在特朗普政府淡化全球变暖的同时,各机构也在记录气候影响
As Trump Administration Downplays Warming, Agencies Chronicle Climate Impacts
3020字
2019-10-10 20:21
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火星译客

Trump administration officials tend to talk around climate change, but in official documents, they outline an unfolding crisis of extinctions, flooding and fire.

特朗普政府官员倾向于围绕气候变化展开讨论,但在官方文件中,他们概述了一场正在上演的物种灭绝、洪水和火灾危机。

Agencies under President Trump are cataloging climate impacts in the mandatory environmental reviews that precede major federal actions. They describe worsening damage to virtually every ecosystem, from entire forests down to the ocean’s smallest life forms. But officials use those same documents to minimize the connection between that damage and human-caused emissions, especially when the government is considering the impacts of fossil fuel projects, like drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

特朗普总统手下的机构在联邦政府采取重大行动之前对强制性环境审查的气候影响进行了分类。他们描述了从整个森林到海洋中最小的生命形式几乎每一个生态系统的恶化。但官员们利用这些文件,将这种损害与人为排放之间的联系最小化,尤其是在政府考虑化石燃料项目如在北极国家野生动物保护区(Arctic National Wildlife Refuge)钻探石油的影响时。

What emerges from these documents is a story of the Trump administration in microcosm. While officials tell the public not to worry about climate change, they’re running departments that warn of massive damage already unfolding. The administration masks its contribution to that damage by pointing to the small impact of individual oil wells and coal mines—a distraction, experts say, from its energy agenda’s huge cumulative impact.

从这些文件中浮现出的是特朗普政府的一个缩影。虽然官员们告诉公众不要担心气候变化,但其管理部门警告,大规模破坏已经开始显现。奥巴马政府通过指出个别油井和煤矿的微小影响,掩盖了它是造成这种损害的原因这一事实——专家们说,这种影响分散了其能源议程累积的巨大影响。

The documents show that without a broad look at government-sanctioned emissions, the Trump administration has been able to downplay the climate impacts of individual fossil fuel projects and regulatory rollbacks as too insignificant to affect global temperatures.

这些文件显示,如果不对政府批准的排放进行全面审视,特朗普政府就能够淡化个别化石燃料项目和监管倒退对气候的影响,认为它们太微不足道,无法影响全球气温。

For example, the administration has said it’s impossible to estimate an oil lease’s emissions because it depends on the drilling equipment, extra infrastructure like pipelines and the oil’s final use. Officials claim it’s impossible to know if forgoing an oil lease would lower emissions. Whatever the true drilling impact, they often say, it’s too small on its own to change global temperatures.

例如,奥巴马政府曾表示,不可能估算出石油租约的排放量,因为它取决于钻探设备、额外的管道等基础设施以及石油的最终用途。官员们声称,不可能知道放弃石油租约是否会降低排放。他们常说,不管钻探的真正影响是什么,它本身太小,不足以改变全球气温。

The consequences of these halfhearted climate analyses are still taking shape. They’re unlikely to jeopardize individual projects, experts say, but some see it as a legal vulnerability that could critically delay Trump’s agenda as the administration scrambles to lock in its actions before the 2020 election.

这些敷衍的气候分析所造成的后果初具雏形。专家们表示,它们不太可能危及单个项目,但一些人认为,这是一个法律漏洞,可能会严重拖延特朗普的议程,因为特朗普政府正忙于在2020年大选前锁定议程的行动。

If what’s missing from the documents could be problematic, then what’s included could also prove damaging in the hands of an energized climate movement.

如果这些文件中缺少的东西可能是有问题的,那么在一个充满活力的气候运动中包含的东西也可能被证明是有害的。

The Trump administration’s own environmental reviews reveal a road map to the country’s biggest climate vulnerabilities: Arctic birds could suffer “catastrophic” effects of warming. Arizona’s ponderosa pine forests face a “clear threat” from changing conditions. Shifts in where ticks and mosquitoes can infect people with diseases like plague and Zika are "already occurring.”

特朗普政府自己的环境评估揭示了美国最大的气候弱点的路线图:北极鸟类可能遭受气候变暖的“灾难性”影响。亚利桑那州的黄松森林面临着环境变化的“明显威胁”。蜱虫和蚊子可以感染鼠疫和寨卡病毒等疾病的地区正在发生变化。

Some experts read these admissions as the product of career scientists quietly working in a little-noticed arena. Others see a more insidious pattern.

