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Economics focus经济聚焦Beefed-up burgernomics日益强大的汉堡经济学Jul 30th 2011 | from the Economist print editionA gourmet version of the Big Mac index suggests that the yuan is not that undervalued以美食家的角度来看巨无霸经济指数,人民币并未被低估THE Big Mac index celebrates its 25th birthday this year. Invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level, it was never intended as a precise gauge of currency misalignment, merely a tool to make exchange-rate theory more digestible. Yet the Big Mac index has become a global standard, included in several economic textbooks and the subject of at least 20 academic studies. American politicians have even cited the index in their demands for a big appreciation of the Chinese yuan. With so many people taking the hamburger standard so seriously, it may be time to beef it up.巨无霸指数已经诞生25年了。在1986年的一期经济学人杂志中第一次出现,当初仅仅是为了让人们更易理解汇率,随意的作为一个衡量货币是否在“正常”水平的指标,人们从没有指望它能作为一个估评货币的标准。然而如今巨无霸指标已经成为国际的一个标准,被数个经济读本引用还成为至少20个学术研究的课题。美国的政客们甚至借这一数字来要求中国人民币的增值。鉴于人们如此看重汉堡指数,可能是时候去讨论一下它的意义了。Burgernomics is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries. The average price of a Big Mac in America is .07; in China it is only .27 at market exchange rates, 44% cheaper. In other words, the raw Big Mac index suggests that the yuan is undervalued by 44% against the dollar. In contrast, the currencies of Switzerland and Norway appear to be overvalued by around 100%. The euro (based on a weighted average of prices in member countries) is overvalued by 21% against the dollar; sterling is slightly undervalued; the Japanese yen seems to be spot-on. For the first time, we have included India in our survey. McDonald’s does not sell Big Macs there, so we have taken the price of a Maharaja Mac, made with chicken instead of beef. Meat accounts for less than 10% of a burger’s total cost, so this is unlikely to distort results hugely. It indicates that the rupee is 53% undervalued.以购买力等价理论(PPP)为基础,汉堡经济旨在表示任意两个国家,长期以来保持的汇率应该趋于使人们消费在同样的商品或务(这里指汉堡)的金钱持平。在美国巨无霸的价格平均为每个.07,而在中国经市场汇率计算仅为.27,便宜了44%。换句话说,原始的巨无霸指数显示人民币较美元被低估了44%。另一方面瑞士和挪威的货币则约被高估了100%。欧元(根据成员国的价格加权平均值)较美元高估了21%;英镑低估了一点点,日元则和美元持平。这是我们第一次将印度囊括在调查的国家中,因为麦当劳并不在印度销售巨无霸,于是我们选取印度版巨无霸来研究,汉堡里面夹的是鸡肉而不是牛肉。但肉的价格占整个汉堡价格的比例小于10%,所以这也不会使结果产生太大偏差。结果显示,卢比的汇率被低估了53%。201108/148617Britain to Hold Independent Inquiry into Iraq War英对卷入伊拉克战争进行独立调查British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced a broad, independent inquiry into the country's involvement in the Iraq war. But despite considerable pressure, Mr. Brown said the inquiry would not be held in public.英国首相布朗宣布就英国卷入伊拉克战争的问题进行一次范围广泛的独立调查。但是尽管有很大的压力,布朗说,这次调查将不公开进行。Speaking before the House of Commons, Mr. Brown said since British military operations in Iraq have ended, the time had come for a thorough inquiry into the war.布朗在下议院讲话时说,既然英国在伊拉克的军事任务已经结束,现在是对战争进行彻底调查的时候了。"I am today announcing the establishment of an independent privy counselor committee of inquiry. It will consider the period from summer 2001, before military operations began in March 2003, and our subsequent involvement in Iraq right until the end of July this year," he said.布朗说:“我今天宣布成立独立调查顾问委员会。该委员会将调查从2001年夏天到2003年三月军事行动开始之前,以及我们随后参与伊拉克战争直到今年7月结束为止这段时间。”The prime minister said the inquiry would be fully independent with access to all relevant British documents and witnesses. Mr. Brown said he expected it to last about one year.布朗说,这次调查会完全独立,可以查阅所有和英国有关文件,探访人。布朗说,他预期这次调查将进行大约一年。"I have asked the members of the inquiry that the final report of the inquiry will be able to disclose all but the most sensitive information, that is, all information except that which is essential to our national security," he added.他说“我已经要求委员会成员,这个调查报告的最终结果除了最敏感的信息以外将会公布于众,也就是说,除了最重要的国家安全问题外,其他所有的信息都可以公布。”