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阴霾笼罩的夏日

http://www.yiyingyu.com - 发布时间:2010-08-06 - 所在栏目: 阅读

russia's ability to deal with its legendarily severe winters is a source of national pride. but now russia's survival skills have been tested by the hottest summer since records began, 130 years ago. in the country's central region temperatures have not dropped below 30°c since mid-june; in recent days the mercury has risen as high as 37°c.


能让俄罗斯人举国自豪的要算他们抵抗无以伦比的酷寒能力了。自从130年前开始有了夏日气温的记载以来,今年可谓是史上最为炎热的夏天,炎炎的酷暑“烤验”着俄罗斯人的生存技能。自六月中旬以来,国家的中心区温度一直保持在30°c以上。而近日气温更是冲高到了37°c。


a haze from forest and peat-bog fires around moscow has enveloped the city, turning the multicoloured domes of st basil’s cathedral into ghostly apparitions. moscow's air is polluted at the best of times, but this smog, heavy with carbon monoxide, makes breathing difficult. outside the city a swathe of farmland the size of portugal has been destroyed.


整个莫斯科笼罩在城郊树林和泥炭沼火场飘散而至的淡淡薄烟中,连平日光华绚丽的圣巴索大教堂穹顶也平添了几分鬼魅的气息。即使是天气最好的时候,空气也是污浊的,烟雾里混杂着浓烈的一氧化碳,散发着呛鼻的味道,连呼吸都变得很困难。郊外的大片农地被彻底摧毁,方圆足有葡萄牙国土面积大小。


forest and peat-bog fires are normal summer events in the european part of russia. but this year the heatwave has lent them greater ferocity, giving the capital an apocalyptic feel. in a country that is not equipped for heat, this is an emergency. the number of corpses being brought into moscow morgues has more than doubled, to around 25 a day. most, though not all, are elderly.


处于欧洲大陆部分的俄罗斯,树林和泥炭沼的火灾在每年夏天本是司空见惯了的。但是今年的酷热天气助长了火势的气焰,燃烧得异常猛烈,整个首府好象在一场末日的浩劫中飘摇。对一个酷暑防备不足的国家,这也只能算是一种意外事件。送进莫斯科殓尸房的死者数量增加了一倍还多,每天大概都有25具。尽管不都是老者,他们的人数也占去了大半。


yet it is russia’s self-destructive streak that has turned testing weather into a tragedy. in the past two months over 2,000 people have drowned trying to escape the heat by dunking themselves in lakes and rivers. (for comparison, 13,000 soviet soldiers died during the ten-year afghan campaign.) fully 90% of them were drunken men, say officials.


然而能够把折磨人的天气变成一场灾难,也许就是俄罗斯人自我糟践的本性所致了。过去的两个月,人们为了躲避酷暑而试图把自己浸泡在湖水和河水中,结果造成两千多人溺亡。(不妨对比一下数字,苏联与阿富汗的10年的战争才死了一万三千名士兵。)据一些官员称,溺亡的人中足有九成的人是醉酒后才下河的男人。


such booze-induced accidents are typical in russia, where, according to some estimates, alcohol is responsible for over 400,000 deaths a year—whether through heart disease, accidents, suicides or murders. this deepens russia’s demographic decline, in which the population of 142m has been shrinking by up to 700,000 a year. corruption and regulatory failures, including low excise duties on spirits, add to the blight.


象这样由于酗酒而导致的事故也只有在俄罗斯才常见,据一些数字估计,无论是心脏病突发,意外事故,自杀还是他杀,每年死于酒精的人多达40多万之众。各种事故加剧了俄罗斯人口下降的趋势,总数一亿四千万的人口正以每年减少70万的速度萎缩。官僚腐败与管理不力,加上烈性酒税率偏低,都是造成这些不幸的祸因。


similar forces are at play with russia's environment. even as people gasp for air in moscow, russia's authorities have begun to cut down the forests that surround the city, ostensibly to make space for a badly needed road from moscow to st petersburg. given the apparently excessive size of the clearance and the eccentric choice of route, some detect a stink of corruption in the smoky air. but instead of fighting graft, the authorities have been battling environmentalists and concerned residents. as for the bureaucrats, few will breathe in the pollution. many will take the new fast road to moscow’s international airport to find respite in more pleasant corners of europe.


类似的祸因也在拿破坏俄罗斯的环境当儿戏。正当人们渴望俄罗斯当局能够想办法改善莫斯科的空气质量时,他们却跑去砍伐市郊环城的树木了,看上去好像真的是在给亟需待建的莫斯科到圣彼得堡的公路打通道路空间。可是开辟出的空间却明显过宽甚至是多余,路线的选择也不合常理,有些人甚至在浓密的烟雾中察觉嗅到了腐败恶臭的气息。但是当局不但不去整治贪污贿赂的腐败行为,却反而处处刁难环保人士和忧虑不安的当地居民。对于这些当权者而言,他们可不愿意呼吸那些污浊的空气。他们中的许多人会马上启程赶到莫斯科国际机场,暂避到风景宜人的欧洲各地。

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