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Lesson 3 At War with the Planet I. 1. Author: Barry Commoner (1917-) • born May 28, 1917, Brooklyn, N.Y. U.S. biologist and educator. He studied at Harvard University and taught at Washington University and Queens College. • Commoner's activist career can be defined as an attempt to weave together a larger vision of social justice. Since the 1960s, he has called attention to parallels between the environmental, civil rights, labor, and peace movements, and connected environmental decline with poverty, injustice, exploitation, and war, arguing that the root cause of environmental problems was the American economic system and its manifestations. • He was instrumental in pointing out that there was a direct association between socioeconomic standing and exposure to environmental pollutants and that economics, not social responsibility, was guiding technological decision making. 2. Cultural notes • 1) Three Mile Island: The accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pennsylvania, on March 28, 1979, was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history, even though it led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community.. • But it brought about sweeping changes involving emergency response planning, reactor operator training, human factors engineering, radiation protection, and many other areas of nuclear power plant operations. It also caused the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to tighten and heighten its regulatory oversight. Resultant changes in the nuclear power industry and at the NRC had the effect of enhancing safety 2) The Chernobyl Disaster • On April 25th -26th, 1986 the World's worst nuclear power accident occurred at Chernobyl in the former USSR (now Ukraine). The Chernobyl nuclear power plant located 80 miles north of Kiev had 4 reactors and whilst testing reactor number 4 numerous safety procedures were disregarded. At 1:23am the chain reaction in the reactor became out of control creating explosions and a fireball which blew off the reactor's heavy steel and concrete lid. • The Chernobyl accident killed more than 30 people immediately, and as a result of the high radiation levels in the surrounding 20-mile radius, 135,00 people had to be evacuated. 3) What happened in Bhopal? • On the night of Dec. 2nd and 3rd, 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, began leaking 27 tons of the deadly gas. None of the six safety systems designed to contain such a leak were operational, allowing the gas to spread throughout the city of Bhopal. Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 20,000 have died to date as a result of their exposure. • More than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused by the accident and the subsequent pollution at the plant site. These ailments include blindness, extreme difficulty in breathing, and gynecological disorders. The site has never been properly cleaned up and it continues to poison the residents of Bhopal. 3. Outline of the essay • 3. Outline of the essay • Part 1 (pp. 1) • Introduction: people live in 2 worlds, natural world and our own world. • Part 2 (pp. 2-5): Why the two worlds are at war? • Part 3 (pp. 6-9) Deal with the first law of the ecosphere and the law governing the relationship between man-made object and the surroundings • Part IV. (pp. 10-11) The closed cyclical process of ecosphere and the linear process of techno-sphere. • Part V. (pp. 12-14) The consistent and harmonious nature of ecosphere as contrasted to the rapid change and variation of the techno- sphere. • Part VI. (pp. 15-16) The consequences of failure of the ecosphere and the techno-sphere. • Part VII. (pp. 17-21) The danger for us to take sides • Part VIII. (pp. 22-23) The importance of interplay. II. Discourse analysis • Guide to Reading • 1. abridge: vt. To make shorter by using fewer words. • e.g. • The story was abridged from the original work. • The rights of citizens must not be abridged. 公民权利不能擅予削减。 He decided to abridge his stay here after he received a letter from home. 他接到家信后决定缩短在这里的逗留时间。 • 2. watershed: n. an event marking a unique or important historical change of course or one on which important developments depend; (= landmark; turning point) • e.g. • Leaving her first job was a watershed in her life. 辞去她的第一份工作是她生活中的一个转 折点。 • Her visit to India proved to be a watershed in her life. 她的印度之行成了她一生的转折点。 • 3. elaborate (on): vi. To express at greater length or in greater detail; (≈clarify) • e.g. • Please elaborate your plan. 请做出详细的计划. • Can you elaborate on that, Mr. fox. 福克斯先生，那个问题能否请您详细阐述一下？ • It takes cunning workmen to make such elaborate furniture. 能工巧匠才能制作如此精致的家具。 4. remedy: to relieve or cure (a disease or disorder • e.g. • Aspirin may remedy a headache. 阿斯匹林可治头痛。 • If I made a mistake, I will try to remedy it. 