Prime Minister Brown said the disclosed findings would be debated in parliament. But, he said the inquiry itself would be conducted in private. 布朗首相说,公布的结果将在议会进行辩论。但是布朗说,调查本身将在私下进行。That displeased those who had pushed for a full public inquiry into the war, among them Nick Clegg, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats.这使得那些推动进行公开调查卷入伊拉克战争原因的人士感到非常不快,尼克·克莱格就是这些人士当中的一位,他是反对派自由民主党的领导人。"A secret inquiry conducted by a clutch of grandees, handpicked by the prime minister is not what Britain needs. Does the Prime Minister not understand that the purpose of an inquiry is not just to produce a set of conclusions, but to allow the people of Britain to come to terms with a mistake made in their name," said Clegg.克莱格说:“由一伙贵族,首相精心挑选的人所进行的秘密调查不是英国所需要的。首相先生难道不明白调查的目的不是仅仅为了得出一套结论,而是要允许英国民众明白以他们的名义所犯的错误。”Mr. Brown said a private inquiry would encourage witnesses to speak out more freely. He also said the investigation would not seek to lay blame.布朗说,私下调查可以鼓励见人更自由地讲话,他还说,这次调查不会追究责任。"As I have made clear the primary objective of the committee will be to identify lessons learned. The committee will not set out to apportion blame or consider issues of civil or criminal liability," Brown explained.他说:“就像我已经清楚地表明的那样,这个委员会的主要目标不是指明所得到的教训。这个委员会不会追究责任,不会考虑民事或是刑事责任的问题。”That comment did not go down well with the leader of the opposition Conservatives, David Cameron.这种说法没有顺利地得到认可,反对派保守党的领导人戴维·卡梅伦反驳说:"If mistakes were made we need to know who made them and why they were made," he said.“如果犯了错误,我们需要知道是谁犯了这些错误,为什么犯了这些错误。”Britain has held four different and more specific inquiries into the Iraq war. This one is designed to be the most comprehensive.英国已经对伊拉克战争进行了四次不同、也更为具体的调查。这次调查是所有调查中最全面的一次。British forces were based mainly in southern Iraq, around the city of Basra. They ended full military operations at the end of April and fewer than 500 British troops remain in the country. Britain says 179 of its troops have died in Iraq.英国军队在伊拉克主要驻守在南方城市巴士拉附近。他们四月底结束了所有的军事任务,目前只有500名军人留守在伊拉克。英国说,179名将士在伊拉克战争中殉职。06/74404

Dolphin saves the whalesA dolphin called Moko makes headlines - and possibly history - by apparently saving two stranded whales A dolphin called Moko has made headlines, and possibly history by apparently saving two stranded whales. The pair of pygmy whales, a mother and child were stranded on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island. Rescuers struggled for an hour and a half to get the whales back into the water, only to see them beached another four times and were starting to contemplate euthanasia. (It) was about to give up, and usually when that happens, the whales will stay on the beach, and we have to take the strays away from the situation. Entered Moko who approached the whales, leading them along the beach, and through a channel out to open sea. She came directly to where we were and established contact, and immediately those two whales seemed to relax. The speculation Moko responded to the whales' distress calls. She did in a few minutes work, we actually being totally in a fit-to-fit doing over an hour and a half. Moko's well-known to the locals and anecdotal evidence abounds of dolphin's protecting people lost at sea. But dolphin's helping other marine life, it's virtually unheard of ...200810/54445

African Union Rules No Coup In Guinea-Bissau非盟谴责几内亚比绍总统遭暗杀  The African Union has condemned the killings of Guinea-Bissau's President Joao Bernado Vieira and his army chief, calling it a blatant attack on state institutions. But the continental body stopped short of suspending Guinea-Bissau's membership in the organization. 非洲联盟谴责几内亚比绍总统维埃拉和武装部队总参谋长瓦伊将军遭到杀害,称这是对国家制度的悍然攻击。非洲联盟险些中止几内亚比绍非盟成员国的资格。The AU Peace and Security Council met in emergency session Tuesday to determine whether the assassination of President Vieira constituted a military coup, which would have meant automatic suspension from the organization. 