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  • In mid-February, cold arctic air,

    2月中旬,北極冷空氣。

  • usually contained up north in the Earth's jet stream,

    通常包含在地球噴氣流的北部。

  • dipped down into the US.

    下降到美國。

  • It's called a polar vortex, and it's pretty common.

    這叫極地漩渦,很常見。

  • It's what brings the coldest air to the US during the winter.

    是它給美國冬季帶來了最冷的空氣。

  • What was unusual, is for it to dip as far south as it did.

    不尋常的是,它竟然如此南下。

  • In Texas, where February is typically fairly warm, temperatures dipped dangerously low.

    在德州,2月份通常相當溫暖,但氣溫卻低得危險。

  • And it came with a storm.

    而且是伴隨著暴風雨而來的。

  • More than 4 million Texans lost power.

    超過400萬德州人失去了電力。

  • Many wouldn't get it back for nearly five days.

    很多人近五天都拿不回來。

  • By then, pipes had frozen. People were melting snow for drinking water.

    那時,管道已經結冰。人們都在融化積雪,以備飲水。

  • And dozens had died from the cold in their cars and in their homes.

    而幾十人因寒冷而死在車內和家中。

  • And it was almost even worse.

    而這幾乎是更糟糕的。

  • The state's entire electrical grid was withinseconds and minutes

    全州電網在 "分秒必爭"

  • of a failure that would've lasted months.

    的失敗,會持續幾個月。

  • But even though this storm hit this huge area,

    但儘管這場風暴襲擊了這一大片地區。

  • it was really just Texas that had major loss of power.

    其實只是德州出現了重大的斷電。

  • There's a reason for that.

    這是有原因的。

  • And it should be a warning sign for the rest of the US.

    而這應該是美國其他地區的一個警告信號。

  • When you flip your lights on, you're getting your electricity from the power grid.

    當你打開燈的時候,你的電是來自電網的。

  • And that grid is getting the electricity from a bunch of different energy systems.

    而這個電網從一堆不同的能源系統中獲取電力。

  • Like nuclear power plants, or wind farms, or natural gas facilities.

    比如核電站,或者風電場,或者天然氣設施。

  • In the US, these places are generally run by private energy companies,

    在美國,這些地方一般由私人能源公司經營。

  • that work with your local power utility,

    與當地電力公司合作的。

  • which directs the electricity around the grid and into your home.

    它引導電力繞過電網,進入您的家庭。

  • That power utility is overseen by a government commission,

    該電力公司由政府委員會監督。

  • who sets things like prices and safety standards.

    誰來制定價格和安全標準等事情。

  • And the grids most Americans are on aren't just big. They're huge.

    而大多數美國人的電網不僅大。他們是巨大的。

  • The entire east coast, from Canada to Florida, is on one grid.

    整個東海岸,從加拿大到佛羅里達州,都在一個電網上。

  • And the entire west coast is connected in another.

    而整個西海岸在另一。

  • It's kind of a remarkable engineering feat.

    這是一種了不起的工程壯舉。

  • It's probably the biggest machine humans have ever built.

    這可能是人類有史以來最大的機器了。

  • While most power tends to stay local, this grid allows electricity to flow

    雖然大多數電力往往停留在在地,但這一電網允許電力流動。

  • over huge areas, and between states.

    在廣大地區和各州之間。

  • Like, in New York City, power comes from energy plants in New York,

    像,在紐約市,電力來自紐約的能源廠。

  • but also from neighboring states, and even Canada.

    但也有來自鄰州,甚至加拿大的。

  • This huge grid also means that, in emergencies,

    這個巨大的格局也意味著,在緊急情況下。

  • power can be directed where it's needed.

    權力可以被引導到需要的地方。

  • Like in Oklahoma, which was also hit bad during the February winter storm.

