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从奥运前后的北京空气质量看“中国模式”发展

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小编摘要:奥运会之前,北京花了100多亿美元用于清理其一度呈棕色、污染严重的阴沉天空。根据这项研究,与前一年的数据相比,中国政府在奥运会期间成功地将空气质量提高了30%。但在奥运会结束后一年,约60%的改善成果消失了。

 


发达世界力推“中国模式”的人士往往会以环境恶化作为例子,说明无需进行劳神费力的公开辩论的威权政府擅长解决这类棘手问题。但在一项最新研究报告中,来自中美两国的经济学家对这个论点提出了一些质疑。这份报告调查了中国最令人关注的一个环境问题。
Developed-world proponents of the 'China Model' often point to environmental degradation as an example of the intractable sort of problem authoritarian governments, free of the need for grinding public debate, are good at addressing. But in new study examining one of the country's highest profile environmental problems, a team of Chinese and U.S.-based economists casts some doubt on that thesis.
2011年2月23日,北京市中心大雾弥漫,道路拥堵。该报告是由美国国家经济研究局(National Bureau of Economic Research)发布的。研究主题是北京的空气质量。北京的空气质量在2008年奥运会之前和之后发生了巨大变化。
The subject of the the study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, is Beijing's air quality, which changed markedly before and after the 2008 Olympics.
奥运会之前,北京花了100多亿美元用于清理其一度呈棕色、污染严重的阴沉天空。根据这项研究,与前一年的数据相比,中国政府在奥运会期间成功地将空气质量提高了30%。但在奥运会结束后一年,约60%的改善成果消失了。
Beijing spent more than $10 billion to clean up its sometime spooky brown polluted air before the Olympics. According to the study, the government managed to improve air quality by 30% during the games, compared to year-earlier readings. But a year after the games, about 60% of those gains had evaporated.
这是什么原因呢?和其他许多人一样,这项研究报告的作者认为,奥运会期间空气质量的极大改善要归功于中国的威权体制。他们说,拥有这种政府的国家在受到激励时,会做出巨大努力来解决问题。报告的作者是北京大学的陈玉宇和Guang Shi,以及美国马里兰大学(University of Maryland)的Ginger Zhe Jin和爱荷华大学(University of Iowa)的库马尔(Naresh Kumar)。
What's one to make of this? Like many others, the authors of the NBER study -- Yuyu Chen and Guang Shi of Peking University, Ginger Zhe Jin of the University of Maryland and Naresh Kumar of the University of Iowa ? ' give credit for the impressive improvement in air quality during the Olympics to China's authoritarian system. Countries with such governments can make huge efforts to clear away problems when they are motivated to do so, they say.
作者在报告中称,中国采取的措施是奥运会有史以来“在净化空气方面最大的自然实验”。这些措施的确规模庞大:煤厂、钢铁厂和化工厂被关闭,机动车被限流,汽车排放标准被提高。
The measures taken in what the authors describe as 'the largest natural experiment in air cleaning' in Olympic history were indeed huge: Coal, steel and chemical plants were shuttered, vehicle traffic was reduced and auto-emission standards were increased.
外界曾有过质疑,说北京伪造了数据,因为其禁止研究人员采集奥运会场地的污染数据,只发布官方的“每日空气污染指数”。因此研究人员试图通过考察美国国家航空航天管理局(National Aeronautics and Space Administration,NASA)卫星采集的污染数据来辅助研究,NASA的卫星每天经过中国两次。NASA的数据基本证实了中国政府公布的结果。
There has been some suspicion Beijing cooked the books by prohibiting researchers from taking pollution readings at the site of the games and releasing only an official 'daily air pollution index.' The researchers tried to compensate for that by examining pollution readings taken by National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellites which crossed China twice a day. The NASA readings generally confirmed what the Chinese government was reporting.
为何改善成果消失如此之快?作者们说,仍然还是因为中国的威权政治体制。他们说,空气质量改善是一个长期的过程,在很大程度上依赖于政府政策和个人自律的动态相互作用,个人自律也就是一旦社会就更清洁的环境达成共识、民主制度所能实现的那种行为。
Why did the improvements dissipate so quickly? Again, the authors say, credit goes partly to China's authoritarian political system. 'Air quality improvement is a long time process and largely depends on the dynamic interplay of government policies and private compliance' ? '- in other words, the kind of action that a democracy can manage, once the society reaches a consensus for a cleaner environment.
他们说,相反,北京的努力大部分来自政府推动,更为密集且是在相对较短的时间内实施的;这也许是一个“眼光远不如民主政府长远”的威权政府的特色。
Beijing's efforts, by contrast, 'were largely government-driven, much more intensive and implemented in a relatively short period,' they say. That may be characteristic of an authoritarian government which may have a 'shorter-than-average time horizon than a democratic regime,' they write.
但发展中国家的民主体制也没什么用武之地。就拿印度来说吧。根据作者们在报告中所说的,印度尽管做出了引人瞩目的努力,但仍未能成功改善空气质量。
But developing-nation democracies don't have much to boat about either. India, for instance, hasn't managed to improve air quality despite high-profile efforts, according to studies the authors cite.
这几位经济学家提出了经济学家门常常提到的建议──更多的研究。最近北京的空气质量并不是极其糟糕。据美国驻华大使馆每小时公布一次的监测数据,北京的空气质量一直是基本“对敏感人群不健康”,部分监测结果是“很不健康”,有一次或两次的指数是“良好”。北京居民也许希望这种状况会持续下去,但根据经验,他们知道是不会如愿以偿的。
The economists recommend what economists always recommend ? ' more research. As for Beijing, the air hasn't been unusually awful lately. According to measurements reported hourly by the U.S. embassy, the air has generally been 'unhealthy for sensitive groups,' with a few hourly readings of 'very unhealthy' and one or two readings of 'good.' Beijing residents may hope that continues, but they know from experience to expect that it won't.
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2011-03-31 11:50 编辑:icetonado
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