中美关系的温室

随着中共总书记兼国家主席胡锦涛准备于4月20日访问美国,种种悬而未决的问题困扰美中关系。双方将就双边贸易平衡、人民币升值、台湾和西藏的地位、侵犯人权以及知识产权保护等问题展开辩论。中国在遏制北朝鲜的核野心中扮演的角色以及其与日本的紧张关系是双边会谈中的另外两个沉重议题。双方甚至还对是否将胡锦涛的华盛顿之行视为正式的“国事访问”存在争议。

这些问题将充斥报刊的头版头条,但与另外一个不在双方议事日程上的问题,也就使全球变暖问题相比,这些问题都显得黯然失色。这是一个遗憾,因为正如英国首相布莱尔最近所说的那样,从长期来看,“没有任何问题比气候变化更为重要”,“没有中国、美国和印度的参与”,不可能达成任何减少气候变化的协议。

而且,气候变化已经不再是一个长期问题,只有极端分子才会仍然怀疑使用量越来越多的碳素燃料是导致全球变暖的罪魁祸首。实际上,英国南极调查局最近的评估显示,自从20世纪70年代以来,南极上空的温度已经升高了3.6度,变暖速度比迄今为止研究人员所认为的要快得多。同样的,据《科学》杂志报道,新的研究表明海平面上升的速度可能比设想的要迅猛的多。

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