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  超越增长的极限
 
  发布时间:2008/7/25 11:52:31  所属期数:2008.4    被阅览数:6677次  
 

 
 

     贾峰

     无论是发达国家还是发展中国家,渴望增长似乎是不争的共识。前者要进一步增加本国国民的生活舒适度,而后者则致力于摆脱贫困,尽快过上体面的生活。

     但是,地球资源尤其是维持现代经济增长的石油、天然气等不可再生资源的供应能力、全球环境容量以及地球生态系统的服务功能却是有限的。随着世界经济规模的不断扩大,这种有限性日益明显。6月底,原油期货价格不可思议地攀升至超过143美元/桶的历史新高。尽管疲软的美元、地缘形势不稳、投机者的兴风作浪等有可能助推油价再攀新高,但是,一个不可忽略的事实是我们已经进入石油供应不能与需求同步增长的时代,而这正是石油价格高企的主因。

     另一方面,因大气中温室气体浓度的不断升高而导致的冰雪消融、海平面上升、气候异常、干旱加剧、洪水泛滥等气候变化现象日趋严重,威胁到人类的生存。令人担忧的是,依照政府间气候变化专门委员会(IPCC)的预测模型,假如世界经济和人口高速增长并继续依赖化石能源,大气中的二氧化碳和其它温室气体将达到883PPM,全球平均气温将比上世纪末升高4摄氏度左右,这将给全球生态、经济和社会带来巨大破坏并引发生态灾难。

     面对资源的有限性和环境容量的有限性,我们又该如何应对的呢?

     首先是仅占世界人口15%左右的OECD国家的能源消费并未有明显降低的迹象,消耗了全球资源的一半以上;而在发展中国家,虽然人均能源消费较低,但为摆脱贫穷和落后,能源需求快速增长,正在重复着发达国家曾经走过的道路。从全球范围来看,虽然越来越多的国家和企业意识到开发可再生能源和发展低碳经济的必要性,但是,无论是政治意愿还是投资规模和技术研发力度,其表现均差强人意。

     如此看来,在地球生态系统服务的有限性、资源供应数量的有限性和环境自净能力的有限性多重叠加作用下,我们曾经追求的增长或许真的到了尽头。

     其实,早在36年前,罗马俱乐部在其发布的报告《增长的极限》(The Limits to Growth)中就提及这个问题。 他们提出“如果在世界人口、工业化、污染、粮食生产和资源消耗方面现在的趋势继续下去,这个行星上增长的极限有朝一日将在今后100年中发生。”自《增长的极限》发表以来,世界人口增加了近30亿,而资源消耗仍在增加,主要污染物的排放数量已接近或超过了环境自净能力,期间虽然提出了要走可持续发展道路的呼吁并进行了一定范围的实践,但是行动的力度和规模却未能扭转我们发展道路上的被动局面,以“大量生产、大量消费、大量废弃”为显著特征的工业文明发展模式依然盛行,罗马俱乐部所讲的增长的极限有可能在我们大多数人的有生之年就会到来。因此,从这个角度看,传统增长方式的有极性日趋明了。

     不过,我们欣喜地注意到,中国已经开启了一场史无前例的变革,即从节能减排入手调整产业结构进而转变增长模式,加速可再生能源开发和低碳经济发展的步伐,从而超越200年来的工业文明发展模式,重新设计和采用一个以一个地球资源供应能力和环境负荷水平为基础的生态文明发展模式。中国的努力令人钦佩,但是,中国的成功则在很大程度上有赖于其它国家尤其是发达国家的理解与支持。

     总之,增长的极限是相对于传统的经济发展模式而言的;若能以可持续发展为模版,实施低碳经济,增长的极限则不复存在,或者说我们可以超越增长(Beyond Growth)。研究表明,这种增长是跨越南北国家界限的同步增长,也是不同发展程度的国家联合起来共同追求的增长,我们行动的脚步越快,人类突破增长极限的可能性就越大。

To Exceed the Limits to Growth

     By Jia Feng

     Longing for growth is a doubtless common understanding no matter for developed or developing countries. The former is intending to further strengthen the happiness of people, but the latter is aiming to relieve poverty and let people to live a decent life.

     However, the supporting ability of those resources maintaining the present economic growth such as oil, natural gas, etc., global environmental capacity and eco-systems’ service of the earth are limited. As the economic scale of the world is getting larger, this limit is more obvious. At the end of June, the oil price reached a historical high of 143$/b. Though the devaluated dollar, unstable geo-situation and “gamblers” making waves, etc. are likely raising the oil price higher, but a fact can not be ignored is that we are entering into a times with the oil supply and demand not in-phase, which is the right main reason for high oil price.

     On the other hand, as the phenomenon of ice melting, sea level’s up, climate abnormity, more droughts and flooding are getting serious, so that it threatened human’s survive. What is more is that CO2 and other GHGs will reach 883 PPM if the world’s economy and population growth keeping on relying on fossil energy according to IPCC’s forecasting model, and then the average temperature of the earth will be 4  0 C higher. This will bring eco-disaster on the ecology, economy and society of the world.

     How can we solve these difficulties as below when faced with these limits?

     First of all, the energy consumption of OECD countries accounting for only 15% of the world population is not obviously declining, they consumed more than half of the global recourses; but in developing countries, though with a lower average energy consuming, they are following the developed countries’ footstep in order to get rid of poverty. Looking from the globe, many countries and businesses are realizing the necessity of developing renewable energy and low carbon economy, but the practice is not very good in both political will and investing scale as well as R&D.

     In this way, with the limits mentioned above overlapped each other, the growth we used to pursue seems coming to an end.

     In fact, as early as 36 years ago, this problem was mentioned in “The Limits to Growth” issued by Roman Club. They said that “This limit of growth will appear someday in 100 years to come if the momentum of present population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resources consuming went on.” Since the publication of The Limits to Growth, the world’ population increased by 3 billion, at the same time resources consuming is going up, too; the quantity of main pollutants emission is close to or over the capacity of self-clearing. Although during this time there were some calling for sustainable approach and certain range of practices, the tense and arrange of the action did not turn the passiveness. The industrial developing way with the characteristics of “massive production, consumption and disposal” is now still prevailing, The Limits to Growth may come to truth in lifetime for most of us. So from this angle it is getting more obvious that the traditional growth model does have limit.

     However, we also noticed gladly that China has started an unprecedented reform, namely to adjust industrial construction from the aspect of energy saving and pollution reduction, to speed up development of renewable energy and low carbon economy in order to surpass the industrial civilization development model formed in the past 200 years, to create and use a new eco-civilization model on the base of resource supply ability and environmental loading of the earth. Chinese efforts are appreciated by the world, yet the success of China relies to large extent the understanding and support of other countries, especially the developed ones.

     All in all, the limit of growth is in relative to the traditional economic model; if by using the sustainable model and implementing low carbon economy, then the limit of growth will disappear, or we will certainly go beyond growth. Some research explains that this growth is synchronous and crossing the South and the North, also a common pursuing for different countries in different developing stages as well. The faster we do, the larger the possibility will be for us to break through the limit.

 
 

 
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