一些专家认为,这些承认是职业科学家在一个不太引人注意的领域默默工作的结果。其他人则看到了一种更为阴险的模式。

In some cases, the Trump administration’s environmental reviews have framed climate change as an unstoppable global force that swamps U.S. actions: Federal greenhouse gas rules are irrelevant amid rising international emissions; the local impacts of drilling are drowned out by the sweeping ecological changes of global warming.

在某些情况下,特朗普政府的环境评估将气候变化描述为一股势不可挡的全球力量,淹没了美国的行动:在国际排放不断上升的情况下,联邦温室气体法规无关紧要;钻探对当地的影响被全球变暖带来的生态变化所淹没。

That framing is a way to protect fossil fuel interests without the extra burden of fighting science, advocates said.

支持者说,这种框架是保护化石燃料利益的一种方式,而不用承担对抗科学的额外负担。

“This is a coordinated effort across agencies,” said Rachel Cleetus, policy director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ climate and energy program.

“这是跨部门的协调努力,”忧思科学家联盟(Union of Concerned Scientists)气候与能源项目政策主任雷切尔·克利特斯(Rachel Cleetus)说。

“The thread that’s running through it all is that basically, first: Deny, deny, deny. Then, when you have to concede the science, because it’s real and obvious and there’s such overwhelming evidence, you go to exactly this place. ... ‘There’s nothing to be done about it, so let’s just let the worst-case scenario unfold.’”

“贯穿这一切的主线基本上是,第一:否认,否认,否认。然后,当你不得不承认科学,因为它是真实而明显的,有如此压倒性的证据,你就会来到这个地方。我们对此无能为力,所以让最坏的情况发生吧。”

‘The most significant threat’

“最大的威胁”

More than 150 years ago, leprosy arrived in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

150多年前,麻风病来到夏威夷王国。

King Kamehameha V, watching an epidemic unfold, exiled anyone with the disease to the remote Kalaupapa peninsula, where sufferers would be quarantined by cliffs on one side and ocean on the other. It was more of an open-air prison than a hospital. A man who was sent there at age 13 recalled the guards telling him, “This is your last place. This is where you are going to stay, and die.”

国王卡米哈米哈五世(Kamehameha V)目睹了一场流行病的爆发,将任何有这种疾病的人流放到偏远的卡劳帕帕半岛(Kalaupapa peninsula)。与其说这是一所医院,不如说这是一所露天监狱。一名13岁时被送到这里的男子回忆说,警卫告诉他,“这是你最后的地方。”这是你要呆的地方,你会死的。”

More than 15 cemeteries and several hundred unmarked graves rest on the low-lying peninsula. The quarantine law was lifted in 1969 after a leprosy treatment was developed, though some residents chose to stay in the only home they’d ever known. About a dozen still live there today.

在这个地势低洼的半岛上,有超过15个墓地和几百个没有标记的坟墓。1969年,在麻风病治疗被开发出来后,隔离法被取消,尽管一些居民选择住在他们所知道的唯一的房子里。大约有12个现在还住在那里。

But tomorrow is an open question.

但明天是一个悬而未决的问题。

The National Park Service found in 2018 that Kalaupapa’s historic buildings and cultural sites are threatened by sea-level rise. So is the land itself; the peninsula’s sandy beaches are being “reduced or eliminated” by climate-fueled erosion, leaving sea creatures without nesting spots. Hawaii has experienced more than 5 inches of sea-level rise already, and large waves that appear without warning—so-called sneaker waves—can penetrate deep into the coastal park, the service’s environmental review found.

国家公园管理局在2018年发现,Kalaupapa的历史建筑和文化遗址受到海平面上升的威胁。土地本身也是如此;由于气候侵蚀,半岛的沙滩正在“减少或消失”,海洋生物没有筑巢的地方。夏威夷已经经历了超过5英寸的海平面上升,没有预警的大浪——所谓的运动鞋浪——可以渗透到海岸公园的深处,该服务的环境评论发现。

A more detailed analysis of climate impacts was shelved, even as Hawaii warned that federal actions “do not engage” with the state’s climate plan. The park service declined to use the 2018 review to dive deep into climate impacts—despite a 2015 draft of the review that had discussed it at length.

更详细的气候影响分析被搁置,尽管夏威夷警告说联邦行动“不参与”该州的气候计划。国家公园管理局拒绝利用2018年的审查来深入研究气候影响——尽管2015年的审查草案对其进行了详细的讨论。

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