一泓清水照人寒

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

德国正在抵御洪水对人民和政治的毁灭冲击

發布於

(选自The economist 2021年7月23日版)

Germany grapples with the human and political fallout of the devastating floods

德国正在努力应对毁灭性洪水对人民和政治的影响

It should help the Greens, but may not

这应该有助于绿党,也有可能不会

“The floods and destruction are unimaginable. We cannot even assess the scale of the damage yet,” says Carolin Weitzel, the mayor of Erftstadt, a town in North-Rhine Westphalia (nrw), south-west of Cologne. Blessem, a part of her city, was evacuated after a landslide spreading from a nearby quarry created a huge crater that reached the edge of the town. Part of its historic castle collapsed. Streets were smashed and covered with water and mud. Cars were carried away by the torrents and turned upside down. The contents of family homes became piles of muddy rubbish. Even the crosses at the local cemetery were submerged under water.

洪水和毁灭是无法想象的。科隆西南面的北莱茵威斯特法伦州(NRW)一个小镇Erftstadt的市长Carolin Weitzel说:"我们甚至无法评估损失的规模。”Blessem是她所在城市的一部分 ,山体滑坡从附近的采石场蔓延开来,形成了一个大坑,一直延伸到城镇边缘,之后 她被疏散。部分历史悠久的城堡也倒塌了。街道被冲毁,被水和泥浆掩盖。汽车被山洪冲走,翻了个底朝天。家里的东西变成了一堆泥泞的垃圾。甚至当地公墓的十字架也被淹没在水中。

Erftstadt was one of the settlements hit most dramatically by the devastating floods in Europe that have cost more than 200 lives in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, with the toll still rising. In nrw at least 48 people have died. And in the district of Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate alone at least 122 have died. Across the country, 160 more people are still missing and now feared dead. So far Erftstadt is not mourning any deaths, but not all its inhabitants have been accounted for.

Erftstadt是欧洲受毁灭性洪水影响最严重的住宅区之一,这些洪水已经在德国、比利时和荷兰造成200多人死亡,而且伤亡人数仍在上升。在 NRW,至少有48人死亡。仅在莱茵兰-法尔茨州的Ahrweiler区,就有至少122人死亡。在全国范围内,还有160人仍在失联,现在恐怕已经离世。到目前为止, Erftstadt没有为任何死亡而哀悼,并不是所有的居民都被找到了。

As the worst floods in Germany’s post-war history subside, the finger-pointing has started. The disaster has also moved climate change to the heart of debate in the run-up to the general election due on September 26th.Other than the hard-right Alternative for Germany , all political parties agree that man-made global warming is to blame. Naturally, the Greens have long focused on promoting measures to tackle climate change. But in their reaction to the catastrophe they were careful not to seem to profit from tragedy.

随着德国战后历史上最严重的洪水消退,指责的声音就已经开始。这场灾难也使气候变化成为9月26日大选前的辩论焦点。除了极右的德国新选择党之外,所有政党都同意,人为的全球变暖是罪魁祸首。当然,绿党长期以来一直专注于推动应对气候变化的措施。但在他们对这场灾难反应出的小心翼翼,似乎没有从悲剧中获得好处。

Opposition politicians are now calling for the resignation of Horst Seehofer, the federal interior minister, because of what they say was the government’s failure to give people enough warning. Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist at the University of Reading who co-founded the European Flood Awareness System (efas) developed by the European Commission in the wake of severe floods in 2002, says that the forecasting was adequate but the response to the warnings of local authorities was highly inconsistent. Under Germany’s decentralised system, city and county councils in the 16 states are in charge of natural-disaster prevention. So it was up to them to act upon efas warnings, which Germany’s meteorological service indeed passed on several days before the disaster struck.

反对派政治家现在要求联邦内政部长霍斯特-塞霍夫(Horst Seehofer)辞职,因为他们说政府没有给人们足够的提醒。雷丁大学的水文学家Hannah Cloke是 欧洲委员会 在2002年严重洪灾后开发“欧洲洪水预警系统(efas)”的共同创始人,她说,预测是充分的,但地方当局对预警的反应却非常不一致。根据德国的分权体制下,16个州的市县议会负责自然灾害的预防。因此,他们有责任对EFAS的预警采取行动,而德国的气象部门确实在灾难发生的前几天就发出了这些预警。

In part owing to a reluctance to order evacuations and the assumption that messages through digital tools would work, officials, media and the public in many affected areas communicated too little, too late. Networks were then knocked out, which meant that the warnings that were given did not reach many of the people who needed them. “In 2002 many people died needlessly, and I fear the same happened again,” says Ms Cloke.

