The first mistake is to think of mankind as a thing in itself. It isn’t. It is part of an intricate web of life. And we can’t think even of life as a thing in itself. It isn’t. It is part of the intricate structure of a planet bathed by energy from the Sun.The Earth, in the nearly 5 billion years since it assumed approximately its present form, has undergone a vast evolution. When it first came into being, it very likely lacked what we would today call an ocean and an atmosphere. These were formed by the gradual outward movement of material as the solid interior settled together.Nor were ocean, atmosphere, and solid crust independent of each other after formation. There is interaction always: evaporation, condensation, solution, weathering. Far within the solid crust there are slow, continuing changes, too, of which hot springs, volcanoes, and earth-quakes are the more noticeable manifestations here on the surface.Between 2 billion and 3 billion years ago, portions of the surface water, bathed by the energetic radiation from the Sun, developed complicated compounds in organization sufficiently versatile to qualify as what we call “life”. Life forms have become more complex and more various ever since.But the life forms are as much part of the structure of the Earth as any inanimate portion is. It is all an inseparable part of a whole. If any animal is isolated totally from other forms of life, then death by starvation will surely follow. If isolated from water, death by asphyxiation will follow still faster. If isolated from the Sun, animals will survive for a time, but plants would die, and if all plants died, all animal would starve.It works in reverse, too, for the inanimate portion of Earth is shaped and molded by life. The nature of the atmosphere has been changed by plant activity (which adds to the air the free oxygen it could not otherwise retain). The soil is turned by earthworms, while enormous ocean reefs are formed by coral.The entire planet, plus solar energy, is one enormous intricately interrelated system. The entire planet is a life form made up of nonliving portions and a large variety of living portions (as our own body is made up of nonliving crystals in bones and nonliving water in blood, as well as of a large variety of living portions).In fact, we can pursue the analogy. A man is of 50 trillion cells of a variety of types, all interrelated and interdependent. Loss of some of those cells, such as those making up an entire, will seriously handicap all the rest of the organism: serious damage to a relatively few cells in an organ, such as the heart or kidneys, may end by killing all 50 trillion.In the same way, on planetary scale, the chopping down of an entire forest may not threaten Earth’s life in general, but it will produce serious changes in the life forms of the region and even in the nature of the water runoff and, therefore, in the details of geological structure. A serious decline in the bee population will affect the numbers of those plants that depend on bees for fertilization, then the numbers of those animals that depend on those particular bee-fertilized plants, and so on.Or consider cell growth. Cells in those organs that suffer constant wear and tear—as in the skin or in the intestinal lining—grow and multiply all life long. Other cells, not so exposed, as in nerve and muscle, do not multiply at all in the adult, under any circumstances. Still other organs, ordinarily quiescent, as liver and bone, stand ready to grow if that is necessary to replace damage. When the proper repairs are made, growth stops.In a much looser and more flexible way, the same is true of die “planet organism” (which we study in the science called ecology). If cougars grow too numerous, the deer they live on are decimated, and some of the cougars die of starvation, so that their “proper number” is restored. If too many cougars die, then deer multiply with particular rapidity, and cougars multiply quickly in turn, till the additional predators bring down the number of deer again. Barring interference from outside, the eaters and the eaten retain their proper numbers, and both are the better for it.The neat economy of growth within an organism such as a human being is sometimes—for what reason, we know not—disrupted, and a group of cells begins growing without limit. This is the dread disease of cancer, and unless that growing group of cells is somehow stopped, the wild growth will throw all the body structure out of true and end by killing the organism itself.In ecology, the same would happening if, for some reason, one particular type of organism began to multiply without limit, killing its competitors and increasing its own food supply at the expense of that of others. That, too, could end in the destruction of the larger system—most or all of life and even of certain aspects of the inanimate environment.And this is exactly what is happening at this moment. For thousands of years, the single species Homo sapiens, to which you and I have the dubious honor of belonging, has been increasing in numbers. In the past couple of centuries, the rate of increase has itself increased explosively.At the time of Julius Caesar, when Earth’s human population is estimated to have been 150 million, that population was increasing at rate that it would double in 1000 years if that rate remained steady. Today, with Earth’s population estimated at about 4000 million, it is increasing at a rate which, if steady, will cause it to double in 35 years.The present rate of increase of Earth’s swarming human population qualifies as an ecological cancer, which will destroy the ecology just as surely as any ordinary cancer would destroy an organism.The cure? Just what it is for any cancer. The cancerous growth must somehow be stopped.Of course, it will be. If we do nothing at all, the growth will stop, as a cancerous growth in a man will stop if nothing is done. The man dies and the cancer dies with it.How can the human population explosion be stopped? By raising the death rate or by lowering the birthrate. There are no other alternatives. The death rate will rise spontaneously and finally catastrophically, if we do nothing—and that within a few decades. To make the birth rate fall, somehow, is surely preferable, and that is therefore the first order of mankind’s business today.Failing this, mankind would stand at the bar of abstract justice as the mass murderer of life generally, his own included, and mass disrupter of the intricate planetary development that made life in its present glory possible in the first place.1. According to the article, which of the following statements is true?2. According to the author, the analogy between the entire planet and the human body is based on all of the following EXCEPT ______.3. According to the article, what is NOT true about the population in the world?4. In “Failing this, mankind would stand at the bar of abstract justice” (last paragraph), which of the following does “this” refer to?5. “The neat economy of growth within organism” (12th paragraph) means ______.
