纽约时报双语:你敢相信这事竟然发生在美国?

你敢相信这事竟然发生在美国?
Can You Believe This Is Happening in America?
托马斯·弗里德曼
2021年2月24日
纽约时报双语:你敢相信这事竟然发生在美国?
In the last six months I’ve heard one phrase more often than I had in my previous 66 years: “Can you believe this is happening in America?”

有一句话,我在过去的六个月中听到的次数比过去66年都多:“你敢相信这事竟然发生在美国?”

As in: “I spent the whole day hunting online for a drugstore to get a Covid vaccination. Can you believe this is happening in America?”

比如:“我花了一整天在网上寻找一家能够接种新冠疫苗的药店。你敢相信这事竟然发生在美国?”

“Fellow Americans ransacked our Capitol and tried to overturn an election. Can you believe this is happening in America?”

“美国同胞洗劫了我们的国会大厦,并试图推翻选举。你敢相信这事竟然发生在美国?”

“People in Texas are burning their furniture for heat, boiling water to drink and melting snow to flush their toilets. Can you believe this is happening in America?”

“得克萨斯州的人们正在点燃自己的家具取暖,把水煮开喝,并用融化的积雪冲厕所。你敢相信这事竟然发生在美国?”

But, hey, all the news is not bad. We just sent a high-tech buggy named Perseverance loaded with cameras and scientific gear 292 million miles into space and landed it on the exact dot we were aiming for on Mars! Only in America!

但是呢,并不是所有的消息都是坏消息。我们刚刚将配备摄像头和科学仪器的高科技火星车“毅力号”(Perseverance)发射到2.92亿英里以外的太空,并将其精确降落在我们计划的目标地点上!只有美国做得到!

What’s going on? Well, in the case of Texas and Mars, the basic answers are simple. Texas is the poster child for what happens when you turn everything into politics — including science, Mother Nature and energy — and try to maximize short-term profits over long-term resilience in an era of extreme weather. The Mars landing is the poster child for letting science guide us and inspire audacious goals and the long-term investments to achieve them.

这到底怎么回事?好吧,以得克萨斯州和火星为例,基本答案很简单。当你将一切——包括科学、大自然和能源——都变成政治,并试图在一个极端天气的时代牺牲长期的适应力,以最大化短期利润时,得克萨斯州便成了典型后果。火星登陆则是让科学指导我们并激励大胆目标和实现这些目标的长期投资的典范。

The Mars mind-set used to be more our norm. The Texas mind-set has replaced it in way too many cases. Going forward, if we want more Mars landings and fewer Texas collapses — what’s happening to people there is truly heartbreaking — we need to take a cold, hard look at what produced each.

火星思维曾经是我们的常态。得州思维已在很多情况下取代了它。展望未来,如果我们希望更多的火星登陆和更少的得州陷落——那里发生的事情着实令人心碎——我们需要对这两种思维产生的东西分别进行客观坚定的审视。

The essence of Texas thinking was expressed by Gov. Greg Abbott in the first big interview he gave to explain why the state’s electricity grid failed during a record freeze. He told Fox News’s Sean Hannity: “This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America. … Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10 percent of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis. … It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary.”

在首次解释该州电网为何在创纪录的寒冷天气中出现故障的重要采访中,州长格雷格·阿伯特(Greg Abbott)表达了得州思想的精髓。他对福克斯新闻(Fox News)的肖恩·汉尼蒂(Sean Hannity)说:“这表明绿色新政(Green New Deal)对美国来说将是一个致命的政策。……我们的风和太阳能被关闭,它们合计占我们电网的10%以上,这迫使得克萨斯州陷入全州范围内缺电的局面。……这表明化石燃料是必要的。”

The combined dishonesty and boneheadedness of those few sentences was breathtaking. The truth? Texas radically deregulated its energy market in ways that encouraged every producer to generate the most energy at the least cost with the least resilience — and to ignore the long-term trend toward more extreme weather.

