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新视野大学英语第四册unit7AThecomingenergycrisis.doc 6页

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Unit 7 The coming energy crisis 日益逼近的能源危机 Two hundred years ago, the world experienced an energy revolution that launched the Industrial Age. Ever since then, with the rapid increase of population density, the industrialized world's thirst for energy has more than tripled. Petroleum and natural gas are exploited as versatile and high quality energy products. Uranium is also tapped to fuel nuclear reactors and provide atomic energy. 两百年前,全球经历了一场能源革命,由此引发了工业时代的到来。从那时起,随着人口密度的迅速增加,工业国家对于能源的需求成倍成倍增加。石油和天然气被看作是用途多、质量好的能源产品而得到开发,而铀也得以开发,为核反应堆提供燃料并供应原子能源。 Cheap energy is the lifeblood of human society. But there is a dark side to the near monopoly of non-renewable fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, along with controversial uranium, to supply our growing energy demands. The supply of these fuels is physically limited, and their use threatens our health and environment. Multiple international treaties have been proposed to limit the use of fossil fuels for this very reason. Fears of global warming aside, burning fossil fuels releases chemicals and particulates that can cause breathing problems, cancer as well as brain and nerve damage. Nuclear energy, once hailed as "too cheap to meter", has never been economically successful when all costs are factored in. Furthermore, public opinion polls show nuclear energy is too closely associated with disasters like the Chernobyl reactor meltdown and the Fukushima explosion, and with the danger that: rebel insurgents could do damage with the toxic waste. Inexpensive and seemingly abundant non-renewable energy from dead plants and extinct animals fueled the 20th century economy, but geologists, climatologists, environmentalists, and many others are warning that the honeymoon may soon be over. 廉价能源是人类社会的命脉。但是,对煤炭、石油、天然气这些不可再生的矿物燃料及有争议的铀进行近乎垄断地使用以满足我们日益增长的对能源的需求的做法有其危险的一面。这些燃料的供应实际上是有限的,并且,使用这些燃料对我们的健康和环境都造成威胁。正因如此,人们制定了众多的国际条约,以限制对矿物燃料的使用。除了造成全球变暖之外,矿物燃料在燃烧过程中还会释放出某些化学物质和微粒,引发呼吸系统疾病、癌症,并造成对大脑和神经的损伤。如果把所有代价都考虑进来的话,曾经被


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