一泓清水照人寒

To be or not to be,that's a question.

气温升高3℃,世界将无处容身

發布於

(选自The economist 2021年7月23日版)

A 3°C world has no safe place

气温升高3℃,世界将无处容身

The extremes of floods and fires are not going away, but adaptation can lessen their impact.

洪水、火灾的极端天气还将继续,唯有适应气候变化才能减轻它们带来的影响。

In 1745, as the river Liffey, having broken its banks, clawed at the foundations of the house in which he sat, the young Edmund Burke experienced a strange, perverse thrill. The man who would go on to found modern conservatism drew inspiration from this experience in a later essay on the sublime, writing of the unmatched delight that terrible destruction could stir—provided that it is watched from a certain distance.

1745年,当利菲河冲破河岸,拍打着他所在的房子的地基时,年轻的埃德蒙-伯克经历了一种奇怪的、反常的刺激。这位后来创立了现代保守主义的人,从这一经历中获得了灵感, 在后来的一篇关于 高尚 的文章中写道: 只要隔得够远旁观,可怕的破坏也可以激起无与伦比的快乐。

The most terrible thing about the spectacular scenes of destruction that have played out around the world over the past weeks is that there is no safe place from which to observe them. The ground under the German town of Erftstadt is torn apart like tissue paper by flood waters; Lytton in British Columbia is burned from the map just a day after setting a freakishly high temperature record; cars float like dead fish through the streets-turned-canals in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou. All the world feels at risk, and most of it is.

过去几周,世界各地上演了惊人的毁灭景象,最可怕的是,没有一个安全的地方可以旁观它们。德国 埃弗斯塔特 小镇的 地面被洪水像纸巾一样撕扯; 不列颠哥 伦比亚省的 利顿 创造了反常高温记录后仅一天就被从地图上烧掉; 在中国郑州,汽车像死鱼一样漂浮在变成水渠的街道上。 整个世界都感到了危险,而且大部分都是如此。

Unfortunately, 2021 will probably be one of the 21st century’s coolest years. If temperatures rise by 3°C above pre-industrial levels in the coming decades—as they might even if everyone manages to honour today’s firm pledges—large parts of the tropics risk becoming too hot for outdoor work. Coral reefs and the livelihoods that depend on them will vanish and the Amazon rainforest will become a ghost of itself. Severe harvest failures will be commonplace. Ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will shrink past the point of no return, promising sea rises measured not in millimetres, as today’s are, but in metres.

不幸的是,2021年可能是21世纪最凉爽的年份之一。如果未来几十年气温比 工业化 前的 水平上升3°C--即使每个人都设法履行今天的坚定承诺,气温也可能上升--热带地区的大部分地区有可能变得太热,无法进行户外工作。 珊瑚礁和赖以为生的生物将消失,亚马逊雨林将成为自己的幽灵。 严重的歉收将司空见惯。 南极洲和格陵兰岛的冰盖将缩到小不可逆转的程度,这意味着海平面上升的单位将不在是今天的毫米,而是米。

Six years ago, in Paris, the countries of the world committed themselves to avoiding the worst of that nightmare by eliminating net greenhouse-gas emissions quickly enough to hold the temperature rise below 2°C. Their progress towards that end remains woefully inadequate. Yet even if their efforts increased dramatically enough to meet the 2°C goal, it would not stop forests from burning today; prairies would still dry out tomorrow, rivers break their banks and mountain glaciers disappear.

六年前,在巴黎,世界各国承诺迅速消除温室气体净排放,将气温度升幅控制在2°C以下,以避免最糟糕的噩梦。令人遗憾的是,他们在这方面的进展仍然远远不够。然而,即使他们的努力大幅增加,足以达到2°C的目标,今天也无法阻止森林的燃烧; 明 天, 草原 仍然会干涸,河流会决堤,高山 冰川会消失。

Cutting emissions is thus not enough. The world also urgently needs to invest in adapting to the changing climate. The good news is that adaptation makes political sense. People can clearly see the need for it. When a country invests in flood defences it benefits its own citizens above all others—there is no free-rider problem, as there could be for emissions reduction. Nor does all the money come from the public purse; companies and private individuals can see the need for adaptation and act on it. When they do not do so, insurance companies can open their eyes to the risks they are running.

因此,仅仅“ 减 排 ”是不够的。世界还迫切需要投资于适应当前正在发生的气候变化。好消息是,适应具有政治意义。人们可以清楚地看到它的必要性。当一个国家投资于防洪设施时,它的国民受益高于其他所有人——这样就不存在像减排那样的搭便车问题。也不是所有的钱都来自国库;公司和个人可以看到适应的必要,并采取行动。当他们不这样做的时候,保险公司可以睁着眼睛看看他们所面临的风险 (要么不敢担保要么让他们多交保费) 。

Some adaptation is fairly easily set in place. Systems for warning Germans of coming floods will surely now improve. But other problems require much larger public investment, like that which has been put into water-management in the Netherlands. Rich countries can afford such things. Poor countries and poor people need help, which is why the Paris climate agreement calls for annual transfers of $100bn from rich to poor.