这几句话既不诚实又愚蠢,令人感到震惊。真相是什么?得克萨斯州从根本上放宽了对能源市场的管制,以鼓励每个生产者以最低的成本以及最少的适应力生产最多的能源——而无视走向极端天气的长期趋势。

“After a heavy snowstorm in February 2011 caused statewide rolling blackouts and left millions of Texans in the dark,” The Times reported Sunday, “federal authorities warned the state that its power infrastructure had inadequate ‘winterization’ protection. But 10 years later, pipelines remained inadequately insulated” and the heaters and de-icing equipment “that might have kept instruments from freezing were never installed” — because they would have added costs.

时报在周日报道:“在2011年2月的暴风雪造成全州范围的轮换停电后,成千上万的得州人陷入了黑暗,联邦政府警告该州,其电力基础设施对‘过冬’的保护不足。但是10年后,管道仍未进行合理的保温隔热,”并且“可能使设备免于冻结”的加热器和除冰设备“从未被安装”——因为它们会增加成本。

As a result, it wasn’t just Texas wind turbines that froze — but also gas plants, oil rigs and coal piles, and even one of Texas’ nuclear reactors had to shut down because the frigid temperatures caused a disruption in a water pump to the reactor.

结果就是,不只是风力涡轮机——天然气厂、石油钻井平台和煤堆也冻住了,甚至得州的一个核反应堆也不得不关闭,因为寒冷的温度导致通向反应堆的水泵失灵。

That was a result of Abbott’s Green Old Deal — prioritize the short-term profits of the oil, gas and coal industries, which provide him political campaign contributions; deny climate change; and dare Mother Nature to prove you wrong, which she did. And now Texas needs federal emergency funds. That is what we capitalists call “privatizing the gains and socializing the losses.” I don’t know what they call it in Texas.

这是由于阿伯特的“绿色旧政”所致——优先考虑石油、天然气和煤炭行业的短期利润,这为他提供了政治竞选上的捐助;否认气候变化;并且敢于挑战大自然,而她现在证明你错了。现在,得克萨斯州需要联邦紧急资金。这就是我们资本家所说的“让收益私有化,让亏损社会化”。我不知道他们在得州用什么说法。

But to disguise all that, Abbott trashed his state’s trendsetting wind and solar power — power it pulls from the sky free, with zero emissions, making rural Texans prosperous — in order to protect the burning of fossil fuels that enrich his donor base.

但是为了掩饰这一切,阿伯特贬低了该州引领潮流的风能和太阳能——从天上免费获取能源,零排放,给得州农村带去繁荣——只为保护化石燃料的使用,从而给他的捐款票仓带来财富。

Abbott’s move was the latest iteration of a really unhealthy trend in America: We turn everything into politics — masks, vaccines, the weather, your racial identity and even energy electrons. Donald Trump last year referred to oil, gas and coal as “our kind of energy.” When energy electrons become politics, the end is near. You can’t think straight about anything.

阿博特的举动是美国一种真正不健康趋势的最新复现:我们把一切都变成政治——口罩、疫苗、天气、你的种族身份,甚至是能源电子。唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)去年曾说,石油、天然气和煤炭是“属于我们的能源”。当能源电子成为政治的时候,末日就不远了。你无法理性思考任何问题。

“For a healthy politics to flourish it needs reference points outside itself — reference points of truth and a conception of the common good,” explained the Hebrew University religious philosopher Moshe Halbertal. “When everything becomes political, that is the end of politics.”

“一个健康的政治要想蓬勃发展,就需要外部的参照点——真理的参照点和共同利益的概念。”希伯来大学(Hebrew University)宗教哲学家摩西·哈伯塔尔(Moshe Halbertal)解释说。“当一切都变成政治,那就是政治的终结。”

Making everything politics, added Halbertal, “totally distorts your ability to read reality.” And to do that with Mother Nature is particularly reckless, because she is the one major force in our lives “that is totally independent of our will.” And if you think you can spin her, Halbertal said, “the slap in the face that she will give you will be heard all across the world.”