部分归咎于不愿意下令疏散,并觉得通过数字工具发出的信息会起作用,许多受灾地区的官员、媒体和公众沟通得太少、太晚。然后网络被切断,这意味着所发出的警告信息没有到达许多需要它们的人手里。"克拉克女士说:"2002年,许多人原本不必死去的,我担心同样的情况再次发生。

As the death toll continues to mount, emotions are raw—and can easily turn. When Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the president, and Armin Laschet, the state premier of nrw and head of the Christian Democratic Union (cdu), visited Erftstadt on July 17th, Mr Laschet was filmed joking and sniggering while the president delivered a solemn speech. Faced with a public outcry, the front-runner to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in September was forced to apologise and grovel.

随着伤亡人数的不断增加,人们的情绪也在不断变化。当总统弗兰克-瓦尔特-施泰因迈尔和国民议会总理、基督教民主联盟(Cdu)领导人阿明-拉谢特于7月17日访问 Erftstadt时,拉谢特被拍到在总统发表庄严讲话时开玩笑和偷笑。面对公众的强烈抗议,这位在9月接替安格拉-默克尔成为总理的领跑者被迫公开鞠躬道歉。

The Green party’s candidate, Annalena Baerbock, who has struggled after a strong start to her campaign, was more careful. She cut short her holiday to visit affected areas, but declined to be accompanied by journalists. Olaf Scholz, the finance minister and candidate of the Social Democratic Party (spd), visited other areas in Rhineland-Palatinate on the same day as Mr Laschet. He promised an aid package of more than €300m ($350m); in fact €400m has now been pledged.

绿党候选人安娜莱娜·贝尔伯克(Annalena Baerbock)更加小心翼翼,她在 强劲的竞选开局后迟迟没有突破。 她缩短了自己的假期,访问受灾地区,但拒绝记者的陪同。财政部长兼社会民主党(spd)候选人Olaf Scholz与Laschet在同一天访问了莱茵兰-法尔茨州的其他地区。他承诺提供超过3亿欧元(3.5亿美元)的援助计划;事实上,现在已经承诺了4亿欧元。

The right reaction to human suffering on such a scale can make a big difference to political fortunes. In 2002 Gerhard Schröder’s narrow re-election as chancellor was probably a result of his deft handling of a flood disaster. In August of that year floods from the Elbe and its tributaries had ravaged Saxony’s heartland and other parts of the east. Mr Schröder seized the moment to charm beleaguered easterners. He offered cash, reassurance and a spirit of solidarity. Edmund Stoiber, his cdu/csu rival, remained aloof—and was defeated.

对如此规模的人类苦难的正确反应可以对政治命运产生重大影响。2002年,格哈德-施罗德以微弱优势连任总理,可能是由于他对一场洪灾的巧妙处理。那年8月,易北河及其支流的洪水蹂躏了萨克森州的中心地带和东部的其他地区。施罗德抓住了这个时机,吸引了被困的东部居民。他提供现金、安抚和团结的精神。他的竞争对手埃德蒙德-斯托伊贝尔(Edmund Stoiber)仍然不为所动,最终被打败。

None of this year’s candidates for the chancellorship has Mr Schröder’s political nous. This may not matter, as the elections are still two months away. Manfred Güllner, the head of Forsa, a pollster, thinks the floods will have a negligible impact. It is still not clear whether most people will blame climate change for the catastrophe, he says. And even if they do, they are not sure the Greens will be able to do much about it. As the cdu has been in government for 50 out of the past 70 years, it has at least proved it can usually govern the country competently. Apart from seven years as junior members of a centre-left coalition, the Greens have no experience of national government.