一些适应性措施是相当容易建立的。德国的洪水发生预警系统现在肯定会得到改善。但是其他的问题需要更大的公共投资,就像荷兰在水管理方面所做的那样。发达国家可以负担得起这些。穷国和穷人需要帮助,这就是为什么“巴黎气候协议”要求每年从富国向穷国转移1000亿美元。

The rich countries have not yet lived up to their side of this. On July 20th John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s special envoy on climate change, reiterated America’s pledge to triple its support to $1.5bn for adaptation in poorer countries by 2024, part of a broader move to increase investment in adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. More such efforts are vital.

发达国还没有兑现他们的承诺。7月20日,拜登的气候变化特使约翰-克里重申了美国的承诺,即在2024年前将其对贫困国家适应气候变化的支持增加两倍,达到15亿美元,这是增加发展中国家适应和减缓气候变化投资的广泛行动中的一部分。更多这样的努力至关重要。

But they also have limits. Making do with less water may be possible; getting by on none is not. Some levels of temperature and humidity make outdoors activity impossible. There comes one flood too many, after which you abandon the land. When the reef is gone, it is gone.

但光靠适应气候变化也有局限性。只要还有水,生活是可以将就的,但到最后没有水就不行了。一些温度和湿度水平使户外活动无法进行。因为洪水太多,你就放弃了这片土地,最后没有可放弃的了呢?当珊瑚礁消失时,它就真的消失了,再也不会出现了。

If the Paris goal of keeping the rise below 2°C is met, the full extent of those limits will not be tested. But emission-cutting zeal may not accelerate as required. And the climate system could prove more sensitive than it has shown itself to be to date, as some scientists believe possible, producing more warming per tonne of carbon in the atmosphere.

如果将升温控制在2℃以下的巴黎目标得以实现,这些局限的全面性将不会受到考验。但减排的热情可能不会按要求加速。而且,像 一些科学家所认为的那样,气候系统可能比迄今表现出的的更加敏感,大气中每吨碳会产生更强的温室效应。

Hence it is also prudent to study the most spectacular, and scary, form of adaptation: solar geoengineering. This seeks to make clouds or particle layers in the atmosphere a bit more mirror-like, reflecting away some sunlight. It cannot provide a straightforward equal and opposite response to greenhouse-gas warming; it will tend, for example, to reduce precipitation somewhat more than temperature, potentially changing rainfall patterns. But research over the past 15 years has suggested that solar geoengineering might significantly reduce some of the harms from greenhouse warming.

因此,研究出最壮观、最可怕的适应方式——日-地工程—— 也是审慎的做法。试图使大气中的云或粒子层变得更像镜子,反射掉一些阳光。它不能对温室效应 提供一个 直接 大小相等、方向相反 的 回应; 例如 , 它将 倾向于减 少降水量 而不是温度 ,这可 能会改变降雨模式。 但是 ,过去15年的研究表明,日-地工程可能会大 大减少 温室效应 带来的一些危害。

What nobody yet knows is how such schemes could be developed so as to reflect not just the interests of their instigators, but also those of all the countries they will affect. Different countries might seek different amounts of cooling; some ways of putting solar geoengineering into effect would help some regions while harming others. Nor is there yet a compelling rejoinder to the risk that the very idea of such things tomorrow reduces the incentive to be ambitious in cutting emissions today.

目前没有人知道如何制定这样的计划, 以便反映其发起者的利益,同时也反映受影响的所有国家的利益。 不同的国家可能会寻求不同数量的冷却;将日-地工程付诸实践的某些方式会帮助一些地区,同时损害其他地区。 明天再施行 这些 东西的想法 本身会减少今天雄心勃勃地减 排 动机,对于这样一种风险,目前也还没有一个令人信服的反驳。

When good men do nothing

To think about solar geoengineering requires facing those problems—and the risk that powers with little interest in them may try out such schemes regardless. It also means facing squarely what kind of being humankind has become. Watching the rising waters of the Liffey, Burke “considered how little man is, yet in his mind how great…Master of all things, yet scarce can command anything.” Manipulating the climate that humanity has destabilised—unwittingly, at first—spurs similar thoughts of simultaneous power and impotence. It is not nature that humans cannot command, but themselves, in all their insignificance and world-altering might. 

欲使恶人得胜,只需好人袖手旁观

考虑“日- 地工程”需要面临这些问题,以及对这些问题不感兴趣的国家可能不顾一切地尝试这种计划的风险。 这也意味着要正视人类已经成为什么样子。 看着不断上涨的利菲河水,伯克 "想到人是多么渺小,但在他的心中却是多么伟大......万物之主,却很少能指挥什么。 " 操控人类已经破坏的气候——起初是无意的——会引发类似人类的权力和无能同时共存的想法。 人类无法控制的不是自然,而是他们自己,他们的渺小和改变世界的力量。

This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline "No safe place"


喜歡我的文章嗎?
別忘了給點支持與讚賞,讓我知道創作的路上有你陪伴。

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 版權聲明

全球变暖气温升高3℃相当有理由,且将是真正的灾难

德国正在抵御洪水对人民和政治的毁灭冲击

中东和北非正面临干旱带来的政治动荡

看不過癮?

一鍵登入,即可加入全球最優質中文創作社區