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发布:2015-05-06 15:38:55  来源:先锋家园网实用文档  字号:T|T

The climate problem is the unintended consequence of our success. We depend on fossil energy to keep our homes warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and lit at night; we use it to travel across town and across continents. Energy is a fundamental reason for the prosperity we enjoy, and we will not surrender this prosperity. The United States has 3 percent of the world population, and yet, we consume 25 percent of the energy. By contrast, there are 1.6 billion people who don’t have access to electricity. Hundreds of millions of people still cook with twigs or dung. The life we enjoy may not be within the reach of the developing world, but it is within sight, and they want what we have.


Here is the dilemma. How much are we willing to invest, as a world society, tomitigate the consequences of climate change that will not be realized for at least 100 years? Deeply rooted in all cultures, is the notion of generational responsibility. Parents work hard so that their children will have a better life. Climate change will affect the entire world, but our natural focus is on the welfare of our immediate families. Can we, as a world society, meet our responsibility to future generations?


While I am worried, I am hopeful we will solve this problem. I became the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in part because I wanted to enlist some of the best scientific minds to help battle against climate change. I was there only four and a half years, the shortest serving director in the 78-year history of the Lab, but when I left, a number of very exciting energy institutes at the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley had been established.


I am extremely privileged to be part of the Obama administration. If there ever was a time to help steer America and the world towards a path of sustainable energy, now is the time. The message the President is delivering is not one of doom and gloom, but of optimism and opportunity. I share this optimism. The task ahead is daunting, but we can and will succeed.


We know some of the answers already. There are immediate and significant savings in energy efficiency and conservation. Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit lying on the ground. For example, we have the potential to make buildings 80 percent more efficient with investments that will pay for themselves in less than 15 years. Buildings consume 40 percent of the energy we use, and a transition to energy efficient buildings will cut our carbon emissions by one-third.


We are revving up the remarkable American innovation machine that will be the basis of a new American prosperity. We will invent much improved methods to harness the sun, the wind, nuclear power, and capture and sequester the carbon dioxide emitted from our power plants. Advanced bio-fuels and the electrification of personal vehicles make us less dependent on foreign oil.


In the coming decades, we will almost certainly face higher oil prices and be in a carbon-constrained economy. We have the opportunity to lead in development of a new, industrial revolution. The great hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, when asked, how he positions himself on the ice, he replied,“ I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.” America should do the same.

在未来的几十年中,我们几乎肯定会面对更高的油价和更严厉的二氧化碳排放政策。这是一场新的工业革命,美国有机会充当领导者。伟大的冰球选手Wayne Gretzky被问到,他如何在冰上跑位,回答说:“我滑向球下一步的位置,而不是它现在的位置。”美国也应该这样做。

The Obama administration is laying a new foundation for a prosperous and sustainable energy future, but we don’t have all of the answers. That’s where you come in. In this address, I am asking you, the Harvard graduates, to join us. As our future intellectual leaders, take the time to learn more about what’s at stake, and then act on that knowledge. As future scientists and engineers, I ask you to give us better technology solutions. As future economists and political scientists, I ask you to create better policy options. As future business leaders, I ask that you make sustainability an integral part of your business.


Finally, as humanists, I ask that you speak to our common humanity. One of the cruelest ironies about climate change is that the ones who will be hurt the most are the most innocent: the worlds poorest and those yet to be born.


The coda to this last movement is borrowed from two humanists.


The first quote is from Martin Luther King. He spoke on ending the war in Vietnam in 1967, but his message seems so fitting for today’s climate crisis:


“This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one“s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man … We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.”


The final message is from William Faulkner. On December 10th, 1950, his Nobel Prize banquet speech was about the role of humanists in a world facing potential nuclear holocaust.


“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet”s, the writer“s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.”


Graduates, you have an extraordinary role to play in our future. As you pursue your private passions, I hope you will also develop a passion and a voice to help the world in ways both large and small. Nothing will give you greater satisfaction.


Please accept my warmest congratulations. May you prosper, may you help preserve and save our planet for your children, and all future children of the world.