今年的总理候选人中没有一个具有施罗德先生的政治智慧。这可能并不重要,因为距离选举还有两个月。民调机构Forsa的负责人Manfred Güllner认为洪水的影响可以忽略不计。他说,现在还不清楚大多数人是否会将这场灾难归咎于气候变化。即使他们那样学着去做,他们也不确定绿党是否能对此采取什么措施。过去的70年里,基民盟已经执政了50年,这至少已经证明了它通常可以胜任治理国家的工作。除了在中左翼联盟中担任过七年的小成员外,绿党没有任何国家政府的经验。

“The Baerbock bubble has burst,” says Matthias Jung of Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, a pollster. Arguably, Ms Baerbock was over-hyped when she got the party’s nod in April to run for chancellor and was bound to suffer a correction. But it was compounded by mistakes of her own making, such as her clumsy handling of accusations of plagiarism. Mr Jung’s latest forecast, published just before the floods, puts the cdu at 30%, the Greens at 20% and the spd at 15%. Mrs Merkel was again Germany’s most popular politician; Ms Baerbock’s popularity hit a record low for her.

民调机构F.W的Matthias Jung说:“ 贝尔伯克的泡沫已经破灭。”可以说,当 贝尔伯克女士在4月获得党内提名竞选总理时,她被过度炒作,必然会遭受修正。但是,她自己犯下的错误使情况变得更加糟糕,比如她拙劣地处理了对剽窃的指控。 Jung在水灾前发表的最新预测认为,民主党的支持率为30%,绿党为20%,社民党为15%。默克尔夫人再次成为德国最受欢迎的政治家;贝尔伯克女士的支持率创下了她的最低纪录。

The election campaign remained suspended this week, as Germany attempts to come to terms with an event whose human toll should not have been so high. Public awareness is a huge problem, argues Friederike Otto, a climatologist at Oxford University. “Few in Germany realise that weather can kill,” she says. A catastrophe can be an effective catalyst. The hope is that authorities will learn more this time than they did 19 years ago.

本周的选举活动仍然暂停,因为德国试图接受这一事件,其人员伤亡不应该如此之高。牛津大学的气候学家Friederike Otto认为,公众意识是一个巨大的问题。"她说:"在德国很少有人意识到天气可以杀人。一场灾难可以成为一个有效的催化剂。希望当局这次能比19年前学到更多。

This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the headline "After the floods"


(选自The economist 2021年7月23日版)

Germany grapples with the human and political fallout of the devastating floods

德国正在努力应对毁灭性洪水对人民和政治的影响


It should help the Greens, but may not

这应该有助于绿党,也有可能不会


T

he floods and destruction are unimaginable. We cannot even assess the scale of the damage yet,” says Carolin Weitzel, the mayor of Erftstadt, a town in North-Rhine Westphalia (nrw), south-west of Cologne. Blessem, a part of her city, was evacuated after a landslide spreading from a nearby quarry created a huge crater that reached the edge of the town. Part of its historic castle collapsed. Streets were smashed and covered with water and mud. Cars were carried away by the torrents and turned upside down. The contents of family homes became piles of muddy rubbish. Even the crosses at the local cemetery were submerged under water.

洪水和毁灭是无法想象的。科隆西南面的北莱茵威斯特法伦州(NRW)一个小镇Erftstadt的市长Carolin Weitzel说:"我们甚至无法评估损失的规模。”Blessem是她所在城市的一部分 ,山体滑坡从附近的采石场蔓延开来,形成了一个大坑,一直延伸到城镇边缘,之后 她被疏散。部分历史悠久的城堡也倒塌了。街道被冲毁,被水和泥浆掩盖。汽车被山洪冲走,翻了个底朝天。家里的东西变成了一堆泥泞的垃圾。甚至当地公墓的十字架也被淹没在水中。


Erftstadt was one of the settlements hit most dramatically by the devastating floods in Europe that have cost more than 200 lives in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, with the toll still rising. In nrw at least 48 people have died. And in the district of Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate alone at least 122 have died. Across the country, 160 more people are still missing and now feared dead. So far Erftstadt is not mourning any deaths, but not all its inhabitants have been accounted for.

