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        新航道老師楊璇:2016年6月4日新SAT寫作解析

        2016/06/0810:50來源:互聯網  原創作者:楊璇   

        • 字體:

          北京新航道SAT、ACT、SSAT、雅思寫作主講。香港城市大學傳播與新媒體碩士,北京大學英語學士。英語功底深厚,對于雅思語法和SAT寫作有獨到的研究。授課風格深入淺出、講練結合、能夠針對學生寫作水平直擊弱點并有效提分。

          亞洲考場的第二次考試終于揭開了神秘的面紗,而讓考生們比較欣慰的是這次的寫作并沒有太過為難各位同學。和之前的考試相似,這篇文章A Carbon Tax Beats A Vacuum仍然選自主流媒體US news,發表于2014年。這為接下來準備考試的同學指明了方向,平時應該多關注Wall Street Journal,New York Times等美國主要媒體的文章,改善閱讀能力的同時鍛煉分析技巧。

          和三月關于public service和五月關于希臘古文物的文章相比,這次出現的關于比較征收碳稅和真空吸塵器禁令的essay風格更為靈活,論證手法更豐富,結構也更為清楚,總體來說難度比較適中。在文章中,作者合理的使用了各種寫作手法,例如evidence from authoritative sources, irony, rhetorical questions, logical reasoning等等,說服讀者征收碳稅(carbon tax)會比禁用大功率吸塵器等措施更有效的保護環境。具體見下文。

          A Carbon Tax Beats A Vacuum Ban, by New York Times in 2014

          Slavov Sita

          Starting in September, the European Union will ban vacuum cleaners using more than 1,600 watts of power, with the limit slated to be lowered to 900 watts by 2017. This ban won't just affect a handful of the worst offenders. According to the European Commission, the average vacuum cleaner sold today uses 1,800 watts.

          在文章的開篇,作者首先提出了EU的vacuum ban,并且通過對比vacuum ban所限制使用的功率和實際使用的吸塵器功率,來突出這項禁令對人們的生活的影響之大。來自于European Commission的數據給予了作者的觀點更高的可信度。

          Intended largely to reduce carbon emissions, the vacuum cleaner ban joins numerous other regulations throughout the world that severely restrict consumers' choices. Want an incandescent light bulb? Too bad – they're banned. How about a gas guzzling car? Sorry – they're being squeezed out by tighter fuel economy standards.

          Rules like these rub many people the wrong way because they represent government intrusion into even the most minute of personal decisions. Do we really want the government telling us what kind of vacuum cleaner or light bulb to buy? Don't policy makers have better things to think about? Backers of such regulations counter that, when people buy powerful vacuum cleaners and incandescent bulbs, they don't take into account the spillover costs they impose on others by contributing to climate change.

          接下來作者明確的表達了自己對于vacuum ban的態度。Irony和rhetorical question是這一部分應用的主要手法。Sita通過非常鮮明的用詞指出像vacuum cleaner ban這樣一系列的禁令只會“severely restrict consumers’ choices”,接下來提出了兩個充滿諷刺意味的rhetorical questions,把話題延伸到了對于light bulb和gas guzzling car上來,light bulb are banned, gas guzzling cars are “being squeezed out”,生活中最常見的兩個例子強調了政府的禁令對人們的生活影響之廣泛,irony則表達了作者對于政府頒布這些限令的強烈不滿。政府顯然應該把精力投入更重大,更有意義的任務中,而非專注于干涉人們生活中的瑣事。

          Fortunately, there's a better solution. A carbon tax – set to reflect the spillover costs of carbon emissions – would eliminate the need to micromanage the kinds of vacuum cleaners and light bulbs that people can buy. Instead, the tax would provide consumers with an incentive to act in a socially responsible manner by ensuring that those who operate such products pick up the tab for the climate harm they cause.

          The main advantage of the carbon tax is that it leaves consumers free to decide whether to buy energy-efficient vacuum cleaners and light bulbs or whether to reduce their carbon footprint in other ways. That's a big improvement over the regulatory approach because individual consumers are in a better position than government bureaucrats to figure out the least painful way to reduce their contribution to climate change.

          在第四和第五段中,作者提出了更為有效的解決辦法——carbon tax。他比較了carbon tax和vacuum cleaner ban等措施,顯示了前者最重要的優勢在于它給了消費者自由來決定自己的生活方式。作者把傳統的各種禁令定義為“government bureaucrats”,而征收碳稅則是一種“less painful way”to reduce carbon emission。這種對比讓讀者更容易接受第二種選擇。

          A carbon tax is also better targeted than vacuum cleaner bans and other regulations. Some critics of the EU's new rule claim that consumers will need to run their less powerful vacuum cleaners for longer periods of time to achieve their desired level of cleanliness, which might actually increase the amount of electricity they use. Similarly, improving fuel economy through tighter standards may increase the amount of driving that people do. These "rebound effects" might not be big enough to actually cause a net increase in emissions, but they still reduce the effectiveness of the regulations.

          A carbon tax avoids these problems by directly targeting the real culprit – carbon. Under a carbon tax, there's an incentive to cut back on carbon emissions along every dimension. In other words, because tax payments are in line with actual emissions, a Prius owner who drives a lot could very well pay more than an SUV owner who hardly ever drives.

          接下來作者提出了carbon tax的另一個優勢所在——比其他的規章更具有針對性。在這個部分,Sita繼續對比兩種措施之間的優劣,引用了來自于critics的意見——無論是vacuum ban還是其他的禁用措施都可能會導致‘rebound effects’——從而說明這些禁令在減少碳排放方面存在明顯的弊端,反而給人們帶來了不便。與此同時,碳稅卻可以很好的杜絕這樣的問題,因為它會激勵人們在各個方面減少碳排放,把人們交的稅和碳排量直接聯系在一起,而非直接禁止人們生活中一些具體的行為。通過列舉Prius小排量汽車和SUV大排量汽車的例子Sita生動的說明碳稅對于消費者來說更加合理。

          Economists of all political stripes agree on these points. In a 2011 poll of leading academic economists representing a variety of demographic backgrounds and political views, 90 percent agreed with the statement: "A tax on the carbon content of fuels would be a less expensive way to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions than would a collection of policies such as 'corporate average fuel economy' requirements for automobiles." There's no doubt that economic advisers offer similar advice when policy makers consider regulations like the vacuum cleaner ban. Unfortunately, these misguided policies often turn out to be more politically feasible than a carbon tax.

          第八段作者引用了一個具體的例子,a 2011 poll,來證明這項稅收措施得到了經濟學家的廣泛支持。在這次調查中,90%的leading academic economists贊同carbon tax ‘would be a less expensive way to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions than would a collection of policies’,如此高的百分比表現了專家對于碳稅的支持,也充分說明了這項措施的合理性。之后作者把話題延伸到了vacuum ban上來,推斷對于這項禁令,經濟學家們會給出同樣的觀點。

          That may change going forward, however. As policy makers look to trim budgets and find additional sources of revenue, a carbon tax could represent a good compromise between conservatives and liberals – a way to address climate change while protecting consumer freedom and raising revenue that can be used to lower other taxes.

          在文章結尾,作者指出,盡管vacuum ban和其他的禁令在政治方面更具有可行性,但是carbon tax卻在足夠的預算和帶來額外的收入方面更有優勢。這里作者認為碳稅是‘a good compromise between conservatives and liberals’,既有助于解決天氣變化的問題,又可以保護消費者選擇自己生活方式的自由,從而最大程度上爭取了不同立場的讀者的支持。

         

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