非洲联盟和平与安全委员会星期二举行紧急会议,决定几内亚比绍总统维埃拉遭暗杀是否构成军事政变。军事政变意味着自动中止非洲成员国的资格。Two other west African nations, Mauritania and Guinea Conakry have recently been expelled from the continental body after army officers took power through extra-constitutional means.  另外两个西非国家毛里塔尼亚和几内亚-科纳克里最近被驱逐出非盟组织,因为一些军官通过宪法以外的途径夺取了政权。Guinea-Bissau military chiefs say an 'isolated group' of soldiers was responsible for the president's death, and the speaker of parliament will temporarily take power. 几内亚比绍军方领导人说,一个由士兵组成的“孤立的组织”对维埃拉总统被杀负责。几内亚比绍议会议长临时接管了国家政权。Burkina Faso's AU ambassador Bruno Nongoma Zidouemba, who holds the council's rotating chairmanship, said Guinea-Bissau's case does not appear to meet the definition of a coup. 布基纳法索驻非盟大使齐多安巴目前担任非洲联盟和平与安全委员会轮值主席。他说,几内亚比绍事件似乎还不符合军事政变的定义。"The assassination of the president is a very unusual situation and sad situation, but there is a coup when the constitution is suspended or institutions of the country are suspended. It is a very sad step in the evolution of Guinea-Bissau, but from the information we have up to now, it is not considered a coup d'etat," he said.  “几内亚比绍总统被暗杀是一件非同寻常的情况,非常悲惨的情况。但是如果发生政变,宪法会被中止,国家机构会被中止。这是几内亚比绍发展中的一个非常沉痛的一页,但是从我们目前掌握的信息来看,这次事件不是一次军事政变。”Guinea Bissau has a history of coups and coup attempts. The most recent came after last November's parliamentary elections, when soldiers attacked the president's office. Two people were killed, but the attempt failed. 几内亚比绍历来有政变和企图政变的传统。最近一次政变是去年11月议会选举之后,当时军人袭击了总统的办公室,两人被打死,但政变失败。In the latest incident, Security Council Chairman Zidouemba says a constitutional transfer of power appears to be in the works. "We have heard a declaration of a group of officers, and this group of officers said they will act through the constitution, and if you the constitution of Guinea-Bissau, normally the transition power should go to president of the national assembly. In the hours to come everything will be clear," he said. 在最新一起事件中,非洲联盟和平与安全委员会主席齐多安巴说,符合宪法的权力转移似乎正在进行之中。“我们听到一群军官发表的宣言,这个军官组织说,他们将遵循宪法的规定。如果你阅读一下几内亚比绍的宪法,就会知道,通常权力应转移给议会议长。在未来几个小时内,一切都会明朗化。”The country's constitution calls for a presidential election to be held within 60 days. 几内亚比绍的宪法要求在60天内举行总统选举。Guinea-Bissau has become notorious as a transit point used by Latin American drug cartels for shipments of cocaine bound for Europe. Government estimates indicate as much as 800 kilograms of cocaine moves through the west African nation each week, making drug trafficking easily the largest foreign exchange earner. 几内亚比绍被拉丁美洲的贩毒集团作为将可卡因运向欧洲的中转站,因此声名狼藉。根据政府的估计,每个星期有多达800公斤可卡因经几内亚比绍进入欧洲,使走私成为几内亚比绍最大的外汇收入来源。03/63778The Fidelio is about to set sail from Germany to Asia. One of the largest container vessels in the world, the Fidelio is a perfect example of the problems facing international shipping.This ship can fit more than 9,000 of the standard shipping containers in its hold(船舱). Shipping containers are something like the currency of international trade. But now with the international financial crisis going on, the question is “Will the companies still be able to fill their vessels in the future?”CMA CGM, the company that operates the Fidelio says, while the logistics industry is still reporting growth, that has slowed considerably. “The key to staying alive in these hard times is adjusting to the crisis,” says Nicolas Sartini, CMA's head of Europe and Asia operations. The line is chartering fewer ships, and telling captains to go slower.We have been updating some measures to slow down the vessel, which obviously limits the consumption of fuel, reduces the cost and also reduces the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.While it may look like business as usual in the container terminal, the signs of trouble are lurking below the surface. Dock workers say they are unloading far fewer