我如果有错的话,我会改正的。 • Is there a sovereign remedy for this condition? 在这种情况下有没有万全之策? 5. as such: （in and of itself, per se)本身,确切 地说 • e.g. • Wealth, as such, doesn‟t matter much. • （财富本身并不重要．） • I don‟t have a nervous breakdown as such, it was more a reaction to overwork.（我不是真 的得了精神上的病，那只是工作过度的反 映．） 6. instigate: serve as the inciting cause for (＝promote, inspire, incite; ≈cause, stimulate) • e.g. • The antigovernment gangsters instigated a rebellion. • My children finally instigated me to buy a laptop. • instigator: 教唆犯；煽动者 Part 1 ( para.1) two worlds, natural world and our own world • 1. occur, happen, take place • You can say an event occurs. However, you only use occur to talk about events which are not planned. And occur is a fairly formal word. In conversation, you usually say that an event happens. • You do not say that a planned event “occurs” or “happens”. You say that it takes place. • e.g. • Mrs. Weaver had been in the milking shed when the explosion occurred. • You might noticed what happened on Friday. • The first meeting of this committee took place on 9 January. Occur to; happen to Error correction: 1) She no longer cared what happened to her. 2) I wonder what‟s occurred to Jane. 3) The idea/thought had never happened to me. 4) It happened to him that he hadn‟t eaten anything since the night before. 5) It occurred to him to tell the director the problem. 2. exempt; except • exempt: to release from obligation • except: to leave out, omit • e.g. • He is exempt from punishment about this thing. 关于此事对他已免于处分。 • No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly. 谁也难免会讲些废话，错就错在一本正经地讲。 • No admittance except on business. 非公莫入。 • I have no other wish except to pass the examination. 我除了要通过考试之外，没有别的心愿。 • I like her except when she is angry. 除了她发怒的时候,我挺喜欢她。 Part 2 (pp. 2-5) Why two worlds are at war? • 1. breach: • If you breach an agreement, a law, or a promise, you break it. (=violate) • If someone or something breaches a barrier, they make an opening in it, usually leaving it weakened or destroyed (formal). (=rupture) • • e.g. • Traders who breach the rules could face a fine of up to $ 10,000. • The enemy‟s fierce attack finally breached the walls of the city. • 2. On planetary scale, the division between the two worlds has been breached: • Globally, the two worlds are no longer separated, having nothing to do with each other. • This is a transitional sentence, linking up the following part with the first paragraph. 3. unwitting: adj. • If you describe a person or their actions as unwitting, you mean the person does something or is involved in something without realizing it. (=unintentional; ≠witting) • e.g. • We are unwitting victims of the unfair system. • I feel sorry for my unwitting interruption of their private conversation. 4. …even droughts, floods, and heat weaves may become unwitting acts of man: • What people do may unintentionally cause droughts, floods and heat weaves. • 5. Like the Creation, the portending global events are cosmic…(pp.3): • Like the Creation of the universe, events that happen in this world may have vast effects, especially on the relationship between the planet Earth and the sun. 6. portend: to serve as an omen or a warning of; • e.g. • Black clouds portend a storm.乌云是暴风 雨的前兆。 What do these strange events portend? 这些奇怪的事件预示着什么? It portends the approach of a violent revolutionary storm. 预示一场猛烈的革命风暴的来临. 7. exert: exercise; put to use • e.g. • His teachings still exert a strong influence. 他的教导仍在产生巨大影响。 • You'll have to exert yourself more if you want to pass your exam. 你若想考试及格, 就必须更加努力. • To achieve this goal, you must have ambition; likewise you need to exert great efforts. 要实现这一目标,你必须有雄心壮志,同时还 得十分努力。 8. largely: for the most part; mainly; on a large scale • e.g. • His successes were largely due to luck. 他的成功主要靠运气。 • He lived high and expended largely. 他生活讲究，花费很大。 • One's upbringing largely determines success in life. 一个人的教养封一生事业的成功具有决定 性的影响。 9. fluctuate: vary irregularly; be unstable, have ups and downs (= swing) • e.g. • The stock market fluctuates all the time. • The old man fluctuated between hope and fear.(忽喜忽忧) • Prices fluctuate from year to year. 物价年年波动。 10. govern: direct or strongly influence the behavior of; rule • e.g. • You should govern your temper 你应该控制你的情绪。 • Govern by supply and demand, price is the invisible hand in economics 在经济生活中，价格是看不见的手，取决 於供给与需求关系。 • Who are the men who really govern in this country? 