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From sacred cow to white elephant is a short jump....

From sacred cow to white elephant is a short jump. Wind power, once seen as the eco-friendly cure-all for Britain's energy problems, is attracting unprecedented criticism. The latest campaign, which unites veteran greens and the opposition Tories, opposes a proposed installation of 27 wind turbines next to Romney Marsh in Kent, a noted bird sanctuary and beauty spot. Hundreds more are planned elsewhere—many in beautiful bits of the countryside where some of Britain's richest people happen to live. A bunch of media-savvy local organisations is now lobbying hard to stop them.

The government remains unmoved. It calls wind power "the most proven green source of electricity generation" and cites Denmark as a role model. Renewables (mostly wind) account for 20% of electrical generation capacity there. Renewable energy is needed both to cut CO2 emissions, promised under the Kyoto treaty, and to reach the government's own target of generating 10% of British electricity from renewable sources by 2010. The cost of this to the taxpayer is likely to be £1 billion a year by 2020.

But as well as Tories, toffs and country-lovers, many others think that wind power is seriously flawed. The first big problem is that it is too expensive. Although the British Wind Energy Association puts the cost of electricity from onshore wind farms at 2.5p per kilowatt-hour, only slightly more costly than other power sources, the Royal Academy of Engineering claims that on a more realistic view of construction costs it is much dearer (more expensive): 3.7p when generated onshore and 5.5p offshore.

The government has tried to bridge this gap with tradable certificates. The wind-gatherers gain one of these for each megawatt-hour they generate. Power distribution companies then buy them as an alternative to paying the fines levied for failing to buy a set proportion (currently 4.9%) of renewable energy annually. But a recent House of Lords report noted a big snag: the nearer the industry gets to meeting the government's targets, the less the value of the certificates; once the target is passed, their worth falls abruptly to zero.

So the certificates, which will cost consumers a cool £ 500m this year and will be even more expensive next year, cap the supply of renewable energy instead of encouraging it. In effect, firms will buy only the minimum amount of renewable energy necessary to comply with the law.

Then there are the engineering problems. Too light a breeze means no power; too strong a gale and the turbines shut down to prevent damage. Even the wind-lovers expect that the farms will manage only 30% of their full capacity on average. Worse, that output can fluctuate rapidly—by up to 20% of the total national wind capacity in the space of a single hour, according to Hugh Sherman, an energy consultant, who has studied Denmark's wind industry. Furthermore, in a typical year like 2002, he says, there were 54 days when the air was so still that virtually no wind power was generated at all.

But whereas Denmark can import power from Norway and Germany to keep the lights on during calm periods, Britain's power grid is not set up for imports. So conventional coal-, oil- or gas-fired power stations would have to be kept running, ready to take up the load. That sharply raises the real cost of wind energy and means extra CO2 emissions.

Ministers may be right when they argue that wind power is the only renewable energy source that has even a theoretical chance of meeting the government's targets. Given the costs and technical uncertainties, perhaps it would be better to abandon those targets altogether.

Explain the statement "from sacred cow to white elephant is a short jump". (Para. 1)

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第1题

From sacred cow to white elephant is a short jump. Wind power, once seen as the eco-friendly cure-all for Britain's energy problems, is attracting unprecedented criticism. The latest campaign, which unites veteran greens and the opposition Tories, opposes a proposed installation of 27 wind turbines next to Romney Marsh in Kent, a noted bird sanctuary and beauty spot. Hundreds more are planned elsewhere—many in beautiful bits of the countryside where some of Britain's richest people happen to live. A bunch of media-savvy local organisations is now lobbying hard to stop them.
The government remains unmoved. It calls wind power "the most proven green source of electricity generation" and cites Denmark as a role model. Renewables (mostly wind) account for 20% of electrical generation capacity there. Renewable energy is needed both to cut CO2 emissions, promised under the Kyoto treaty, and to reach the government's own target of generating 10% of British electricity from renewable sources by 2010. The cost of this to the taxpayer is likely to be £1 billion a year by 2020.
But as well as Tories, toffs and country-lovers, many others think that wind power is seriously flawed. The first big problem is that it is too expensive. Although the British Wind Energy Association puts the cost of electricity from onshore wind farms at 2.5p per kilowatt-hour, only slightly more costly than other power sources, the Royal Academy of Engineering claims that on a more realistic view of construction costs it is much dearer (more expensive): 3.7p when generated onshore and 5.5p offshore.
The government has tried to bridge this gap with tradable certificates. The wind-gatherers gain one of these for each megawatt-hour they generate. Power distribution companies then buy them as an alternative to paying the fines levied for failing to buy a set proportion (currently 4.9%) of renewable energy annually. But a recent House of Lords report noted a big snag: the nearer the industry gets to meeting the government's targets, the less the value of the certificates; once the target is passed, their worth falls abruptly to zero.
So the certificates, which will cost consumers a cool £ 500m this year and will be even more expensive next year, cap the supply of renewable energy instead of encouraging it. In effect, firms will buy only the minimum amount of renewable energy necessary to comply with the law.
Then there are the engineering problems. Too light a breeze means no power; too strong a gale and the turbines shut down to prevent damage. Even the wind-lovers expect that the farms will manage only 30% of their full capacity on average. Worse, that output can fluctuate rapidly—by up to 20% of the total national wind capacity in the space of a single hour, according to Hugh Sherman, an energy consultant, who has studied Denmark's wind industry. Furthermore, in a typical year like 2002, he says, there were 54 days when the air was so still that virtually no wind power was generated at all.
But whereas Denmark can import power from Norway and Germany to keep the lights on during calm periods, Britain's power grid is not set up for imports. So conventional coal-, oil- or gas-fired power stations would have to be kept running, ready to take up the load. That sharply raises the real cost of wind energy and means extra CO2 emissions.
Ministers may be right when they argue that wind power is the only renewable energy source that has even a theoretical chance of meeting the government's targets. Given the costs and technical uncertainties, perhaps it would be better to abandon those targets altogether.
Explain the statement "from sacred cow to white elephant is a short jump". (Para. 1)