trucks since the beginning of the financial crisis. And the pilots who guide ships in and out of Hamburg’s Port tell us fewer vessels are arriving, most of them lighter than usual, indicating they have less cargo on board.Germany’s Shipping Association says with less cargo volume, rates are dropping fast.For parts of the shipping industry, the rates have declined very seriously, in the board sector by 90% or so, in the container sector, it’s by 30% or more, if depending on the region where the shipping industry is transporting.Back on board, the Fidelio Captain Luc Massart has another problem to worry about: getting his ship safely through the pirate-infested waters off Eastern Africa near Somalia.One of the first measures is to offer good lookout, sharp lookout to see any suspicion craft, also sometimes we put some firewoods splaying outside to avoid approaching of crafts.Fewer containers, declining rates and piracy along list of problems for an industry trying to navigate through some very rough waters.Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, Hamburg, Germany.200812/59182Chinese public debt中国公债Coming clean快要清零了China faces up to the hidden debts of itslocal governments中国勇敢面对地方政府的隐藏债务BANKS in Westerncountries dragged their economies into the great recession. Banks in Chinapulled the country out of it. Much of the Chinese government’s stimulus effortfrom 2008 to 2010 was left to financial institutions, which proved better at shovingmoney out of the door than America’s federal government.西方国家的将经济拉到一个大衰退中,而中国的却将这个国家拽出这个泥淖。2008年到2010年间中国政府间的刺激计划都交给金融机构执行,相比美国联邦政府,中国的这一做法在贷款方面要更有效。The banks lent tothousands of investment corporations set up by local governments, which cannotborrow in their own name. With the help of some initial capital and collateral,like land, these investment vehicles directed the lending into local bridges,tunnels and real-estate ventures. But many of the loans have turned bad,threatening the balance-sheets of the banks that made them.贷款给地方政府成立的数以千计的投资公司,这是因为地方政府不能以自己的名义贷款。凭借着初始资金和诸如土地之类的抵押物,这些投资机器把这些贷款投资建设当地的桥梁、隧道以及房地产行业。但是很多贷款最后变成了坏账,搞得的资产负债表很不好看。Now the centralgovernment has at last resolved to clean up the mess, according to unnamedofficials cited by Reuters this week. China’s government will consolidatethousands of investment vehicles and hive off some of their debts into separatecompanies open to private investors. It will force the banks to write offanother slice of the bad debt, and repay a chunk of it from its own budget.Much of the stimulus lending of 2008-10 may turn out to be public spending after all. 据路透社报道,一名不愿意透露姓名的官员说,中央政府终于下定决心收拾这个烂摊子。中国政府将合并数以千计的投资公司,将一部分债务分离到独立公司,并且对私人投资商开放。当局将强迫注销另一部分坏账,并用自身的预算填补这个大缺口。2008年到2010年间的多数刺激性贷款最终可能会变成公共事务出。201106/140036

Thailand Pins Hopes in Corruption Fight on New Legislation泰国制定新立法打击政府机构腐败  Thailand's government hopes new legislation will curb official corruption. But some business-risk experts say the chief concern in fighting corruption in Thailand lies in political will and government stability.泰国政府希望新的立法能限制官员腐败。但是一些商业风险专家说,在泰国和腐败作斗争主要在于政治意愿和政府的稳定。Thailand is enacting tough legislation in a bid to curb corruption in public office. The new laws offer more flexibility in prosecuting suspects in a country considered one of the more corrupt in Asia.泰国在制定严格的立法,旨在打击政府机构的腐败。新出台的法律为起诉涉嫌犯罪者提供更为灵活的方式。泰国被认为是亚洲最腐败的国家之一。Professor Pakdee Pothisiri is a member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. He says the new legislation should overcome shortfalls in earlier anti-corruption laws. He says one important step is the new law allows anyone with knowledge of corruption to file a case with his commission.作为国家反腐败委员会成员的帕克迪教授说,新立法应该克此前反腐败法中的不足。他说,一个重要的步骤是新法律允许得知腐败问题的任何人向我们委员会提请立案。