    像俄克拉荷馬州,在2月份的冬季風暴中也受到了嚴重的打擊。

  • They needed more power. And instead of completely losing it,

    他們需要更多的力量。而不是完全失去它。

  • they were able to get electricity from neighboring states through the grid.

    他們能夠通過電網從鄰近的州獲得電力。

  • But it's not so seamless to send it to Texas.

    但要送到德州,就不是那麼天衣無縫了。

  • Texas opted out of the big grids, back when they were being built,

    德州選擇退出大電網,早在大電網建設的時候,就已經選擇了。

  • nearly a hundred years ago.

    近百年前。

  • Since they covered several states, it meant the federal government could regulate them.

    由於它們涵蓋了幾個州,這意味著聯邦政府可以對它們進行監管。

  • Texas was not into that.

    德州並不喜歡這樣。

  • Texas decided to kind of go it alone.

    德州決定有點單幹。

  • It's a very uniquely Texas-type thing to do.

    這是一件非常獨特的德州式的事情。

  • So most of Texas is on its own grid.

    所以德州的大部分地區都在自己的電網上。

  • It means they don't have to follow the same regulations as the rest of the country,

    這意味著他們不必像其他國家一樣遵守同樣的規定。

  • like reliability and cost standards.

    如可靠性和成本標準。

  • But it also means when it lost power in the storm,

    但這也意味著當它在風暴中失去動力。

  • it couldn't easily get electricity from other states.

    它不容易從其他州獲得電力。

  • Its independence kept it in the dark.

    它的獨立使它處於黑暗之中。

  • But it wasn't the reason it went dark in the first place.

    但這並不是當初黑化的原因。

  • Being on its own, Texas has to make all their own power.

    作為自己人,德州的力量都要自己做主。

  • They have a variety of sources.

    他們有各種來源。

  • When the storm came, it affected every one.

    當暴風雨來臨的時候,影響了每一個人。

  • Several coal plants stopped operating, as coal piles froze.

    由於煤堆結冰,幾家煤廠停止運行。

  • One of four Texan nuclear plants went offline.

    德州四座核電站中的一座停運。

  • Some wind turbines stopped working in the freezing cold.

    一些風力發電機在嚴寒中停止工作。

  • But the biggest failure, in terms of its magnitude and its impact,

    但就其規模和影響而言,是最大的失敗。

  • was the natural gas system.

    是天然氣系統。

  • Natural gas, which actually contains water vapor, froze in storage wells and pipelines.

    實際上含有水蒸氣的天然氣,在儲氣井和管道中結冰。

  • Every one of these systems failed, in part.

    這些系統每一個都失敗了,部分。

  • And it had nothing to do with the type of energy,

    而這與能量的種類無關。

  • and everything to do with these companies not being prepared for the cold.

    而一切都與這些公司沒有做好禦寒的準備有關。

  • Clearly, you can run an energy system in cold temperatures.

    顯然,你可以在低溫下運行能源系統。

  • There are wind turbines operating in Antarctica,

    南極洲有風力發電機在運行。

  • and gas plants in Alaska and Alberta.

    以及阿拉斯加和阿爾伯塔省的天然氣工廠。

  • So this is not a technology-specific issue.

    所以這不是一個技術上的問題。

  • It was more a failure to anticipate that this is something

    這更多的是沒有預料到這是一件事

  • that could even occur in Texas at this length and severity,

    甚至可能發生在德克薩斯州的這種長度和嚴重性。

  • and to prepare for extreme cold temperatures.

    並做好應對極寒天氣的準備。

  • But it should have been anticipated. Because this has happened in Texas before.

    但這應該是在預料之中的。因為這種事以前在德州也發生過。

  • In 1989, the same kind of arctic storm caused natural gas plants to have the same problems,

    1989年,同樣的北極風暴導致天然氣廠出現了同樣的問題。

  • resulting in rolling blackouts.

    導致滾動停電。

  • And the same thing again, in 2011.