哈伯塔尔还说,把一切都政治化,“会彻底扭曲你解读现实的能力。”而对大自然母亲这么做是尤其鲁莽的,因为她是我们生活中“完全独立于我们的意志”的一种重要力量。哈伯塔尔说,如果你认为可以使用带有倾向性的语言来编派她,“她就会给你一记耳光,全世界都能听到。”

You don’t have to listen too carefully to hear it. Although it is still too early to say for sure, the Texas freeze fits a recent pattern of increasingly destructive “global weirding.” I much prefer that term over “climate change” or “global warming.” Because what happens as average global temperatures rise, ice melts, jet streams shift and the climate changes is that the weather gets weird. The hots get hotter, the colds get colder, the wets get wetter, the dries get drier and the most violent storms get more frequent. Those once-in-100-years floods, draughts, heat waves or deep freezes start to happen every few years. That’s how we will experience climate change.

那不用太用心就能听到。尽管现在下结论还为时过早,但得州的冰冻符合最近破坏性越来越强的一种“全球变怪”模式——比起“气候变化”或“全球变暖”,我更喜欢这个词。因为随着全球平均气温上升、冰川融化、喷射气流移动和气候变化,天气会变得很怪异。热的更热,冷的更冷,湿的更湿,干的更干,最猛烈的风暴变得更加频繁。百年一遇的洪水、干旱、热浪或深冻每隔几年就会发生一次。这就是我们即将经历的气候变化。

According to a recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “The U.S. has sustained 285 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including C.P.I. adjustment to 2020). The total cost of these 285 events exceeds $1.875 trillion. … The years with 10 or more separate billion-dollar disaster events include 1998, 2008, 2011-2012, and 2015-2020.” This year, after this Texas disaster alone, could set a record — and we’re only in February.

根据美国国家海洋和大气管理局(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)最近的报告:“自1980年以来,美国已遭受285起总体损失/成本达到或超过10亿美元(已根据2020年CPI调整)的天气和气候灾害。这285起事件的总损失超过了1.875万亿美元。在1998年、2008年、2011–2012年和2015–2020年等年份,分别发生了10起或以上损失超过10亿美元的灾难事件。”今年,仅在得克萨斯州的这场灾难之后,就可能创下新纪录——而现在才到2月份。

If global weirding is our new normal, we need a whole new level of buffers, redundancies and supply inventories to create resilience for our power grids — and many more distributed forms of energy, like solar, that can enable households to survive when the grid goes down. Looking to maximize profits around fossil fuels in an age of global weirding is just begging to get hammered.

如果全球变怪是我们的新常态,我们需要新的缓冲、冗余和供应库存水平,为我们的电网创造适应力,以及大量更为多态的能源形式,可以使家庭在电网崩溃时生存下来,比如太阳能。在这个全球变怪的时代,还想围绕化石燃料实现利润最大化,简直是在找打。

As Hal Harvey, C.E.O. of Energy Innovation, remarked to me: “Cavemen understood that you have to store things up to be secure. Birds know that. Squirrels know that. So, what are we doing? And what was Texas doing?”

正如能源创新公司(Energy Innovation)首席执行官哈尔·哈维(Hal Harvey)对我说的:“穴居人明白,必须储存东西才能保证安全。这件事鸟儿也知道,松鼠也知道。那么,我们是在做什么?得州又在做什么?”

Every leader needs to be asking those questions. Leadership always matters. But today, it matters more than ever at every level. Because in a slower age, if your city, state or country had a bad leader and got off track, the pain of getting back on track was tolerable. Now, when climate change, globalization and technology are all accelerating at once, small errors in navigation can have huge consequences. They can leave your community or country so far off track that the pain of getting back on track can be excruciating.

每个领导者都需要问这些问题。领导永远是很重要的。但今天,它在各个层面都比以往任何时候都重要。因为在一个较慢的时代,如果你所在的城市、州或国家因为一个糟糕的领导人而偏离轨道,那么,重回正轨的代价是可以承受的。现在,当气候变化、全球化和科技都在加速发展的时候,方向上的小错误可能产生巨大的后果。它们会使你的社区或国家远远偏离轨道,重回正轨的代价可能令人痛苦。

Just look at Texas and you’ll know what I mean. And just look up at Mars, and think of the mind-set that got us there, and you’ll know what needs to change.

看看得州,你就明白我的意思了。再抬头看看火星,想想是什么思维让我们抵达那里,你就会知道是什么需要改变。

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