每日英語跟讀 Ep.K208: Greek Island Is New Epicenter of Europe’s Summer of Calamity
Amid twisted cages and scorched trees, Harilaos Tertipis stepped out of his ruined stables dragging the charred corpses of his sheep — burned, like so much else, in the wildfires that have raged across Greece.
As the survivors of his flock huddled together on a roadside hill below, the bells on their necks clanging and their legs singed, he said that if he had stayed with his animals instead of rushing home to protect his family and house, “I wouldn’t be here now.”
As of Friday, the fires around the northern parts of Evia, Greece’s second-largest island, had destroyed more than 120,000 acres of pine forest, razed homes and displaced hundreds of people. They have brought assistance from more than 20 countries and been declared “a natural disaster of unprecedented dimensions” by the Greek prime minister.
The fires, fueled by a record-breaking heat wave that has touched temperatures of up to 46 degrees Celsius, have caused political recriminations, economic disaster and biblical scenes of destruction.
But they seem less a random act of God than another inevitable episode of Europe’s extreme weather brought on by the man-made climate change that scientists have now concluded is irreversible.
Europe has always considered itself a climate leader, last month pledging to cut emissions by 55% over the next decade and calling this “a make-or-break moment” for the planet “before we reach irreversible tipping points.”
But a string of disasters this summer has left many to wonder whether that tipping point is already here, driving home the realization that climate change is no longer a distant threat for future generations, but an immediate scourge affecting rich and poor nations alike.
Beyond the fires that have raged in the American West, or in Turkey and Algeria, virtually no corner of Europe has been untouched by a bewildering array of calamities, whether fire, flood or heat.
Sweltering temperatures have set off wildfires in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Formerly once-in-a-millennium flooding in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands killed at least 196 people.
“It’s not just Greece,” said Vasilis Vathrakoyiannis, a spokesperson for the Greek fire service. “It’s the whole European ecosystem.”
The shifting epicenter of natural disaster has now fallen on Evia, a densely wooded island northeast of Athens, Greece, once best known for its beekeepers and resin producers, its olive groves and seaside resorts, and now a capital of the consequences of a warming planet.
自然災害的震央現已落在艾維亞島上，一座位在希臘雅典東北部森林茂密的島嶼，當地曾以養蜂與樹脂生產、橄欖園和海濱度假勝地而聞名，如今則是地球暖化的後果之都。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5704995