He is confident that and other changes will strengthen the fight against graft. "I believe so because of the new constitution and the organic act that is about to pass into law and also because of this national anti-corruption strategy," said Professor Pakdee. "What we call for [is] all the sectors to work with us in dealing with the corruption." 他充满信心地认为,其他改变也会加强反腐的力度。他说:“我相信会是这样,因为新的宪法以及这个即将通过的有机法律,另外也因为这个全国性的反腐败战略。我们呼吁的是让所有部门和我们一起来对付腐败问题。”Under the current law, only those directly affected by corruption are able to file a complaint. 在目前的法律约束下,只有那些直接受到腐败牵连的人们才有权提请立案。A survey by the Hong Kong firm Political and Economic Risk Consultancy ranks Thailand just ahead of Indonesia as being the most corrupt in Asia. Singapore and Hong Kong are considered least corrupt.香港政治经济风险资讯公司作出的调查将泰国的排名提在印尼之前,成为亚洲最腐败的国家。The firm's managing director, Bob Broadfoot, says corruption in Thailand has fueled political instability over recent years. But Broadfoot doubts whether the legal changes will significantly reduce the problem.这个公司的执行主任、鲍伯.布罗德富特说,泰国的腐败问题使国家最近几年出现政治不稳定的局面,但是他怀疑这次司法改革是否会有效地减少这方面的问题。"They may have passed what they said back in 2007, [but] how many changes of government have happened since 2007 because accusations by one side or the other by corruption? That has nothing to do with the magnitude. This has to do with corruption as an issue that can force political change and that is what investors care about," he said.“他们可能在2007年就通过了他们所说的方案,但是,自从2007年以来,因为一方指控另一方,腐败导致政府发生了多大的变化呀。这和强度没有关系。这和可以迫使政治改变的腐败问题有关,这是投资者所关心的问题。”Broadfoot says foreign investors are reluctant to enter Thailand because the business environment is unstable politically and socially. The leaders of military coups in 1991 and in 2006 said they acted to overthrow corrupt governments.布罗德富特说,外国投资者不情愿到泰国,因为从政和社会方面来说,商业环境是不稳定的。Broadfoot says the main corruption problem in Thailand lies with politicians rather than the country's civil servants. 布罗德富特说,泰国主要的腐败问题在于政客而不是这个国家的公务员。"The civil servants in Thailand are, by and large in a lot of the departments, they are doing a pretty good job, they are getting respect," he said. "But there is very, very little respect for the politicians." “泰国的公务员在很多部门总体上来说是工作得很好。他们受到尊重。但是对政客们不太尊重。”The new laws are being passed as the Thai government begins spending billion to stimulate the slumping economy. The anti-corruption commission's Pakdee says the government needs to implement risk-management practices to make sure corruption does not siphon off that money.泰国新法律通过之时,正是泰国政府启动220亿美元用于刺激衰弱经济的时候。在反腐败委员会任职的帕克迪说,泰国政府需要实行管理风险的法律,保这些钱不至于会因为腐败而流失。05/71824The sound coming from a small machine is the sound of green economy.这是一部小型机器所发出的绿色经济的声响。"This is the world's first commercially available pedal generator, allowing to convert your human power into usable electricity. It can currently recharge our own portable lights. It can also charge mobile phones," said Sameer Hajee, whose company, Nuru Design, has 10,000 clients in Rwanda, India and Kenya. It relies on a network of 80 peddlers who make a living out of pedaling to recharge the lights or cell-phones of their neighbors.努鲁设计(Nuru Design)公司的萨米尔·哈吉(Sameer Hajee)说:“这是世界上第一台供销售的脚踏式发电机,能将人力转化为可以使用的电力。它目前能为我们便携式照明灯再次充电,还能为手机充电。”努鲁公司在卢旺达、印度和肯尼亚有一万客户。脚踏式发电机需要80名脚踏工人轮换为所在社区的照明灯或手机充电。Nuru Design plans to increase its customer base tenfold by the end of the year. This activity is no charity but a viable business, servicing people who do not have access to electricity.今年年底,努鲁公司计划将客户数量增加9倍。这并不是慈善施舍,而是一项可行的商业活动,为使不上电的民众提供电力务。"Essentially the market is so huge," Hajee said. "There are two billion people affected by this problem. So, to the extend that you can get this technology to them, this could potentially be a very profitable business."哈吉说:“关键是市场是如此巨大。使不上电的人有20亿。所以说,如果你能向他们提供这项技术,利润潜力就非常巨大。”Economist Pahvan Sukdhev is a special advisor to the ed Nations environment program. He explains that businesses such as Nuru Design are examples of what a "green economy" would be like.