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[经济学人] [2009.10.10] Air pollution 空气污染

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发表于 2010-4-29 01:41 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Air pollution
空气污染


the cleaners
污染补救措施


Oct 8th 2009
From The Economist print edition


Cleaning up London’s dirty air
治理伦敦污浊的空气




The air is dangerous, too
空气也危险


LONDONERS have been complaining about air quality since at least 1858, when a heatwave cooked the sewage-choked Thames and fumes cloaked the city in what came to be known as the Great Stink. Parliament draped lime-infused sheets over its windows in an attempt at emergency deodorisation.

伦敦人至少从1858年起就对糟糕的空气质量满腹怨言,那年热浪来袭,将满是污物的泰晤士河烘的臭气熏天,由此便得了“伦敦大恶臭”的美名。议会的办公室窗口上都挂上了注入石灰的布料,作为紧急防臭措施。

Things have improved, in particular since the 1950s when coal fires caused pea-souper fogs that killed thousands. But London’s air remains the dirtiest in Britain—and Britain’s is among the worst in Europe. A slow improvement during the 1990s has stalled, and pollution in the city regularly breaches limits recommended by the World Health Organisation. Dirty air kills people, even if no one is sure exactly how many (estimates range from 1,000 to 8,000 a year in London). More certain is the financial penalty for ignoring the problem: earlier this year the European Commission began legal action against Britain that could end in a £300m fine. On October 5th Boris Johnson, the city’s mayor, set out his ideas on how to clean up.

现在情况已有好转,特别是上世纪50年代燃煤产生的黄色浓雾造成数千人死亡之后。但是,伦敦的空气在英国仍然是最脏的——而英国正是欧洲空气质量最差的国家之一。上世纪90年代步伐缓慢的治理工作已被搁置,伦敦的污染状况不断超出世界卫生组织所建议的限值。脏空气能够致人死亡,但没人能说出准确数字(伦敦每年约有1000至8000人因此丧命)。不过更加确信的是,英国必会因无视空气污染而受到经济处罚:年初,欧盟委员会对英国采取了法律行动,最后有可能以3亿欧元罚款收场。10月5日,伦敦市长鲍里斯•约翰逊提出了一系列空气质量的规划。

Two pollutants cause most of the problem: oxides of nitrogen, which damage the lungs, and fine particulates, which are also carcinogenic. Road transport produces most of both types of gunk: 83% of the fine particles and 46% of the nitrogen pollution. So the mayor wants a clampdown on dirty vehicles. Several measures are eye-catching. From 2012 the oldest of the city’s trademark black cabs will be banned. On particularly grotty days, all traffic could be barred from certain parts of the city centre. Trees will be planted around the muckiest highways and hybrid diesel-electric buses put onto the streets.

空气污染主要由两大污染物造成:损害肺部的氮氧化物以及同样致癌的细颗粒物。这两种黏性物质主要由公路交通产生:83%的细颗粒物以及46%的氮氧化物污染。有鉴于此,伦敦市长希望禁止污染严重的车辆上路。其中有些措施引人关注。从2012年开始,伦敦标志性的黑色出租车的最旧车型将被勒令停运。当交通拥堵的时候,所有车辆将被限制进入部分市中心区域。将在浓烟滚滚的高速公路旁种植树木,混合柴油电动公交车将投入使用。

The biggest idea is to extend London’s Low Emissions Zone, a scheme pioneered by Ken Livingstone, Mr Johnson’s predecessor as mayor. Modelled on the city’s successful congestion-charging scheme (part of which Mr Johnson wants to scrap), it uses a network of cameras to charge old, dirty lorries up to £200 a day to enter the capital. Originally, the scheme was to be extended to vans and minibuses next year. Mr Johnson abandoned the idea, citing the impact on business. Now he has reversed course: the new charges will begin in 2012 instead, in time for the Olympic games—but a year after the EC’s deadline.

最大的设想在于扩大约翰逊先生前任肯•利文斯通首创的低排放区计划。该计划仿照伦敦卓有成效的堵车收费计划(约翰逊先生试图取消其中部分条款),通过探头网络监测,对违规进入伦敦的污染严重的旧型卡车处以每天200英镑的罚款。该计划原本会将货车及米尼巴士囊括在而,但约翰逊先生之后以影响商业为由放弃了该设想。现在,他却本末倒置了:新的罚款规定将在2012年执行,正好赶上奥运会——但这已是欧盟委员会最后期限一年之后的事了。

Some clean-air campaigners question the mayor’s commitment, arguing conspiratorially that he agreed to reinstate the pollution-charging scheme only after it became clear that British attempts to wheedle more time from the EC were not going well. Others point out that many of his proposals are not funded; indeed, the plan explicitly says that central government must stump up. Even optimists think that with a huge fiscal crunch looming and all three big political parties engaged in bouts of cost-cutting one-upmanship, Mr Johnson will have to battle to extract any cash at all from Whitehall. Pessimists think his plans will never happen.

一些空气保护人士对伦敦市长的计划提出质疑,一致认为他之所以同意重提污染收费计划,是因为英国已无法从欧盟委员会争取到更多时间。也有人指出他的许多提议都没有资金支持,而事实上他的计划已明白无误的表示政府必须自掏腰包。考虑到未来的资金短绌以及三大政党都在以削减成本的伎俩而互相争斗,甚至是乐观主义者都认为约翰逊先生要从怀特霍尔获得哪怕是丁点的资金都是非常困难的。而对此不看好的人则认为他的计划根本无法实施。

Indeed, London’s pollution problems are likely to intensify as the city starts growing again after the recession. There are no plans for pollution-charging to cover private cars (only platitudinous incentives for electric cars), which, though individually cleaner than buses and lorries, are more plentiful and produce roughly similar amounts of muck in total. Expect the stink to continue a while longer.

事实上,伦敦的污染问题有可能随着金融危机后经济复苏而进一步恶化。政府没有出台任何针对私人汽车的污染收费计划(只是故伎重施来刺激购买电动车而已),虽然个别私人汽车比巴士和卡车更环保,但庞大的数量是他们所产生的污染与后者基本相同。这场“恶臭”仍将继续。
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发表于 2010-4-29 02:16 | 显示全部楼层
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