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豆知识 2011-05-01&05-07 物品的故事(5/5)

时间:2011-09-09 02:20来源:互联网 提供网友:gmeng   字体: [ ]
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 In the U.S., we spend three to four times as many hours shopping as our counterparts in Europe do. So we’re in this ridiculous situation where we go to work, maybe two jobs even, and we come home when we’re exhausted1, so we plop down on our new couch and watch TV, and the commercials tell us: you suck! So we gotta go to the mall to buy something to feel better, and then you gotta go to work more to pay for the stuff you just bought so you come home and you’re more tired so you sit down and watch more TV until it tells you to go to the mall again. And we are on this crazy work-watch-spend treadmill2. And we could just stop.

So in the end, what happens to all the stuff we buy anyway? At this rate of consumption, it can't fit into our houses even though the average house size is doubled in this county since the 1970s. It all goes out in the garbage. And that brings us to disposal.
This is the part of the material economy we all know the most because we have to haul the junk out to the curb3 by ourselves. Each of us in the United States makes four and a half pounds of garbage a day. That's twice what we each made 30 years ago. All of this garbage, either gets dumped in a landfill which is just a big hole in the ground, or if you’re really unlucky, first it's burned in an incinerator and then dumped in a landfill. Either way, they both pollute the air, land, water and, don't forget, change the climate. 
Incineration is really bad. Remember those toxics5 back in the production stage? Well burning the garbage releases the toxics up into the air. Even worse, it makes new super toxics, like dioxin. Dioxin is the most toxic4 man-made substance known to science and incinerators are the number one source of dioxin. That means that we could stop the number one source of the most toxic man-made substance known just by stopping burning the trash. We could stop it today. Now some companies don't want to deal with building landfills and incinerators here. So they just export the disposal too. 
What about recycling? Does recycling help? Yes, recycling helps. Recycling reduces the garbage at this end and it reduces the pressure to mine and harvest new stuff at this end. Yes, yes, yes, we should all recycle. But recycling is not enough. Recycling will never be enough, for a couple of reasons. 
First, the waste coming out of our houses is just the tip of the iceberg6. For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream just to make the junk in that one garbage can you put out on the curb. So even if we could recycle 100 percent of the waste coming out of our households, it doesn’t get to the core of the problems. 
Also, much of the garbage can't be recycled. Either because it contains too many toxics, or it's designed not to be recyclable in the first place. Like those juice packs, with their layers of metal and paper and plastic all smashed together, you can never separate those for true recycling.  
So you see, it is a system in crisis. All along the way we are bumping up against limits. From changing climate to declining happiness, it's just not working. But the good thing about such an all-pervasive problem is that there are so many points of intervention7. There are people working here on saving forests and here on clean protection. People working on labor8 rights and fair trades, and conscious consuming, and blocking landfills and incinerators, and very importantly, on taking back our government so that it really is by the people and for the people. All of this work is critically important. But things are really gonna start moving when we see the connections, when we see the big picture. When people along this system get united, we can reclaim9 and transform this linear system into something new, a system that doesn't waste resources or people.  
Because what we really need to chuck is that old-school throw-away mindset. There's a new-school of thinking on this stuff and it's based on sustainability and equality, green chemistry, zero waste, close loop production, renewable energy, local living economies. It's already happening. Now some say it's unrealistic, idealistic, that it can’t happen. But I say the ones who are unrealistic are those who want to continue with the old path. That's dreaming.
Remember that old way didn't just happen. It's not like gravity that we’ve just gotta live with. People created it. And we’re people too. So let's create something too.

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1 exhausted 7taz4r     
adj.极其疲惫的,精疲力尽的
参考例句:
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
2 treadmill 1pOyz     
n.踏车;单调的工作
参考例句:
  • The treadmill has a heart rate monitor.跑步机上有个脉搏监视器。
  • Drugs remove man from the treadmill of routine.药物可以使人摆脱日常单调的工作带来的疲劳。
3 curb LmRyy     
n.场外证券市场,场外交易;vt.制止,抑制
参考例句:
  • I could not curb my anger.我按捺不住我的愤怒。
  • You must curb your daughter when you are in church.你在教堂时必须管住你的女儿。
4 toxic inSwc     
adj.有毒的,因中毒引起的
参考例句:
  • The factory had accidentally released a quantity of toxic waste into the sea.这家工厂意外泄漏大量有毒废物到海中。
  • There is a risk that toxic chemicals might be blasted into the atmosphere.爆炸后有毒化学物质可能会进入大气层。
5 toxics cdd8caa9b9288a5ba8af9d3d57118b04     
n.毒物(toxic的复数形式)
参考例句:
  • Corrosives are generally toxic, so follow the precautions cited in the following section on toxics. 腐蚀剂一般来说是有毒的,所以请遵守下文关于毒品的防范措施。 来自互联网
  • Objective To evaluate the diagnostic methods and treatment of gastric ulcer perforating with toxics tubular necrosis. 目的探讨胃溃疡穿孔合并中毒性肾小管坏死的诊断方法与治疗方案。 来自互联网
6 iceberg CbKx0     
n.冰山,流冰,冷冰冰的人
参考例句:
  • The ship hit an iceberg and went under.船撞上一座冰山而沉没了。
  • The glacier calved a large iceberg.冰河崩解而形成一个大冰山。
7 intervention e5sxZ     
n.介入,干涉,干预
参考例句:
  • The government's intervention in this dispute will not help.政府对这场争论的干预不会起作用。
  • Many people felt he would be hostile to the idea of foreign intervention.许多人觉得他会反对外来干预。
8 labor P9Tzs     
n.劳动,努力,工作,劳工;分娩;vi.劳动,努力,苦干;vt.详细分析;麻烦
参考例句:
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
9 reclaim NUWxp     
v.要求归还,收回;开垦
参考例句:
  • I have tried to reclaim my money without success.我没能把钱取回来。
  • You must present this ticket when you reclaim your luggage.当你要取回行李时,必须出示这张票子。
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TAG标签:   豆知识  物品的故事
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