联合国环境计划特别顾问、经济学家帕文·苏德赫夫(Pahvan Sukdhev)解释说,努鲁设计公司所从事的商业活动代表着“绿色经济”的未来。"It is actually a new paradigm that, in many ways, is beginning to be seen," he said. "And, what you see is a new economy breaking through what's breaking down: that heavy, industrialized, over-ambitious, over-productive, over-consumptive model, which is actually going to completely destroy our chances of survival in the future. And, what the green economy is, it's an alternative that doesn't do all that."苏德赫夫说:“这其实是一个新的范例,很多方面刚开始显现效力。你所看到的是从一个正发生严重问题的经济模式中蜕变出来的新形经济,那种以重型、工业化、雄心膨胀、生产过剩、消费过度为特色经济模式已经过时了,因为这种模式实际上会彻底摧毁我们未来的生存希望。绿色经济就是能避免这一切的替代经济。”201002/97300It is called the Roof of Africa. Rising 19,340 feet nearly 4 miles into the sky, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point on the entire African continent.乞力马扎罗山被称为非洲屋脊。其高度达19340英尺近4英里直入云端,它是整个非洲大陆的最高点。Located in northeastern Tanzania in east Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is about equal distant from Cairo to the north and Cape Town to the south, around 220 miles south of the equator. The majestic snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro have long captured the worlds imagination. Thousandshavetraveled to Tanzania to climb the mountain, or to view its famous glacier-covered peak. One such visitor, the American author Earnest Hemingway, even wrote a story about it. In The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Hemingway described the mountains ice fields as widest all overthe world, great, high and unbelievably white in the sun.位于东非坦桑尼亚东北部的乞力马扎罗山在赤道以南220英里,大约相当于开罗最北到开普敦最南的距离。雄伟的乞力马扎罗山的积雪盖顶早就引起了世界注意。成千上万的人来到坦桑尼亚来攀登这座高峰,或观看其著名的冰川覆盖高峰。大名鼎鼎的美国作家海明威, 作为一名旅行者,甚至写了一篇关于它的小说。在大雪纷飞的乞力马扎罗山,海明威描述山的冰块就如同世界一样宽广,高大及它在太阳底下所呈现出的难以致信的白色。As spectacular as it is to see, the ice on top of Mount Kilimanjaro serves a much more important purpose. Formed more than 11, 000 years ago, the glaciers are a vital source of drinking and farming water for those who live in the surrounding areas. But for the last century the snows have been disappearing. Kilimanjaros glaciers have shrunk by more than 80% since 1912. This can be seen in pictures that the NASA satellite Landsat has been taking of the mountains ice cap for more than a decade. This is how it looked in 1993. And this is how it looked just 7 years later in 2000.因为它的壮观,乞力马扎罗山顶上的冰现在被赋予了更重要的使命,那就是务大众。这些形成于超过11,000年前的冰川对于那些住在附近地区的人们来说是很重要的生存饮用水源及农业用水源。但自上个世纪以来,冰雪已经开始逐渐消失。自1912年以来,乞力马扎罗山的冰川已经缩小至原来的80%。这可以从美国NASA卫星Landsat十年前拍摄的照片上看到。这是它在1993年的样子。而这是7年后,即2000年的样貌。There are several theories as to why Mount Kilimanjaros snow is disappearing so quickly. For one thing, the mountain is located in a tropical region. For this reason, its glaciers are especially vulnerable to climate changes. One type of climate change is called global warming, which is causing a constant rise in the Earths temperature. Another possible reason that glaciers are melting is deforestation, which happens when trees are cut down in mass quantities. Trees keep the air cooler and add moisture to the atmosphere which helps create clouds and precipitation.乞力马扎罗山上的雪为何消失如此之快有几种理论。首先,该山位于热带地区。因为这个原因,冰川尤其容易受气候变化影响。一种类型的气候变化被称为全球变暖,这造成地球温度的不断上升。另一个可能的原因是树木被大规模砍伐。树木使空气冷却和增加湿气,帮助造云和降水。Regardless of the causes, the snows of Kilimanjaro continue to melt. Experts predict that the mountains glaciers could disappear completely by the year 2020. The loss of Kilimanjaros glaciers removes a source of water from the mountains surrounding area. In addition, it would probably decrease the amount of tourism and the revenue it generates to Tanzania. Finally, the disappearing snow in Africa serves as proof thatthe Earth, with its changing climate and warming trends, cannot always sustain its natural treasures.不管什么原因, 覆盖着的冰雪仍旧继续融化。专家预计冰川可能在2020年完全消失。乞力马扎罗山冰川的消失使周边地区少了一个水源。此外,旅游和坦桑尼亚的收入也可能会减少。最后,消失在非洲的雪明了地球处于气候变化和气候变暖趋势,不能总是维持其自然奇珍状态。词语解释:equal a. 同等的equator n. 赤道majestic a. 雄伟的163083