    而同樣的事情,在2011年又發生了。

  • And both times, federal commissions recommended that utilities

    而這兩次,聯邦委員會都建議公用事業部門

  • "ensure reliability in extreme weather conditions."

    "確保在極端天氣條件下的可靠性"。

  • And specifically, for the state government

    而具體到州政府

  • to create winterization standards for these energy sources.

    為這些能源制定過冬標準。

  • The Texas utility commission did make those standards -- but also made them voluntary.

    德州公用事業委員會確實制定了這些標準 -- -- 但也是自願的。

  • So most companies didn't winterize.

    所以大部分公司都沒有過冬。

  • Private companies like these don't have an incentive to spend their money

    這樣的民營企業沒有動力去花錢了

  • preparing for unpredictable and infrequent events without being required to.

    為不可預知和不經常發生的事件做好準備,而不需要這樣做;

  • But this problem is not limited to Texas.

    但這個問題並不侷限於德州。

  • The particular vulnerability to the extreme cold may be a uniquely Texas thing.

    特別容易受到極寒天氣的影響,這可能是德州獨有的事情。

  • But I think what it shows, is you need to check your blind spots.

    但我覺得這說明,你需要檢查你的盲點。

  • And that applies everywhere.

    而這一點在任何地方都適用。

  • This is a chart of the last 40 years of severe weather disasters in the US.

    這是美國過去40年惡劣天氣災害的圖表。

  • Storms in particular are in orange.

    特別是風暴是橙色的。

  • Here's the Texas winter storm in 1989, and the one in 2011.

    這是1989年的德州冬季風暴,還有2011年的那場。

  • These costly disasters are becoming more frequent --

    這些代價高昂的災害正變得越來越頻繁 -- --

  • not just in Texas, but nationally, and globally.

    不僅僅是在德克薩斯,而是在全國乃至全球。

  • And the US is not prepared.

    而美國還沒有做好準備。

  • Most of this grid was built 60-70 years ago,

    這個電網大部分是60-70年前建成的。

  • but was only built to last 50 years.

    但只建了50年。

  • And some studies point to nearly 100 facilities, like power plants,

    而有研究指出,發電廠等近100個設施。

  • in immediate danger of flooding and storm surges.

    處於洪水和風暴潮的直接危險之中。

  • Most of these private energy companies, across the US,

    這些私營能源公司,大多在美國各地。

  • aren't going to change unless they're required to.

    除非被要求,否則他們不會改變。

  • But these utility commissions can require it.

    但這些公用事業委員會可以要求。

  • As can state governments. And the federal government.

    州政府也可以。還有聯邦政府。

  • All three can even help pay for it.

    這三者甚至可以幫助支付。

  • Texas was warned for 30 years to prepare its energy systems

    德州被警告30年要做好能源系統的準備。

  • for severe weather and climate change.

    應對惡劣天氣和氣候變化。

  • But they didn't.

    但他們沒有。

  • Now the rest of the US is facing the same problem.

    現在美國其他地區也面臨著同樣的問題。

  • It is a wakeup call, for everywhere, to think about,

    這是一個警鐘,對各地來說,都是一個值得思考的問題。

  • how do we prepare our energy infrastructures, and our other critical infrastructure,

    我們如何準備我們的能源基礎設施,以及我們的其他關鍵基礎設施。

  • for extreme events that may become more severe,

    以應對可能變得更加嚴重的極端事件。

  • and may become more likely?

    並可能會變得更有可能?

  • And that isn't about just thinking about what's probable,

    而這並不是說只考慮可能的事情。

  • but also, what can break the system in a way that's catastrophic?

    但同時,什麼能打破系統的方式,是災難性的?

In mid-February, cold arctic air,

2月中旬,北極冷空氣。

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B1 中級 中文 Vox 德州 電力 能源 風暴 天然氣

德克薩斯州的電力災難是美國的一個警告信號。 (Texas's power disaster is a warning sign for the US)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 03 月 04 日
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