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第2题

Elephants are perhaps the only animals that are hunted for their teeth. Elephant's tusks, or very large teeth growing on either side of their mouths, are composed of a valuable material called ivory(象牙).
(77) An elephant uses its long, pointed tusks as tools for digging in the ground for food. He also uses them as weapons in combat.
The tusks of male elephants are usually large and heavy. In Africa, female elephants have long, light tusks. In India and other parts of southern Asia, female elephants have small, short tusks or none at all.
(78) Tusks in good .condition are in great demand, and may sell for as high as two thousand dollars or more. Because of this, large numbers of elephants have been killed. Some countries have initiated (开始) methods of trying to protect elephants. They have established elephant preserves, or areas of land set aside for herds of elephants where no one is allowed to harm them. Elephants on the preserves are safe from ivory hunters.
Female elephants in India and southern Asia have ______
A.large and heavy tusks
B.small and short tusks or not any teeth at all
C.small and short tusks
D.long and light tusks
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第3题

___ elephants are different from wild ?

___ elephants are different from wild elephants in many aspects, including their tempers.

A) Cultivated          B) Regulated           C) Civil              D) Tame

 

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第4题

After reading the following short story, please write a composition on the topic "Is It the Only Guide?" Start writing your composition with the topic sentence "Man has been curious about native and the universe for tens of thousands of years." You are supposed to write at least 100 words in your composition using the words and expressions given below.
rise describe look at rely on draw lesson from keep in mind make investigation into
A Hindu legend goes that three blind men were trying to describe an elephant. The first man, feeling its trunk, asserted: "It is like a snake." The second, trying to reach around the beast's massive leg, argued: "No, it is like a tree." The third, feeling its powerful side, disagreed, saying: "It is more like a wall."


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第5题

elephants are different from wild elephants?

elephants are different from wild elephants in many aspects, including their tempers.

A) Civil            B) Tame           C) Cultivated         D) Regulated

 

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第6题

The symbol of the US Republican Party is
A.tiger.
B.elephant.
C.donkey.
D.lion.

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第7题

Two main techniques have been used for training elephants, which we may call respectively the tough and the gentle. The former method simply consists of setting an elephant to work and beating him until he does what is expected. Apart from any moral considerations this is a stupid method of training, for it produces a resentful animal who at a later stage may well turn man-killer. The gentle method requires more patience in the early stages, but produces a cheerful, good-tempered elephant who will give many years of loyal service.
The first essential in elephant training is to assign to the animal a single mahout who will be entirely responsible for the job. Elephants like to have one master just as dogs do, and are capable of a considerable degree of personal affection. There are even stories of half-trained elephant calves who have refused to feed and pained to death when by some unavoidable circumstance they have been deprived of their own trainer. Such extreme cases must probably be taken with a grain of salt, but they do underline the general principle that the relationship between elephant and mahout is the key to successful training.
The most economical age to capture an elephant for training is between fifteen and twenty years, for it is then almost ready to undertake heavy work and can begin to earn its keep straight away. But animals of this age do not easily become subservient to man, and a very firm hand must be employed in the early stages. The captive elephant, still roped to a tree, plunges and screams every time a man approaches, and for several days will probably refuse all food through anger and fear. Sometimes a tame elephant is tethered nearby to give the wild one confidence, and in most cases the captive gradually quietens down and begins to accept its food. The next stage is to get the elephant to the training establishment, a ticklish business which is achieved with the aid of two tame elephants roped to the captive on either side.
When several elephants are being trained at one time, it is customary for the new arrival to be placed between the stalls of two captives whose training is already well advanced. It is then left completely undisturbed with plenty of food and water so that it can absorb the atmosphere of its new home and see that nothing particularly alarming is happening to its companions when it is eating normally, its own training begins. The trainer stands in front of the elephant holding a long stick with a sharp metal point. Two assistants, mounted on tame elephants, control the captive from either side, while others rub their hands over his skin to the accompaniment of a monotonous and soothing chant. This is supposed to induce pleasurable sensations in the elephant, and its effects are reinforced by the use of endearing epithets, such as 'ho! my son', or 'ho! My father', or 'my mother' according to the age and sex of the captive. The elephant is not immediately susceptible to such blandishments, however, and usually lashes fiercely with its trunk in all directions. These movements are controlled by the trainer with the metal-pointed stick, and the trunk eventually becomes so sore that the elephant curls it up and seldom afterwards uses it for offensive purposes.
The ill-treatment of an elephant during training______.
A.can have unpleasant consequences later
B.is the most effective method available
C.increases the time it takes to train the animal
D.ensures loyal service for years to come
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第8题