谁是这个国家 的真正统治者? • 11. tamper: vi. to interfere in a harmful manner; intrude in other people's affairs or business; interfere in an unwanted way • e.g. • Don‟t tamper with my affairs. (interfere; meddle) • Someone tampered with the documents on my desk. (篡改） • He got the permission by tampering with an official. （贿赂） 12. We have been… unaware, … of the potentially disastrous … • Notice the structure of the sentence. It could be reconstructed in the following way: • Like the Sorcerer‟s Apprentice, we have been tampering with this powerful force, unaware of the potentially disastrous consequences of our actions. • It means: We have been doing things without knowing that they may have serious effects on the planet Earth. • 13. swirl: n. the shape of something rotating rapidly; v. turn in a twisting or spinning motion; • e.g. • Jane today wears a nice hat with a swirl of lace around it. • A swirl of dust forced the girl to cover her face with her hands. • The poor man was swirled away by the current. • 14. But this image, now repeatedly thrust before us in photographs, posters, and advertisements, is misleading.( pp.4.): • The Earth we see in photos, posters, and ads, which appears so beautiful, is not the true reflection of the world we live in. Part III( paras.6-9) 1. One of the basic laws of the ecosphere can be summed up as “ Everything is connected to everything else. “ (para.6): The first law is that in ecosphere, every component is related to other components, thus forming an elaborate network. 2. elaborate: adj.: Planned or executed with painstaking attention to numerous parts or details. (精心制作的） e.g. I'm sure you look more charming in them than any one we shall see in the most elaborate dinner toilette. The tablecloth is very expensive, because if the elaborate lace patterns • 3. aquatic: adj. relating to or consisting of or being in water; • e.g. • Boats are aquatic vehicles. • Water lilies are aquatic plants. • Fish are aquatic animals. • 4. Photosynthesis n. [ U ] 光合作用 • The production of special sugar-like substances that keep plants alive, caused by the action of sunlight on Chlorophyll.( =the green matter in leaves); the way green plants make their own food. • Photosynthetic adj. • 5. habitat: n. the area or environment where an organism or ecological community normally lives or occurs (= home ground) • e.g. • The polar bear‟s habitat is the icy waters of the Arctic. • I prefer to see animals in their natural habitat, rather than in zoos. • 6. The fish is not only, existentially, a fish, but also an element of this network, which defines its functions. ( para. 6): • • The function of the fish is determined by the role it plays in the ecological network. • 7. Indeed, in the evolutionary sense, a good care of the network – the microorganisms and plants, for example – preceded the fish, which could establish itself only because it fitted properly into the preexisting system.( para. 6): • The fish could play its role because it became a necessary link with the processes preceding it and the processes following it in the ecological system. • 8. A car, for example, imposes itself on the neighborhood rather than being defined by it…(para. 7): • A car does not respond to its environment but insists on its own needs being met... • 9. fit in/into: to find a time when something can happen without causing problems e.g. • The gear doesn‟t fit into the machine. • How is the extra work getting to fit into the schedule? • Nancy tried to fit her holidays in with Alex‟s. 10. impose… on/upon…: compel to behave in a certain way (=enforce; ≈ compel) • e.g. • Did you think, child, because you have been able to impose upon your father, that you could impose upon me? • It was now their turn to impose some limit on that sort of science, which had lots of influence on our habitat. 11. accommodate v. :have enough space for • e.g. • Are there enough shelves to accommodate all our books ? • A flat can accommodate a family of five. Part IV ( Paras. 10-11) • 1. respire: v. to breathe in and out; inhale and exhale • e.g. • Say respires when she reaches the top of the hill. • 2. excrete: to get rid of waste material from your body through your bowels, your skin etc. • e.g. • The skin excretes sweat. • Certain plants excrete a sweet juice, apparently for the sake of eliminating something injurious from their sap. 3. mold: n. any of various fungi that often cause disintegration of organic matter (能引起有机 物质分解的真菌) e.g. Throw that bread away. It has been kept for so many days, and there‟s mold on it. • Crops and the animals to which they are fed are eaten by people; their waste is flushed into the sewer system, altered in composition but not in amount at a treatment plant, and the residue is dumped into rivers or the ocean as waste – which upsets the natural aquatic ecosystem.( para.11 ): • People, after digestion, excrete the waste which is flushed into the sewer system. The sewage gets to a treatment plant which modifies it, but it is still waste after being processed. The waste does not reenter the life cycle but disturbs the natural processes wherever it is dumped. The residue of the waste will go into rivers, oceans and will have harmful effect on the aquatic ecosystem. Part V ( Paras 12-14) • 1. compatible - able to exist and perform in harmonious or agreeable combination (= agreeable) • e.g. • People admired this compatible married couple. • Accuracy is not always compatible with haste. 