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VOA标准英语2013--Report: Environment and Food Needs Can be Met

时间:2013-01-02 11:18来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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Report: Environment and Food Needs Can be Met

Agriculture has been a major driver of human-caused climate change, responsible for up to 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions1. At the same time, it’s also extremely vulnerable to the effects of rising temperatures. But a new report says agricultural innovations can result in climate-friendly food production.

Droughts, floods, severe storms and unpredictable weather patterns have all been blamed on climate change. The Worldwatch Institute says the events not only “affect people’s daily routines, but disrupt life-sustaining agriculture.”

In 2012, the Midwestern United States breadbasket suffered record heat and severe drought. Super storm Hurricane Sandy slammed into the eastern U.S. In 2011, severe drought worsened a humanitarian2 crisis in Somalia. In 2010, Russian wheat farmers experienced their worst drought in more than a hundred years. The list goes on.

What’s more, the report says the “challenges are expected to grow more pervasive3 in the future.”

Danielle Nierenberg is co-founder of the research group Food Tank and former director of Worldwatch’s Nourishing the Planet Project. The co-author of the report - Innovations in Sustainable Agriculture - said agriculture currently contributes to climate change in many ways.

“Because industrial agriculture tends to be very resource intensive, uses a lot of fossil fuels, it’s a huge contributor to climate change. Anywhere from 25 to 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the agriculture sector4. If you look at all the ingredients that really go into making food – fertilizers, pesticides5, antibiotic6 use, transportation, processing facilities – all those things are very dependent on fossil fuels,” she said.

Livestock7, in particular, has a major effect on the environment.

“Because meat consumption is growing, particularly in places like Brazil and China and India the market is responding. There are more industrial animal facilities or factory farms that are cropping up in places in the developing world. And those factories really require a lot of fossil fuel inputs8. They require long distance transportation. So, all those things can contribute to climate change,” she said.

The report says that agriculture can adapt to these challenges. At the same time it can reduce its environmental footprint and meet the food needs of a growing population.

It outlines – what it calls – six sustainable approaches to land and water use. Nierenberg says they can help food producers adapt to climate change and mitigate9 its effects, as well.

These include agroforestry or growing trees on farmland to reduce erosion, remove carbon dioxide from the air and keep soil healthier. The trees also provide shade for livestock and create wildlife habitats.

Planting cover crops, the report says, can make soil less vulnerable to drought, heat and pests. Urban farming is another recommendation.

“Growing more food in cities can reduce transportation costs. So, urban residents can buy very locally from rooftops or backyards in their communities. So you’re reducing transportation. You’re making a city more green and helping10 sequester11 carbon so that it’s not just a concrete jungle, but a place that really supports food production,” Nierenberg said.

There are also innovations in water conservation, such as recycling wastewater in cities, drip irrigation and catching12 and storing rainwater. Nierenberg says it’s also better to use indigenous13 crops and livestock that are adapted to particular climates.

“These are breeds that are very resistant14 to high temperatures or very resistant to diseases that occur when temperatures rise. For live stock, in particular, well meaning missionaries15 have been trying to encourage pastoralists in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere to adopt more exotic, higher producing breeds of livestock for many years. And while those breeds can produce a lot more meat or more milk, they often become too expensive for traditional breeders or traditional pastoralists to raise because they get sick very easily. They need a lot more water. They need a lot more food,” she said.

Nierenberg said that over the next 50 years, African farmers have the ability to sequester or trap 50 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere. She says while all the recommendations are practical, there are obstacles to putting them into practice.

“Funders and donors16 and development agencies and NGOs tend not to recognize the importance of things already working on the ground. It’s often easier to get funding for some sexy new technology rather than investing in things that have been working for decades or in some cases even centuries,” she said.

The Worldwatch Institute report warns that “climate change will clearly have dramatic impacts on the agricultural sector and on global food production. It adds that “techniques that can help food producers mitigate or adapt to climate change will enable farmers and consumers to better survive an era of unpredictable weather patterns and a steadily17 warming climate.”


