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每日英語跟讀 Ep.828: Globalization confronts a doomsday virus prediction 十六年前神預言:瘟疫蔓延時,全球化面臨嚴峻挑戰

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.828: Globalization confronts a doomsday virus prediction

For the prognosticators on the US National Intelligence Council who sat down in 2004 to consider what the world might look like in 2020, the answer hinged heavily on one big question: What did the future of globalization look like?

Their answer: Not great.

對美國國家情報委員會那些預言家來說,在二○○四年要預測世界在二○二○年之樣貌,答案很大程度上取決於一個大問題:全球化的前景會是如何?

他們的回答是:並不樂觀。

By 2020, they predicted, globalization would face a political backlash in a world increasingly plagued by identity politics. Yet if anything was going to really derail economic integration, it would likely be the mass spread of a virulent new disease.

他們在二○○四年所做的這份報告中預測,到了二○二○年,世界越來越受到身份認同政治的困擾,全球化將面臨政治反撲。但若說有什麼事真正會使經濟整合脫軌,那很可能會是一種致命新疾病的大規模傳播。

“Short of a major global conflict, which we regard as improbable, another large-scale development that we believe could stop globalization would be a pandemic,” the council warned in a report laying out the findings of its “Project 2020.” A death toll in the millions and a virus that “put a halt to global travel and trade during an extended period” would certainly leave globalization “endangered.” Nearly three months into 2020 and it’s not hard to make the case for why that rings true.

美國國家情報委員會在這份報告刊載了「Project 2020」(二○二○年計畫)的研究成果,並警告說:「會讓全球化停止的大規模事態發展,除了重大全球衝突(我們認為這不大可能會發生),另一種情況就是全球大流行的疾病」。數以百萬計的死亡人數,以及「讓全球旅行和貿易停擺很長一段時間」的病毒,必定會讓全球化「岌岌可危」。二○二○年才過了不到三個月,已不難解釋為何此話所言不虛。

There is an alternative view that holds globalization may actually be a lot more resilient today than it seemed in 2004, in the halcyon days before smartphones had taken over our lives.

另一種觀點則是認為,跟二○○四年相比(那是智慧型手機尚未佔據我們生活的太平日子),現今的全球化其實比當時更有彈性。

But what would it take in the months ahead to get to Doomsday for globalization? It all hinges on the reaction from policy makers to the coronavirus crisis. So here are three things to watch for. If these happen, we should be ready for the shape-shifting in globalization we’ve seen in recent years to morph into a deep freeze.

未來的幾個月要發生什麼事,才會讓全球化走向末日?這完全要看決策者對冠狀病毒危機是如何反應,而這可從以下三點進行觀察。如果這些狀況發生了,我們就要準備看到全球化在經過近年來的變型後,陷入深深的凍結。

1. New barriers to exports

White House trade hawk Peter Navarro, in a recent Financial Times interview, criticized the export controls some countries have placed on medicines and medical supplies like face masks. His motivation may be pure. But Navarro tends to like anything that makes his argument for a shift away from globalization. Navarro has said he wants to repatriate supply chains for national security reasons and advocated stricter controls on tech exports to China. What if he convinced US President Donald Trump to ban exports of not just face masks or medicines but shipments of an eventual vaccine? And other countries followed suit? What if the controls shifted to food stockpiles?

1. 新的出口壁壘

白宮的鷹派貿易顧問彼得‧納瓦羅最近接受《金融時報》採訪時,批評一些國家對藥品及口罩等醫療用品實施出口管制。他的批評或許是出於純粹的動機,但納瓦羅偏好任何能夠反全球化的論點。納瓦羅表示,基於國家安全因素,他想要將供應鏈撤回美國,並主張對中國的技術出口實施更嚴格的管制。若他所說服美國總統唐納‧川普禁止出口的不只是口罩或藥品,還包括最終製成的疫苗,那該怎麼辦?然後其他國家也有樣學樣嗎?如果進行出口管制的也包括儲備糧食呢?

2. New import restrictions

Chinese trade data for January and February pointed to the damage so far from China’s industrial shutdown last month. Exports were down 17.2 percent in dollar terms. But what if the US and other countries started limiting imports of goods coming by air and sea not just from China but from South Korea, Italy and other affected countries? And those countries retaliated and did the same?

2. 新的進口限制

中國一月及二月的貿易數據,顯示自上個月停工至今所造成的損失。以美元計算,中國的出口下降了百分之十七點二。但若美國與其他國家也開始對中國以外受疫情影響的國家,例如南韓、義大利等,實施海空運進口限制呢?如果這些被禁止進口的國家進行報復,也禁止美國貨物進口呢?

3. A collapse in global governance

The emergence of a battle between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil production early this month caused crude prices to tumble dramatically. What if such discord spills to the G-7 or the G-20? What happens if, driven by fear of a virus, global economic policy makers can’t get on the same page? Or, worse, actively start working against each other in an area like, say, currencies?

Robert Hutchings, the former diplomat and Princeton academic who led the National Intelligence Council as it prepared its 2004 report, said in a recent email exchange that the point they were trying to make was “that globalization is a ubiquitous force that carries with it bad consequences as well as good.” Ominously, he added: “We particularly wanted to argue that globalization is not irreversible.”

3. 全球治理的崩潰

沙烏地阿拉伯與俄羅斯自三月初開始因石油生產展開鬥爭,使得原油價格暴跌。若這種不和也蔓延到G-7〔七大工業國組織〕或G-20〔二十國集團〕怎麼辦?如果對病毒的恐懼使得全球經濟決策者無法同心協力,會發生什麼事?更甚者,若這些決策者在諸如貨幣之類的領域開始刻意相互對抗呢?

美國國家情報委員會編寫這份二○○四年報告時,是由曾任外交官及普林斯頓大學學者的羅伯特‧哈欽斯擔任主管。哈欽斯在最近一封電子郵件中表示,他們在這份報告中所試圖提出的觀點為,「全球化是普遍存在的力量,同時帶來了好的與壞的後果」。

不幸的是,他補充道:「我們尤其想要論證,全球化並非不可逆轉的」。

Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/03/24/2003733233

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