Resources can be said to be scarce in both an absolute and a relative sense: the surface of the earth is finite, imposing absolute scarcity; but the scarcity that concerns economists is the relative scarcity of resources in different uses. Materials used for one purpose cannot at the same time be used for other purposes; if the quantity of an input is limited, the increased use of it in one manufacturing process must cause it to become less available for other uses.The cost of a product in terms of money may not measure its true cost to society. The true cost of, say, the construction of a supersonic jet is the value of the schools and refrigerators that will never be built as a result. Every act of production uses up some of society’s available resources; it means the foregoing of an opportunity to produce something else. In deciding how to use resources most effectively to satisfy the wants of the community, this opportunity cost must be taken into account. In a market economy the price of a goods and the quantity supplied depends on the cost of making it, and the cost, ultimately, is the cost of not making other goods. The market mechanism enforces this relationship. The cost of, say, a pair of shoes is the price of the leather, the fuel, and other elements used up in producing them. But the price of these inputs, in turn, depends on what they can produce elsewhere—if the leather can be used to produce handbags that are valued highly by consumers, the price of leather will be bid up correspondingly.1. According to the passage, what are the opportunity costs of an item?2. What is the relationship between production and resources?3. What determines the price of a goods in a market economy?4. Which of the following statements is true according to the passage?5. What are economists concerned about with regard to resources?
Accidents are caused; they don’t just happen. The reason may be easy to see: an overloaded tray, a shelf out of reach, a patch of ice on the road. But more often than not there is a chain of events leading up to the misfortune—frustration, tiredness or just bad temper—that show what the accident really is, a sort of attack on oneself.Road accidents, for example, happen frequently after a family quarrel, and we all know people who are accident-prone, so often at odds with themselves and the world that they seem to cause accidents for themselves or others.By definition, an accident is something you cannot predict or avoid, and the idea which used to be current, that the majority of road accidents are caused by a minority of criminally careless drivers, is not supported by insurance statistics. These show that most accidents involve ordinary motorists in a moment of carelessness or thoughtlessness.It is not always, clear, either, what sort of conditions make people more likely to have an accident. For instance, the law requires all factories to take safety precautions and most companies have safety committees to make sure the regulations are observed, but still, every day in Britain, some fifty thousand men and women are absent from work due to an accident. These accidents are largely the result of human error or misjudgment—noise and fatigue, boredom or worry are possible factors which contribute to this. Doctors who work in factories have found that those who drink too much, usually people who have a high anxiety level, run three times the normal risk of accidents at work.1. The passage might be taken from ______.2. The writer indicates that ______.3. Which of the following is not mentioned as a factor of accidents?4. “Accident-prone” (Para 2) probably means ______.5. Which of following could serve as the best title for this passage?
1. Many Americans harbor a grossly distorted and exaggerated view of most of the risks surrounding food.2. Researchers who are unfamiliar with the cultural and ethnic groups they are studying must take extra precautions to shed any biases they bring with them from their own culture.3. The MBA, a 20th-century product, always has borne the mark of lowly commerce and greed on the tree-lined campuses ruled by purer disciplines such as philosophy and literature.4. Our culture has caused most Americans to assume not only that our language is universal but that the gestures we use are understood by everyone.5. Our linguistic (语言上的) and cultural blindness and the casualness with which we take notice of the developed tastes, gestures, customs and languages of other countries, are losing us friends, business and respect in the world.
Sporting activities are essentially modified forms of hunting behavior. Viewed biologically, the modern footballer is （1） as a member of a disguised hunting pack. His killing weapon has turned into a harmless football and his prey into a goal-mouth. If his aim is （2） and he scores a goal, he enjoys the hunter’s triumph of killing his prey.To understand how this （3） has taken place we must briefly look （4） our ancient ancestors. They spent over a million years evolving as co-operative hunters. Their very （5） depended on success in the hunting-field. Under this pressure their whole way of life, even their bodies, became （6） changed. They became chasers, runners, jumpers, aimers, throwers （7）prey-killers. They co-operate as skillful male-group attackers.Then, about ten thousand years ago, after this （8） long formative period of hunting for food, they became farmers. Their improved intelligence, so vital to their old hunting life, （9） put to a new use—that of penning, controlling and domesticating their prey. The food was there on the farms, awaiting their needs. The risks and uncertainties of （10） were no longer essential for survival.