Erftstadt是欧洲受毁灭性洪水影响最严重的住宅区之一,这些洪水已经在德国、比利时和荷兰造成200多人死亡,而且伤亡人数仍在上升。在 NRW,至少有48人死亡。仅在莱茵兰-法尔茨州的Ahrweiler区,就有至少122人死亡。在全国范围内,还有160人仍在失联,现在恐怕已经离世。到目前为止, Erftstadt没有为任何死亡而哀悼,并不是所有的居民都被找到了。


As the worst floods in Germany’s post-war history subside, the finger-pointing has started. The disaster has also moved climate change to the heart of debate in the run-up to the general election due on September 26th.Other than the hard-right Alternative for Germany , all political parties agree that man-made global warming is to blame. Naturally, the Greens have long focused on promoting measures to tackle climate change. But in their reaction to the catastrophe they were careful not to seem to profit from tragedy.

随着德国战后历史上最严重的洪水消退,指责的声音就已经开始。这场灾难也使气候变化成为9月26日大选前的辩论焦点。除了极右的德国新选择党之外,所有政党都同意,人为的全球变暖是罪魁祸首。当然,绿党长期以来一直专注于推动应对气候变化的措施。但在他们对这场灾难反应出的小心翼翼,似乎没有从悲剧中获得好处。


Opposition politicians are now calling for the resignation of Horst Seehofer, the federal interior minister, because of what they say was the government’s failure to give people enough warning. Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist at the University of Reading who co-founded the European Flood Awareness System (efas) developed by the European Commission in the wake of severe floods in 2002, says that the forecasting was adequate but the response to the warnings of local authorities was highly inconsistent. Under Germany’s decentralised system, city and county councils in the 16 states are in charge of natural-disaster prevention. So it was up to them to act upon efas warnings, which Germany’s meteorological service indeed passed on several days before the disaster struck.

反对派政治家现在要求联邦内政部长霍斯特-塞霍夫(Horst Seehofer)辞职,因为他们说政府没有给人们足够的提醒。雷丁大学的水文学家Hannah Cloke是 欧洲委员会 在2002年严重洪灾后开发“欧洲洪水预警系统(efas)”的共同创始人,她说,预测是充分的,但地方当局对预警的反应却非常不一致。根据德国的分权体制下,16个州的市县议会负责自然灾害的预防。因此,他们有责任对EFAS的预警采取行动,而德国的气象部门确实在灾难发生的前几天就发出了这些预警。


In part owing to a reluctance to order evacuations and the assumption that messages through digital tools would work, officials, media and the public in many affected areas communicated too little, too late. Networks were then knocked out, which meant that the warnings that were given did not reach many of the people who needed them. “In 2002 many people died needlessly, and I fear the same happened again,” says Ms Cloke.

部分归咎于不愿意下令疏散,并觉得通过数字工具发出的信息会起作用,许多受灾地区的官员、媒体和公众沟通得太少、太晚。然后网络被切断,这意味着所发出的警告信息没有到达许多需要它们的人手里。"克拉克女士说:"2002年,许多人原本不必死去的,我担心同样的情况再次发生。


As the death toll continues to mount, emotions are raw—and can easily turn. When Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the president, and Armin Laschet, the state premier of nrw and head of the Christian Democratic Union (cdu), visited Erftstadt on July 17th, Mr Laschet was filmed joking and sniggering while the president delivered a solemn speech. Faced with a public outcry, the front-runner to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in September was forced to apologise and grovel.

随着伤亡人数的不断增加,人们的情绪也在不断变化。当总统弗兰克-瓦尔特-施泰因迈尔和国民议会总理、基督教民主联盟(Cdu)领导人阿明-拉谢特于7月17日访问 Erftstadt时,拉谢特被拍到在总统发表庄严讲话时开玩笑和偷笑。面对公众的强烈抗议,这位在9月接替安格拉-默克尔成为总理的领跑者被迫公开鞠躬道歉。


The Green party’s candidate, Annalena Baerbock, who has struggled after a strong start to her campaign, was more careful. She cut short her holiday to visit affected areas, but declined to be accompanied by journalists. Olaf Scholz, the finance minister and candidate of the Social Democratic Party (spd), visited other areas in Rhineland-Palatinate on the same day as Mr Laschet. He promised an aid package of more than €300m ($350m); in fact €400m has now been pledged.