忙中难免出错。 • This printer is compatible with most microcomputers. 这台打印机是与大多数微型电子计算机兼 容的. • 2. trial and error: A method of reaching a correct solution or satisfactory result by trying out various means or theories until error is sufficiently reduced or eliminated. • e.g. • He learned technical skills by trial and error. 他通过不断摸索掌握技能。 • I finally found the right key after lots of trial and error. 经过反复试验，我终于找到了正确的方法。 • 3. tune: v. adjust for (better) functioning (= tune up) • e.g. • The repairman tuned the engine carefully. • Idioms: • tune in • tune out • tune up • 4. leave to (one's) own devices: To allow to do as one pleases. • e.g. • Parents should leave their children to their own devices for an hour in the afternoon. • 5. Left to their own devices, ecosystems are conservative… ( para.12): • If the ecosystems are not upset by outside intrusion, they will remain the same with very little change. • 6. In contrast to the ecosphere, the technosphere is composed of objects and materials that reflect a rapid and relentless process of change and variation. (para.13.): • The characteristics of the objects and materials in the technosphere are of rapid change and great variety. 7. Model T Ford: = Ford Model T • The Ford Model T was an automobile produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from 1908 through 1927. The model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile came into popular usage. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car which "put America on wheels“. • 8. array: n. an orderly arrangement (≈arrangement) • e.g. • He turned and strode away, across the dewy fields, and disappeared beyond an array of trees. • The tiled floor was thick with dust, and a remarkable array of miscellaneous objects was veiled in the same grey covering. • 10. biodegradable: adj. tech able to be broken down into harmless products by the natural action of living things (e.g. • bacteria) 生物分解 • e.g. • A biodegradable detergent is welcomed at the market. Part VI ( Paras. 15 – 16 ) 1. with respect to: concerning e.g. Handle students administration with respect to humanity.(坚持以人为本做好学生工作) With respect to the present situation, I am afraid that I am not able to tell you our decision right now. 2. at first glance: on initial consideration(= at first sight) • e.g. • At first glance the plan seemed unworkable. • I feel like a new man; and although at first glance I might be mistaken for a Safety Deposit Vault, I beg you to remember that my Brains are still composed of the same old material. • 3. Yet nearly every modern technology has grave faults, which appear not as a failure to accomplish its designed purpose but as a serious impact on the environment. ( para. 15): • The fault of most modern technology is not with its failure to meet the designed purpose, • but with its adverse effect on the environment. • 4. emit: v. give off, send forth, or discharge; as of light, heat, or radiation, vapor, etc.; (= give out, give off) • The ozone layer blocks some harmful rays which the sun emits. • The chimney emitted a cloud of smoke. • 5. contaminate - make impure; (= pollute) • e.g. • The industrial wastes contaminated the lake. • Don't drink the water--it's contaminated. • 6. Regard only as a failure in the plant‟s function, the accident at Chernobyl amounts to a serious but local fire that destroyed the plant. • Notice the position of the word “but”. Normally we can say “…amount to merely a serious local fire that…”. If so, the tune is rather flat and pale. Here the author employs the writing skill -- “anticlimax” to achieve the sarcastic tone. anticlimax • e.g. • "Seldom has a city gained such world renown, and I am proud and happy to welcome you to Hiroshima, a town known throughout the world for its---oysters." 这里是广岛市长说的话，作者本意为市长 会说广岛之所以闻名于世是因为那场骇人 听闻的大灾难（原子弹爆炸），谁知道市 长却说广岛是因牡蛎而出名。这里用了突 降法的修辞手法，起到讽刺的作用。 7. resultant: adj. resulting, esp. as the total outcome of more or less opposed forces • e.g. • Use shaded skylights to compensate for any resultant loss of natural daylight. 运用带有遮阳的天窗以弥补自然光的损失。 • If the syllabus was accepted by the majority of students , it would be unnecessary to answer all resultant complaints.如果课程规划当初 得到了大多数同学接受，那么就没有必要 回答由此而来的抱怨。 8. acknowledge: v. declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of; (= admit) • e.g. I acknowledge that her criticism is just. 我承认她的批评是公正的。 He is unwilling to acknowledge defeat. 他不愿认输。 I passed her in the street but she didn't even acknowledge me when I smiled. 我在街上遇到她，可是当我向她微笑时， 她却连招呼都没有向我打一个。 • 9. unmet: adj. not satisfied or fulfilled • e.g. How can one know what needs are involved in conflict situations? How can one know what human needs are being met and unmet? 