In the Rocky Mountains of Central Colorado, the forces of nature create a landscape of alpine lakes, high-altitude ponds teeming with life and mountain meadows bursting with wild flowers. It is amidst these beautiful wildflower fields that one scientist has aly found alarming evidence about the potential impact of global warming. John Hart, a professor of Environmental Science at the University of California, Berkley, runs an experiment to determine what would happen if the temperature was just three degrees warmer here year around, like the forecasted effect of global warming. “That heating effect will induce dramatic effects on these subalpine meadows, causing loss of plant seed we especially value here, the flowering plants.” John Hart has come here each summer since the 1970s, examining factors affecting life in this fragile ecosystem. “This heating is actually quite subtle. We are not heating a lot. It’s only a few degrees, but it’s causing the flowering plants to produce fewer flowers and to grow less abundantly.” His setup is relatively simple. Low-power electric heaters suspended above a mountain meadow heat the ground and the plant life beneath, three degrees warmer than the surrounding area. The heaters are automatically and precisely controlled, they have been on constantly, day and night, winter, spring, summer and fall since 1991. In his global warming experiment, he suspended heaters in a grid pattern to create heated plots, then unheated plots, back and forth, so he can judge the effects side by side. The difference, three degrees of separation makes in flowers and sagebrush, is easy to see. “They suck juices out of the plant.”In the unheated natural area, sagebrush is a source of moisture for an army of thirsty insects. They keep sagebrush under control. “So they have little mouthpieces that can suck away at the nutrient.” But just a few feet away, sagebrush under the heater grows far better with fewer bugs. “...much more rapidly, we found that the heating is causing profuse growth of the sagebrush.” While that’s good for the sagebrush; it’s not good for its plant neighbors. Flowers feel the effect too. In natural areas, flowers grow thick as they always do here, but a few feet away, where it’s three degrees warmer, flowers are not as abundant. “The meadows, instead of looking lush and strewn with flowers, are now actually rather arid.” If global warming, or long-term climate change, does increase the year-around temperature here just a few degrees, John Hart predicts, in decades to come, flowers could be crowded out by sagebrush. “Global warming is more than just an ecological catastrophe; it would be a human catastrophe in all of its dimensions.”参考中文翻译:科罗拉多州中部巍峨的高山上,自然的力量创造了一幅美丽的风景画,有着高山湖,充满生命的高海拔池塘,长满野花的高山草原。在这些美丽的野花中,一位科学家发现了全球气候变暖的潜在影响的有力据。John Hart是加利福尼亚大学环境科学的教授。他组织了一个实验,观察如果这里一年之内气温升高3度会有什么情况发生,就好象全球气候变暖的预报。“热效应会对这些亚高山带的草原产生剧烈的影响,造成我们非常珍惜的开花类植物的减少。”从上世纪70年代开始,John Hart每年夏天都会来这里,检查影响脆弱的生态系统的因素。“加热量其实很微小,我们没有加热很多。仅仅几度的变化,就会导致开花类作物开花量减少,不像以前那样丰富。” 他的设备相对来说很简单。低功率的电加热器悬挂在高山草原上给地面和下面的植物加热,比周围环境温度高3度。加热器是自动化的,温控非常精确。从1991年开始,加热器就春夏秋冬日日夜夜的悬挂在那里。在他的全球变暖实验中,他按照格子状悬挂加热器,以组成加热区和非加热区,来来回回,这样来判款交互影响。3度的差别给花和山艾树造成的差别一目了然。“他们从植物里吸取汁液。”在没有加热的自然区域,山艾树是很多昆虫的水源。他们使山艾树的数目受到控制。“他们并没有吸取里面的营养。”但是就在几英尺之外,收到加热的山艾树生长状况好很多,虫子很少。“我们发现,加热使山艾树生长速度过快。”虽然这样对山艾树比较好,但是对邻近的植物造成威胁。花也感受到了影响。在自然区域,花张的比较厚密,温度高3度的几英尺之外,花开的就没有那么繁盛。“草地没有看上去苍翠繁茂,鲜花盛开,反而变成了不毛之地。”John Hart预测,如果全球变暖或者长期的气候变化导致这里的全年平均气温升高几度,未来的几十年之内,鲜花会被山艾树吞噬。“全球变暖并不只是生态灾难,对人类来说,也是一个巨大的灾难。” 