to believe in it — and they’ll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.

但是,你观看星期五的辩论,对于如此重大问题,你看不到这些人是经过了认真的思考,看不到他们是在认真做事。相反,你所看到的是这些人对真实情况没有一星半点的兴趣。既然不喜欢有关气候变化的政治及政策含义,他们就决定不予相信。任何论据,不管光彩与否,只要被他们抓来就统统用来支撑自己的反对意见。

Indeed, if there was a defining moment in Friday’s debate, it was the declaration by Representative Paul Broun of Georgia that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that has been “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.

说真的,如果说星期五辩论存在一个决定性的时刻,那就是佐治亚州众议院Paul Broun(保罗 布朗恩)的断言。他宣称气候变化不是别的,而是科学界编造的一个“骗局”。我可以将这种说法定义为疯狂阴谋理论,不过这样做对于疯狂阴谋理论家来说有失公允。毕竟,要相信地球变暖是个骗局,你得假设这是一个由成千上万科学家组成的巨大阴谋集团。这个集团必须强大无比, 从全球气温到北冰洋冰层,在各个方面都能编造虚假的记录。

Yet Mr. Broun’s declaration was met with applause.

然而布朗恩的武断却赢得了掌声。

Given this contempt for hard science, I’m almost reluctant to mention the deniers’ dishonesty on matters economic. But in addition to rejecting climate science, the opponents of the climate bill made a point of misrepresenting the results of studies of the bill’s economic impact, which all suggest that the cost will be relatively low.

鉴于这种对铁的科学事实的蔑视态度,我几乎不愿再提及这些投否决票的人在经济问题上不诚实的态度。除了拒绝气候科学外,反对气候法案的人还特别着力误解该法案经济影响部分的研究结果。其实,所有研究结果表明(实施)该法案的成本是比较低的。

Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?

这样,难道不应将否则气候变化的论调定义为一种背叛行为?难道政治通常不就是这样?

Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.

回答是政治并没有出现异常,这种论调就是一种背叛,因而是不可原谅的。

Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.

还记得布什政府官员声称,恐怖主义对美国构成“现实威胁”的日子,那种威胁在这些人看来,成了不适用通用法则的例外。这显然是夸大。但是,气候变化构成的现实威胁却绝对真实。

Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.

然而,否决者却故意忽视这种威胁,将未来的美国人置于极度危险之中。究其原因,对这种威胁视而不见符合他们的政治利益。如果这种行为不是背叛,我不知道该叫什么。

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