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常春藤解析英语【81】More Bad News 全球粮食危机

2010-09-07 21:29:10 来源:常春藤英语
More Bad News 全球粮食危机
by Matthew Brown

Another global concern comes into view: a food shortage.

As if global financial and environmental crisis were not enough, another alarming problem has been developing in the past few years: the food crisis.

_(1)_ In poorer countries, it's an urgent problem, and some parts of the world have already been experiencing food riots. Food prices are an economic issue, and in economics there is usually a lot of disagreement about the causes of problems. Some of the main factors, though, may be as follows.

Weather might be the most significant issue when it comes to current food shortages. _(2)_ To make matters worse, these droughts and other bad weather may be linked with global warming. Another problem is ever-rising oil and energy costs. _(3)_ Emerging economies, countries that were poor but are becoming rich, are using more and more fuel and competing for available resources. As economies around the world change, there is more demand for expensive food such as beef. However, a 100-calorie piece of beef requires 700 calories' worth of grain to be produced. _(4)_ Efforts to make biofuel may also be to blame. Some people argue that it takes far more energy to grow grain to produce biofuel than we can get from the biofuel itself. _(5)_

The food shortage has people pretty worried, but it is only recently that the problem has come to popular attention. For now, most of us will just have to wait and see what kind of solutions might be possible.

(A) If the argument is correct, then perhaps the grain would be better used for food instead.
(B) Over the last few years, the prices of food staples such as wheat, corn, and rice have doubled or tripled.
(C) So this means that beef production uses a lot more grain to produce a lot less food.
(D) Modern farming techniques require a huge amount of energy, and energy is becoming very expensive.
(E) The combination of recent natural disasters, such as the tsunami in Asia and droughts in Australia, Africa, and Central America, has led to very poor crop yields.


1. 第一题空格应选 (B)

a. 空格前的段落说,好像全球的经济与环境危机还不够多似的,过去几年来(in the past few years)还有另一个令人担忧的问题逐渐成形,那就是粮食危机(the food crisis)。
b. 选项 (B) 的句子则接着表示,过去几年来(Over the last few years),小麦、玉米和稻米等粮食产品(food staples)的价格飙高至两倍或三倍,延续空格前粮食危机的话题,且两句中的 in the past few years 与 Over the last few years 亦相呼应,故为正选。

a. over/in/for/during + the last/past + (few/数字) + week(s)/month(s)/year(s)/decade(s)  过去……星期∕月∕年∕十年以来(到现在)
例: Video games have changed a great deal over the past ten years.
(电动游戏过去 10 年来有很大的改变。)
b. staple n. 不可缺少的食物 ; 主食
c. double vi. 加倍
d. triple vi. 增至三倍

2. 第二题空格应选 (E)

a. 空格前的句子表示,说到近来的粮食短缺(food shortages),也许天气就是最重要的因素。
b. 选项 (E) 的句子进一步说,结合近来的许多天灾(natural disasters),像是亚洲的海啸与澳洲、非洲和中美洲的旱灾,均导致作物收成不佳(poor crop yields),语意连贯。且空格后的主词为 these droughts(这些旱灾),即指 (E) 项中的 droughts,形成关键词,故 (E) 应为正选。

a. combination n. 结合
b. disaster n. 灾害
natural disaster  天灾
c. tsunami n. 海啸(= tidal wave)
d. drought n. 旱灾
e. lead to + N/V-ing  导致……
例: Lack of good study habits can lead to poor grades in school.
f. yield  n. 产量

3. 第三题空格应选 (D)

a. 空格前的句子说,另一个问题是持续攀升的油价与能源价格(ever-rising oil and energy costs)。
b. 选项 (D) 的句子则说,现代的务农技术需要大量能源,而能源却越来越昂贵(energy is becoming very expensive),语意连贯,且两句均有关键词 energy(能源),故选之。

a huge/large amount of + 不可数名词  大量的……
a small amount of + 不可数名词  少量的……
例: A large amount of smoke rose from the chimney.

4. 第四题空格应选 (C)

a. 空格前的句子说,生产 100 卡路里的牛肉(beef)需要消耗 700 卡路里的谷物(grain)。
b. 选项 (C) 的句子则进一步说明,这表示牛肉的生产(beef production)是利用较多谷物(more grain)去制造少量食物,两句均有关键词 beef 与 grain,语意亦连贯,故选之。

5. 第五题空格应选 (A)

a. 空格前的句子说,有些人争论(argue)说,为了生产生化燃料而栽种作物所耗费的能源,远远多过生化燃料能提供我们的量。
b. 选项 (A) 的句子则说,如果这项论点(argument)属实,那么也许把谷物拿来当食物反而比较理想,延续空格前关于制造生化燃料的话题,语意连贯,故选之。

a. argument n. 论点
b. grain n. 谷物
c. instead adv.(反)而,却
例: She didn't do her homework; she chatted on the Net instead.


1. As if + S + was/were not enough, S + V  好像∕仿佛……还不够似的,……
例: As if fighting with my boyfriend were not enough, I also got kicked off the badminton team.
2. as follows  如下所述
例: Concerning this issue, my point of view is as follows.
3. To make matters worse, S + V  
= What's worse, S + V  更糟的是,……
例: My car broke down on the side of the road. To make matters worse, I didn't have my cell phone.
4. be linked with/to...  与……相关联
例: Chewing betel nuts is linked with mouth cancer.
5. emerginga. 新兴的
emerge vi. 出现,露出
emerge from...  从……出现
例: The children emerged from their hiding place.
6. compete for...  竞争……
例: All the teams are competing for the championship.
7. be to blame  应受谴责;应负责任
例: You are to blame for the mistake.


1. financial a. 财政的;金融的
2. crisis n. 危机(单数形)
crises n. 危机(复数形)
3. alarming a. 令人担忧的;惊人的
4. urgent a. 紧急的
5. riot n. 暴动
6. economic a. 经济上的
7. economics n. 经济学
8. disagreemen n. 意见不合,争执
9. significant a. 重大的
10. shortage n. 缺少,不足
11. ever-rising a. 持续上升的
12. economy n. 经济(情况);经济结构
13. available a. 可利用的,现有的
14. biofuel n. 生化燃料


1. when it comes to + N/V-ing  说到……
2. 数字 + 单位的所有格 + worth of...  需要∕价值∕耗费……的……
700 calories' worth of grain  700 卡路里的谷物
3. come to popular attention  引起大众的注意
4. wait and see  静观其变





正当全球经济情势改变,像牛肉等昂贵食物的需求也愈来越大。然而,生产一块 100 卡路里的牛肉却需要消耗 700 卡路里的谷物。这表示牛肉的生产是利用较多谷物去制造少量食物。致力于生产生化燃料也是罪魁祸首之一。有些人争论说,为了制造生化燃料而栽种作物所耗费的能源,远远超过生化燃料本身能提供给我们的能源。如果这项论点属实,那么也许拿谷物来当食物反而比较理想。


标准答案: 1. (B) 2. (E) 3. (D) 4. (C) 5. (A)

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