Part A
Directions: Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing A, B, C or D . Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1.
Two main techniques have been used for training elephants, which we may call respectively the tough and the gentle. The former method simply consists of setting an elephant to work and beating him until he does what is expected of him. Apart from any moral considerations this is a stupid method of training, for it produces a resentful animal who at later stage may well turn into a man-killer. The gentle method requires more patience in the early stages, but produces a cheerful, good-tempered elephant who will give many years of loyal service.
The first essential in elephant training is it assigns to the animal a single mahout who will be entirely responsible for the job. Elephants like to have one master just as dogs do; and are capable of a considerable degree of personal auction. There are even stories of half trained elephant calves who have refused to feed and pained to death when by some unavoidable circum stance they have been deprived of their own trainer. Such extreme case must probably be taken with a grain of salt, but they do underline the general principle that the relationship between elephant and mahout is the key to successful training.
The most economical age to capture an elephant for training is between fifteen and twenty years, for it is then almost ready to undertake heavy work and can begin to earn its keep straight away. But animals of this age do not easily become subservient to man, and a very firm hand must be employed in the early stages. The captive elephant, still roped to tree, plunges and screams every time a man approaches, and for several days will probably refuse all food through anger and fear. Sometimes a tame elephant is tethered nearby to give the wild one confidence, and in most cases the captive gradually quietens down and begins to accept its food. The next stage is to get the elephant to the training establishment, a ticklish business which is achieved with the aid if two tame elephants roped to the captive on either side.
When several elephants are being trained at one time, it is customary for the new arrival to be placed between the stalls of two captives whose training is already well advanced. It is then left completely undisturbed with plenty of food and water so that it can absorb the atmosphere of its new home and see that nothing particular alarming is happening to its companions. When it is eating normally, its own training begins. The trainer stands in front of the elephant holding a long stick with a sharp metal point. Two assistants, mounted on tamed elephants, control the captive from either side, while others rub their hands over his skin to the accompaniment of a monotonous and soothing chant. This is supposed to induce pleasurable sensations in the elephant, and its effects are reinforced by the use of endearing epithets, such as" Ho f My son", or" Ho ! My father", according to the age and sex of the captive. The elephant is not immediately susceptible to such blandishments, however, and usually lashes fiercely with its trunk in all directions. These movements are controlled by the trainer with the metal-pointed stick, and trunk eventually becomes so sore that the elephant curls it up and afterwards uses it for offensive purposes.
The ill-treatment of an elephant during training______.
A.can have unpleasant consequences later
B.is the most effective method available
C.increases the time it takes to train the animal
D.ensures loyal service for years to come
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第9题

We can infer from the passage that elephants may ______
A.run into other elephant families
B.give wrong warnings to their mothers
C.run away on hearing a strange sound
D.produce more babies by gathering together often

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第10题

Elephants who paint aren't new. Paintings by Ruby, an Asian elephant who lived at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona, sold for up to $5,000 in the late 1980s, said Dick George, a consultant with the zoo.
"Ruby was about seven months old when she first came to the zoo", said George. "She lived with a goat and some chickens, but she didn't have an elephant companion for a number of years. She spent a lot of time drawing in the dirt with a stick to make her days more stimulating. Her keeper bought her some art supplies". George said, ', Ruby was excited about painting right from the beginning".
The elephants at the art academies in the Southeast Asia are taught to hold a paintbrush with the tip of their trunks. Initially, the keeper guides the elephant's trunk over the canvas(画布) and offers rewards for good performance.
"It only takes a few hours to a day to teach them", said Mia Fineman, an art historian whose book When Elephants Paint is an illustrated history of the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project.
Ruby was an Asian elephant ______.
A.who was sold for a price as high as $5,000
B.who was famous for being the first painting elephant
C.whose paintings sold for as high as $5,000
D.who started painting in the late 1980s
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