10. mortgage:按揭 • e.g. • I have bought a house by paying my mortgage in monthly installment. 我以每月分期付款偿 还按揭购买了一套房子． • Primary mortgage loan notes．一手楼按揭贷 款须知． • 11. In the technosphere, debts are repaid from within and, at least in theory, are always capable of being paid off, or, in some cases, canceled. (Para.16): • In the economic field, debts are repaid with the production of goods. Debts are required to be repaid, unless they are canceled. Part VII ( Paras. 17-21) 1. In terms of :With regard to; from the point of view of e.g. In terms of cash outlay, the sum is peanuts. 从花费来看,这笔钱乃区区小数 Think of it in terms of an investment. 从投资的角度来考虑那件事. It is difficult to express it in terms of science. 要用科学的字眼来表达它是很困难的。 2. Interplay ( of , between) n.: the action or effect of two or more things on each other (= interaction) • e.g. • I‟m interested in the interplay between practical and theoretical linguistics. • The problems result from the interplay of the ecosphere and the technosphere. • Classroom teaching is the interplay between the teacher and the student. • 3. Of course, as in a conventional war, the issues can be simplified by taking sides; ignoring the interests of one combatant or the other. But this is done only at the cost of understanding.(Para.18): • If we take sides in the war of the two worlds, we are doing so at the risk of failing to have a clear understanding of the nature and cause of the war. Thus, we lose the chance to really solve the grave environmental crisis. • 4. take sides: to support one person, group, or opinion over another • e.g. • I never take sides. 我从不偏袒哪一方。 • A parent shouldn't take sides when children start quarrelling with each other. 当孩子们吵架时，父母都不该插手盲目袒 护自己的孩子。 • 5. mediate: To resolve or settle (differences) by working with all the conflicting parties • e.g. • He mediated a settlement between labor and management.他在劳资双方间通过调停达成 和解。 • He tried to mediate between two warring countries. 他试图在两个交战国之间进行斡 旋 • The dispute was settled by mediation. • 爭端已被調解了。 • 6. concoct: If you concoct an excuse, explanation, or account, you invent one that is false or misleading. • e.g. • The child concocted a story about having been attacked. • He concocted a plan to get rich quickly. • He had to hastily concoct an excuse. 7. allot; allocate • allot: share (a larger number or amount) • allocate: assign for a specific purpose • e.g. • The school board will allocate funds for the baseball team. • The school board will allot funds among the departments according to need. • They allot the profits of the business by the end of a year. 他们年终分配红利 • 8. inducement: act or means of persuading • e.g. • Reward is an inducement effort. 报酬使人们努力工作。 • He hasn„t much inducement to study English. 他没有学习英语的兴趣。 • They have little inducement to work harder. 没有什么可以使他们更加努力工作. • 9. endow: give qualities or abilities to (= empower; ≈give ) • e.g. • Nature has endowed the wolf with the means of catching its food. • 10. thrust: the essence; the point • e.g. • The whole thrust of the project was to make money. • What was the thrust of his argument? 他的论据的要点是什麽? Part VIII (Paras. 22 -23) • 1. bewildering - causing bafflement (= unclear) • e.g. • The play was at the same time a bewildering and an exciting experience. • The reason for their actions is bewildering to this day. • 2. as yet - used in negative statement to describe a situation that has existed up to this point or up to the present time (= thus far, till now, yet) • e.g. • We are as yet unable to say when the train will arrive. 我们还说不上火车什么时候到达。 • We should be responsible for the generation as yet unborn. 我们应该对下一代负责。 IV. Assignment • Translate the following passage from Chinese into Chinese: • The early snows fall soft and white and seem to heal the • landscape. There are as yet no tracks through the drifts, no • muddied slush in the roads. The wind sweeps snow into the • scars of our harvest time haste, smoothing the brow of hill, • hiding furrow and cog and trash in the yard. Snow muffles • the shriek of metal and the rasp of motion. It covers our flintier purposes and brings a redeeming silence, as if a curtain has • fallen on the strivings of a year, and now we may stop, look in ward, and rediscover the amber warmth of family and conversation. • At such times, locked away inside wall and woole n, lulled by the sedatives of wood-smoke and • candlelight, we recall the competing claims of • nature. We see the branch and bark of trees, rather than the sugar-scented green of their leaves. We • look out the window and admire the elegance of • ice crystal, the bravely patient tree leaning leafless into the wind, the dramatic shadows of the • stooping sun. We look at the structure of things, • the geometry of branch and snowflake, family and deed. • Thank you!
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