53. Britain Accelerates toward Cleaner Future—with Wheat.
   53、依托小麦—英国加速迈向绿色未来.

   1. Wheat never used to get Charlie Goldsack excited. He's got fields of the stuff down on his farm, but as a cash crop there was one big problem: it didn't generate much cash. Rock bottom prices saw to that.
   1、小麦从未让查利·戈德萨克兴奋过。虽然他的农场大片大片地种着这东西,但作为一种商品作物,它的一大缺陷就是创收有限。最低价在那儿决定着呢。
   2. But now, the farmer hopes his wheat might literally become the driving force of his 1,400-acre Friar Maine farm in southern England.
   2、但现在,这位农场主希望小麦能够给他在南英格兰的1400英亩的费赖尔缅因农场带来活力。
   3. Instead of heading to the bakery, Goldsack's harvest will now go to a nearby plant for conversion into bioethanol—part of accelerating British efforts to introduce cleaner car fuel.
   3、今后,戈德萨克所收获的小麦将不再送往面包房,而是供应给附近一家工厂生产生物酒精——这是英国加速引进清洁汽车燃料行动的一部分。
   4. "For a lot of farms, it was barely economic to grow wheat any more," he says. "This is just what we need—a new market. Hopefully it can soak up all the surplus and raise prices."
   4、“对许多农场来说,再种小麦几乎已经无利可图了,”他说,“这正是我们所需要的——一个新市场。但愿它能消化掉所有过剩的小麦,从而抬高小麦的价格。”
   5. The simple arithmetic looks compelling. Goldsack's roughly 250 acres could yield enough wheat to produce a million miles' of car fuel.
   5、这个简单的算法看上去挺有说服力:戈德萨克的大约250英亩小麦,就足以生产供一辆汽车行驶100万英里的燃油。
   6. Extrapolate that across all of Britain's farmland and you get enough bioethanol to account for 5 percent of all fuel used annually by British motorists—a target the government wants hit by 2010. In a pleasing symmetry, the amount of wheat required would be around 3 million tons, roughly equal to the excess produced each year that is unwanted by the domestic market.
   6、以此推算,整个英国的农场足够供应每年全国5%的机动车燃料消耗量。英国政府希望到2010年达到这一目标。随之而来的好处是,为此所需的小麦数量将在300万吨左右,大致相当于国内市场每年的剩余量。
   7. "If this soaks up that surplus then it could add eight or nine pounds to the price of wheat," enthuses Goldsack, estimating that this would be worth about J 10,000 ($17,445) a year to his investment-starved farm.
   7、“如果该计划能够消化掉所有剩余小麦,小麦的价格就会(每吨)上涨8、9英镑,”戈德萨克兴奋地说,并且预计这会给他急需投资的农场带来每年1万英镑(1.7440万美元)的收益。
   8. While President Bush last week emphasized the need for cleaner cars for reasons of energy security, Britain's motivations are slightly different. As a signatory to the Kyoto pact on climate change, Britain must reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2010. With motoring accounting for almost one-third of emissions, and greener fuels like bioethanol estimated to reduce greenhouse gas output by around two-thirds, the logic appears indisputable.
Will oil companies stand in the way?
   8、布什总统上周强调推广清洁能源汽车的必要性,理由是出于能源安全上的考虑,而英国的动机则略有不同。作为有关气候变化的京都议定书的签署国,到2010年英国必须将碳排放量减少20%。由于汽车的排放量占总排放量的近1/3,而像生物酒精这样的绿色燃料预计可使温室气体的排放量减少约2/3,因而推广清洁燃料的合理性无可争议。
石油公司会出来阻挠吗?
   9. But there is a snag. Experts warn that biofuels are very expensive to produce—roughly twice as costly as gasoline—and can only become viable with generous government subsidies.
   9、不过存在一个障碍。专家警告说,生物燃料的生产成本非常高—大约是汽油的两倍,除非政府提供慷慨的补贴,否则缺乏可行性。
   10. They also note that it will be difficult to create a network of "gas" stations selling bioethanol, since many of Britain's current gas stations are owned by petrochemical giants that have little interest in supplying a product that challenges their own hegemony. Britain's biggest energy producer, BP, says it is "looking at" introducing bioethanol, but none of its 1,300 gas stations throughout the United Kingdom sell the product yet.
   10、他们还提醒说,建立销售生物酒精的加“油”站网络也非易事,因为英国现有的加油站多为石化巨头所有,供应这种燃料将会挑战它们自身的霸权,因而它们对此没有什么兴趣。英国最大的能源生产商BP表示,它们将会“考虑”引进生物酒精,但其旗下的1300个在英国境内的加油站尚无一开始出售这一产品。