绿党候选人安娜莱娜·贝尔伯克(Annalena Baerbock)更加小心翼翼,她在 强劲的竞选开局后迟迟没有突破。 她缩短了自己的假期,访问受灾地区,但拒绝记者的陪同。财政部长兼社会民主党(spd)候选人Olaf Scholz与Laschet在同一天访问了莱茵兰-法尔茨州的其他地区。他承诺提供超过3亿欧元(3.5亿美元)的援助计划;事实上,现在已经承诺了4亿欧元。


The right reaction to human suffering on such a scale can make a big difference to political fortunes. In 2002 Gerhard Schröder’s narrow re-election as chancellor was probably a result of his deft handling of a flood disaster. In August of that year floods from the Elbe and its tributaries had ravaged Saxony’s heartland and other parts of the east. Mr Schröder seized the moment to charm beleaguered easterners. He offered cash, reassurance and a spirit of solidarity. Edmund Stoiber, his cdu/csu rival, remained aloof—and was defeated.

对如此规模的人类苦难的正确反应可以对政治命运产生重大影响。2002年,格哈德-施罗德以微弱优势连任总理,可能是由于他对一场洪灾的巧妙处理。那年8月,易北河及其支流的洪水蹂躏了萨克森州的中心地带和东部的其他地区。施罗德抓住了这个时机,吸引了被困的东部居民。他提供现金、安抚和团结的精神。他的竞争对手埃德蒙德-斯托伊贝尔(Edmund Stoiber)仍然不为所动,最终被打败。


None of this year’s candidates for the chancellorship has Mr Schröder’s political nous. This may not matter, as the elections are still two months away. Manfred Güllner, the head of Forsa, a pollster, thinks the floods will have a negligible impact. It is still not clear whether most people will blame climate change for the catastrophe, he says. And even if they do, they are not sure the Greens will be able to do much about it. As the cdu has been in government for 50 out of the past 70 years, it has at least proved it can usually govern the country competently. Apart from seven years as junior members of a centre-left coalition, the Greens have no experience of national government.

今年的总理候选人中没有一个具有施罗德先生的政治智慧。这可能并不重要,因为距离选举还有两个月。民调机构Forsa的负责人Manfred Güllner认为洪水的影响可以忽略不计。他说,现在还不清楚大多数人是否会将这场灾难归咎于气候变化。即使他们那样学着去做,他们也不确定绿党是否能对此采取什么措施。过去的70年里,基民盟已经执政了50年,这至少已经证明了它通常可以胜任治理国家的工作。除了在中左翼联盟中担任过七年的小成员外,绿党没有任何国家政府的经验。


“The Baerbock bubble has burst,” says Matthias Jung of Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, a pollster. Arguably, Ms Baerbock was over-hyped when she got the party’s nod in April to run for chancellor and was bound to suffer a correction. But it was compounded by mistakes of her own making, such as her clumsy handling of accusations of plagiarism. Mr Jung’s latest forecast, published just before the floods, puts the cdu at 30%, the Greens at 20% and the spd at 15%. Mrs Merkel was again Germany’s most popular politician; Ms Baerbock’s popularity hit a record low for her.

民调机构F.W的Matthias Jung说:“ 贝尔伯克的泡沫已经破灭。”可以说,当 贝尔伯克女士在4月获得党内提名竞选总理时,她被过度炒作,必然会遭受修正。但是,她自己犯下的错误使情况变得更加糟糕,比如她拙劣地处理了对剽窃的指控。 Jung在水灾前发表的最新预测认为,民主党的支持率为30%,绿党为20%,社民党为15%。默克尔夫人再次成为德国最受欢迎的政治家;贝尔伯克女士的支持率创下了她的最低纪录。

The election campaign remained suspended this week, as Germany attempts to come to terms with an event whose human toll should not have been so high. Public awareness is a huge problem, argues Friederike Otto, a climatologist at Oxford University. “Few in Germany realise that weather can kill,” she says. A catastrophe can be an effective catalyst. The hope is that authorities will learn more this time than they did 19 years ago.

本周的选举活动仍然暂停,因为德国试图接受这一事件,其人员伤亡不应该如此之高。牛津大学的气候学家Friederike Otto认为,公众意识是一个巨大的问题。"她说:"在德国很少有人意识到天气可以杀人。一场灾难可以成为一个有效的催化剂。希望当局这次能比19年前学到更多。

This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the headline "After the floods"


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