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每日英語跟讀 Ep.783: 氣候威脅升高 更多城市抗拒開發 As Climate Risks Rise, More Cities Tell Developers ‘No’

As Climate Risks Rise, More Cities Tell Developers ‘No’

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.783: As Climate Risks Rise, More Cities Tell Developers ‘No’

Glimpsed from a kayak on West Neck Creek, this swampy piece of land, a pocket of red maple and loblolly pine tucked behind growing subdivisions, does not look like the stuff of existential debate.

美國維吉尼亞州維吉尼亞海灘市南部的「西頸河自然區」,從一隻獨木舟上看去,有片生長著紅花槭和火炬松的沼澤地隱藏在日漸擴增的住宅群後方,看來不像是一場存亡論戰的題材。

But this is where Virginia Beach, squeezed between the clamor for new housing and the relentlessness of flooding worsened by climate change, decided to draw its line in the mud.

這塊泥地卻是維吉尼亞海灘市決定劃清界線的地方。這座城市處在兩股壓力的擠壓之下,一邊是人們對新住宅的強烈需求,另一邊則是因氣候變遷而加劇的無情洪患。

The city last year became one of a small but growing number of communities willing to say no to developers — despite their political and economic clout — when it rejected a proposal to build a few dozen homes on this soggy parcel of 50 acres, arguing that those homes would be unsafe. The developers sued, accusing officials of making their project a scapegoat as voters clamored for action after disastrous flooding.

維吉尼亞海灘市去年無視於開發商的政治與經濟影響力,決定向開發商說不,加入美國為數不多、但逐漸增加的群體的行列,當時市府拒絕了在這片50英畝濕地上建造數十間住宅的提案,認為這些房子安全堪虞。開發商控告市府,在選民疾呼為災難性洪水拿出行動之際,把他們的建案當作替罪羊。

In May, a judge ruled that Virginia Beach was within its rights to stop the development. The city’s experience could become a harbinger for others nationwide.

今年五月,法官裁定維吉尼亞海灘市有權終止開發案。這座城市的經驗可能預示美國其他城市會走的路。

“It’s a confrontation with reality,” Bobby Dyer, Virginia Beach’s mayor, said in an interview in his office. “Not everybody’s going to be happy.”

維吉尼亞海灘市市長戴爾在辦公室受訪時說:「這是跟現實對抗,不是每個人都會高興。」

As the Trump administration reverses efforts to fight global warming, local officials around the country are forced to grapple with more intense flooding, hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters. That pressure is colliding with development, which provides jobs, homes and taxes but which also can increase the future risk of disaster as construction spreads into floodplains or forests that are prone to calamity.

由於川普政府取消許多對抗全球暖化的措施,美國各處地方官員不得不應付更大的洪水、颶風、野火等災害。災害帶來的壓力與開發產生了衝突,開發土地能帶來就業機會、住宅和稅收,但由於建築範圍擴展到易生災情的氾濫平原和森林,使當地未來受災的風險增高。

The outcome of that battle will shape Americans’ vulnerability to climate change for generations — and so far, development seems to be prevailing. In many coastal states, homes are going up at the fastest rate in the most flood-prone areas. The number of new houses in what experts call the wildland-urban interface, where the wildfire threat tends to be greatest, increased 41% nationwide between 1990 and 2010.

這場戰役的結果,會決定未來幾個世代美國是否容易受氣候變遷危害,到目前為止,開發似乎占上風。在許多沿海州,新房子在最容易發生洪災的地區增加最快。專家所謂荒野與都市交界地帶,往往是野火威脅最大的地方,美國這種地帶的新屋數量卻在1990年到2010年間成長了41%。

But as the financial and emotional costs of disasters increase, so does the evidence of a shifting mindset.

不過,隨著災害造成的金錢與精神損失不斷增加,人們的心態也在改變。

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a research and advocacy group, released a report describing how a few cities and states have successfully reduced flooding vulnerability. Their actions are “a recipe for success” for others, said Laura Lightbody, director of Pew’s flood-prepared communities initiative.

美國研究與遊說團體「皮尤慈善信託基金」發布報告,描述一些城市和州如何成功降低洪水來襲時的損害。皮尤基金群體防範洪災措施主任蘿拉.萊特巴迪說,這些地方採取的行動是其他地方「成功的訣竅」。

The examples include Norfolk, Virginia, which last year imposed new rules on developers, including a requirement that every new home be elevated.

成功案例包括維吉尼亞州諾福克市,去年對開發商實施新規定,其中一項是要求每間新房地基都要墊高。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/347894/web/

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