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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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美国如沸蛙(2)  

2009-08-07 13:06:24|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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                                                                     Boiling the Frog

                                   

                                    美国如沸蛙

                                                              

                                                                         yuer【译】

 

This will probably change once the reality of the jobless recovery becomes all too apparent. But by then it will be too late to avoid a slow-motion human and social disaster.

 

一旦就业恢复的现象明显出现,这种情况也许会发生改变。但那已为时太晚,缓慢袭来的人文和社会灾难已经不可避免。

 

Still, the boiled-frog problem on the economy is nothing compared with the problem of getting action on climate change.

 

不过,经济之“蛙”的问题和环境之“蛙”的问题相比,那么经济之“蛙”就不是什么问题了。

 

Put it this way: if the consensus of the economic experts is grim, the consensus of the climate experts is utterly terrifying. At this point, the central forecast of leading climate models — not the worst-case scenario but the most likely outcome — is utter catastrophe, a rise in temperatures that will totally disrupt life as we know it, if we continue along our present path. How to head off that catastrophe should be the dominant policy issue of our time.

 

可以这样说:如果经济学家们对经济问题的共识是严峻的,那么气候专家们在环境问题上的共识就完全令人恐惧。在这一点上,核心预测认为现有的气候模式——它并非想象中的最坏情况,却是最有可能发生的情况——终将给人类带来巨大灾难,正如我们所知,如果人们继续现有的生活方式、为所欲为,地球持续升温最终会粉碎一切生命。如何防止这种气候灾难应该是我们这个时代首要的政策问题。

 

But it isn’t, because climate change is a creeping threat rather than an attention-grabbing crisis. The full dimensions of the catastrophe won’t be apparent for decades, perhaps generations. In fact, it will probably be many years before the upward trend in temperatures is so obvious to casual observers that it silences the skeptics. Unfortunately, if we wait to act until the climate crisis is that obvious, catastrophe will already have become inevitable.

 

然而,事实并非如此,因为气候问题来势缓慢,还远不如经济问题引人注意。恐怕在几十年内,数代人之间,气候灾难都不会有所体现。事实上,待全球升温趋势产生显而易见的效果、让怀疑者们闭嘴,也许还需要多年时间。不幸的是,如果要等到气候危机开始出现,则为时已晚,灾难已经降临。

 

And while a major environmental bill has passed the House, which was an amazing and inspiring political achievement, the bill fell well short of what the planet really needs — and despite this faces steep odds in the Senate.

 

尽管,美国众议院已经通过了一项环境法案,取得了惊人的、令人欢欣鼓舞的政绩,但该法案依然没有满足地球的真正所需——同时,该法案还要面临是否得以通过的严峻挑战。

 

What makes the apparent paralysis of policy especially alarming is that so little is happening when the political situation seems, on the surface, to be so favorable to action.

 

政策已经明显出现瘫痪,尤其令人震惊的是,从表面上看,当前政局似乎采取了有利的环保行动,而实际效果却寥寥。

 

After all, supply-siders and climate-change-deniers no longer control the White House and key Congressional committees. Democrats have a popular president to lead them, a large majority in the House of Representatives and 60 votes in the Senate. And this isn’t the old Democratic majority, which was an awkward coalition between Northern liberals and Southern conservatives; this is, by historical standards, a relatively solid progressive bloc.

 

毕竟,供应学派与怀疑气候变化的人士已不再主宰白宫和主要的国会委员会。民主党人由一位受欢迎的总统领导,占众议院得多数席位,在参议院也有60个席位。民主党今非昔比,已经不再是北部自由派和南部保守派的笨拙组合体;对比历史,如今的民主党已经是一个相对团结、进步的集体。

 

And let’s be clear: both the president and the party’s Congressional leadership understand the economic and environmental issues perfectly well. So if we can’t get action to head off disaster now, what would it take?

 

打开天窗说亮话:总统和民主党的领导层都清楚现在的经济和环境问题。因此,如果我们现在还不采取行动防止灾难发生,将来会付出什么呢?

 

I don’t know the answer. And that’s why I keep thinking about boiling frogs.

 

答案我并不知道,也正因为如此,我才一直在思考“沸蛙”之说。

 

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