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 emissions 1a87f8769eb755734e056efecb5e2da9     
排放物( emission的名词复数 ); 散发物(尤指气体)
参考例句:
  • Most scientists accept that climate change is linked to carbon emissions. 大多数科学家都相信气候变化与排放的含碳气体有关。
  • Dangerous emissions radiate from plutonium. 危险的辐射物从钚放散出来。
2 humanitarian kcoxQ     
n.人道主义者,博爱者,基督凡人论者
参考例句:
  • She has many humanitarian interests and contributes a lot to them.她拥有很多慈善事业,并作了很大的贡献。
  • The British government has now suspended humanitarian aid to the area.英国政府现已暂停对这一地区的人道主义援助。
3 pervasive T3zzH     
adj.普遍的;遍布的,(到处)弥漫的;渗透性的
参考例句:
  • It is the most pervasive compound on earth.它是地球上最普遍的化合物。
  • The adverse health effects of car exhaust are pervasive and difficult to measure.汽车尾气对人类健康所构成的有害影响是普遍的,并且难以估算。
4 sector yjczYn     
n.部门,部分;防御地段,防区;扇形
参考例句:
  • The export sector will aid the economic recovery. 出口产业将促进经济复苏。
  • The enemy have attacked the British sector.敌人已进攻英国防区。
5 pesticides abb0488ed6905584ea91347395a890e8     
n.杀虫剂( pesticide的名词复数 );除害药物
参考例句:
  • vegetables grown without the use of pesticides 未用杀虫剂种植的蔬菜
  • There is a lot of concern over the amount of herbicides and pesticides used in farming. 人们对农业上灭草剂和杀虫剂的用量非常担忧。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 antibiotic KNJzd     
adj.抗菌的;n.抗生素
参考例句:
  • The doctor said that I should take some antibiotic.医生说我应该服些用抗生素。
  • Antibiotic can be used against infection.抗菌素可以用来防止感染。
7 livestock c0Wx1     
n.家畜,牲畜
参考例句:
  • Both men and livestock are flourishing.人畜两旺。
  • The heavy rains and flooding killed scores of livestock.暴雨和大水淹死了许多牲口。
8 inputs a8aff967e1649a1c82ea607c881e8091     
n.输入( input的名词复数 );投入;输入端;输入的数据v.把…输入电脑( input的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • Uncheck the inputs checked for optimization in the previous stage. 不测试那些已经测试过的优化了的以前步骤的inputs.(变量参数)。 来自互联网
  • Just in case, save in a file the inputs obtained at the previous stage. 以防万一,保存以前步骤获得的inputs(变量参数值)到一个文件中去。 来自互联网
9 mitigate EjRyf     
vt.(使)减轻,(使)缓和
参考例句:
  • The government is trying to mitigate the effects of inflation.政府正试图缓和通货膨胀的影响。
  • Governments should endeavour to mitigate distress.政府应努力缓解贫困问题。
10 helping 2rGzDc     
n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的
参考例句:
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
11 sequester Czhw5     
vt.使退隐,使隔绝
参考例句:
  • Everything he owned was sequestered.他的所有财产都被扣押了。
  • This jury is expected to be sequestered for at least two months.预计这个陪审团将至少被隔离两个月。
12 catching cwVztY     
adj.易传染的,有魅力的,迷人的,接住
参考例句:
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
13 indigenous YbBzt     
adj.土产的,土生土长的,本地的
参考例句:
  • Each country has its own indigenous cultural tradition.每个国家都有自己本土的文化传统。
  • Indians were the indigenous inhabitants of America.印第安人是美洲的土著居民。
14 resistant 7Wvxh     
adj.(to)抵抗的,有抵抗力的
参考例句:
  • Many pests are resistant to the insecticide.许多害虫对这种杀虫剂有抵抗力。
  • They imposed their government by force on the resistant population.他们以武力把自己的统治强加在持反抗态度的人民头上。
15 missionaries 478afcff2b692239c9647b106f4631ba     
n.传教士( missionary的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Some missionaries came from England in the Qing Dynasty. 清朝时,从英国来了一些传教士。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The missionaries rebuked the natives for worshipping images. 传教士指责当地人崇拜偶像。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
16 donors 89b49c2bd44d6d6906d17dca7315044b     
n.捐赠者( donor的名词复数 );献血者;捐血者;器官捐献者
参考例句:
  • Please email us to be removed from our active list of blood donors. 假如你想把自己的名字从献血联系人名单中删去,请给我们发电子邮件。
  • About half this amount comes from individual donors and bequests. 这笔钱大约有一半来自个人捐赠及遗赠。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 steadily Qukw6     
adv.稳定地;不变地;持续地
参考例句:
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
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TAG标签:   VOA标准英语  Environment  Food
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