200812/57873Bush Administration Nears Decision on Helping Auto Industry布什对政府救援美汽车业举棋不定  President Bush on Thursday said he has not yet decided what government assistance to provide the distressed U.S. automobile industry. The president says he worries about the economic consequences that an automaker bankruptcy could cause. 布什总统星期四说,他还没有决定政府应该对陷入困境的美国汽车工业施以何种援助。Mr. Bush said he is concerned about how an uncontrolled bankruptcy could affect the psychology of financial markets. He said he is also worried about putting good money after bad. 布什总统说,他担心一旦汽车工业破产并失去控制后,会对金融市场心态产生影响。他说,他还对资金使用不当后,如何有效使用资金感到担忧。The administration is near a decision on what kind of government assistance to provided U.S. car companies. They have asked for billion in loans to assure their survival. 布什政府对美国汽车公司的援助方案即将最后拍板。汽车公司要求政府提供140亿美元的贷款,以确保可以存活下来。"The president is not going to allow a disorderly collapse of the companies," said White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. "That is not an option. Some people have assumed that is one of things we would decide. That is not going to be the case." 白宫新闻发言人佩里诺说:“总统不会随意让这些公司倒闭。这不是选择。一些人认为政府会这样决定,但是事情不是这样的。”In Detroit, the U.S. automotive capital, the mood is somber. Chrysler - the weakest of the "Big Three" carmakers - is closing all of its U.S. assembly plants for a month, beginning next week. General Motors and Ford are also closing some plants beyond the usual two-week end of year production break. Unionized workers at the plants will continue to receive at least 85 percent of their pay, as stipulated in their contracts.  在美国汽车工业之都底特律,气氛一片萧瑟。从下星期开始,三巨头当中状态最糟糕的克莱斯勒公司在美国的所有装配厂将关闭一个月。通用汽车和福特也准备在年终通常的两个星期停产时间外,再延长一些工厂的关闭时间。根据合同规定,工会工人将继续领取原工资的85%。The credit squeeze and recession have caused U.S. car sales to plummet - down 37 percent in November, 25 percent for the year overall. 信贷停滞以及经济衰退使得美国汽车销售下滑。11月汽车销售下跌37%,全年销售量下降25%。Jack Nerad is a marketing analyst for Kelley Blue Book, which keeps close watch on the auto industry. 内拉德是新旧车辆信息供应公司凯利蓝皮书(Kelley Blue Book)的市场分析员,他一直在密切关注着汽车工业。"I think it is devastating," Nerad spoke to Bloomberg Television. "It is hard to overestimate the importance of this industry and the importance of what is going on right now. It is as if sales absolutely hit a wall in October. They're not recovering. And one of the major industrial corporations of the world-of all time [General Motors] could be on the brink." 他在接受彭电视采访时说:“我认为这是灾难性的。很难过高估计汽车工业的重要性以及现在面临问题的严重性。但是,10月份汽车销售看起来好像确实停滞不前,而且也一直没有恢复元气。一直以来在全球工业公司中占主导地位的通用汽车可能面临破产。”It is not just the U.S.-based auto industry that is suffering. Sales of British-made cars in the ed Kingdom were down 33 percent in November. And Fiat in Italy is closing all of its production plants for one month because of lagging car sales in Europe. 美国汽车工业并不是唯一受影响的。英国产汽车在英国的销售11月份下降了33%。另外,由于欧洲汽车销售的不景气,意大利菲亚特汽车公司决定将所有生产厂关闭一个月。200812/59303Scientists have found that mindfulness meditation, known as “Samatha Meditation,” could be reducing the pain that people experience. Fifteen research subjects given 120 degrees Fahrenheit heat pulses found the pain fifty-seven percent less unpleasant and forty percent less intense after just four twenty minute meditation sessions. Isn’t it hard to measure what people are feeling? The researchers didn’t just asking people how they felt. They used an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging machine to measure their brain activity. The MRI detects how much oxygen brain cells use. The more oxygen the cells use, the more active they are. As pain goes up, activity changes in certain areas of the brain.【生词注释】meditation n. 沉思; 冥想session n.期间measure v.测量magnetic resonance imaging磁共振成像:go up 上升;增长科学家们发现冥想,也叫作“Samatha Meditation”,能够减轻人们的疼痛感。15个人经受120华氏温度来进行试验,研究发现经过20分钟的冥想后,疼痛感减少了 57%,紧张度较少了40%。测量人们的感觉不是很难吗?研究人们不适直接询问实验人员的感觉。他们使用用磁共振成像机器来测验脑部活动。机器可以侦测到脑细胞使用的氧气,脑细胞使用的氧气越多,它们越活跃。随着疼痛的增加,脑部的局部区域细胞活动发生了变化。201111/159681

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