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历年考研英语阅读理解1998年01

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[00:06.00]1998 Passage1

[00:11.44]Few creations of big technology

[00:13.86]capture the imagination like giant dams.

[00:17.98]Perhaps it is humankind's long suffering

[00:20.94]at the mercy of flood and drought

[00:23.56]that makes the idea of forcing the waters to do

[00:26.78]our bidding so fascinating.

[00:30.01]But to be fascinated is also, sometimes, to be blind.

[00:34.94]Several giant dam projects threaten to do

[00:38.18]more harm than good.

[00:41.10]The lesson from dams is that big is not always beautiful.

[00:45.93]It doesn't help that building a big,

[00:48.16]powerful dam has become a symbol of achievement

[00:51.24]for nations and people striving to assert themselves.

[00:55.98]Egypt's leadership in the Arab world

[00:58.30]was cemented by the Aswan High Dam.

[01:01.62]Turkey's bid for First World status

[01:04.35]includes the giant Ataturk Dam.

[01:07.98]But big dams tend not to work as intended.

[01:11.92]The Aswan Dam, for example,

[01:14.22]stopped the Nile flooding

[01:16.14]but deprived Egypt of the fertile silt that floods left

[01:20.58]--all in return for a giant reservoir of disease

[01:24.41]which is now so full of silt

[01:26.50]that it barely generates electricity.

[01:29.84]And yet, the myth of controlling the waters persists.

[01:34.18]This week, in the heart of civilized Europe,

[01:37.11]Slovaks and Hungarians stopped just short of

[01:40.21]sending in the troops in their contention

[01:42.52]over a dam on the Danube.

[01:45.75]The huge complex will probably

[01:47.76]have all the usual problems of big dams.

[01:51.09]But Slovakia is bidding for independence from the Czechs,

[01:55.12]and now needs a dam to prove itself.

[01:58.85]Meanwhile, in India, the World Bank

[02:01.88]has given the go-ahead to the even more

[02:04.07]wrong-headed Narmada Dam.

[02:07.00]And the bank has done this even though

[02:09.12]its advisors say the dam

[02:11.03]will cause hardship for the powerless

[02:13.26]and environmental destruction.

[02:15.79]The benefits are for the powerful,

[02:18.11]but they are far from guaranteed.

[02:21.41]Proper, scientific study of the impacts of dams

[02:25.04]and of the costs and benefits of controlling water

[02:28.16]can help to resolve these conflicts.

[02:31.29]Hydroelectric power and flood control and irrigation

[02:35.32]are possible without building monster dams.

[02:38.96]But when you are dealing with myths,

[02:41.01]it is hard to be either proper, or scientific.

[02:44.94]It is time that the world learned the lessons of Aswan.

[02:48.57]You don't need a dam to be saved.

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