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經濟學人二則:英國雞為何如此不值錢?日不落發的電為何如此骯臟?



一、養雞事業

Chickens are the most populous bird on the planet.

雞(學名:Gallus gallus domesticus),是原雞屬原雞中被人類馴化后而成的亞種,是家畜及家禽中數量最多,分布也最廣的,2011年的總數超過190億只,世界上雞的數量比所有其他的鳥都多。家雞最初的馴化作為家禽目的是為人們提供肉、蛋等食品,為人們提供廉價優質的動物蛋白質。

There are 23 billion of them at any given time.

據統計,2019年3月,地球人養了大約230億只地球雞。

That's 10 times more than any other bird.

十倍于鳥類

It's an astonishing achievement for a bird that originated as a small, wild, jungle bird in South East Asia.

對于一只起源于東南亞的小型野生叢林鳥類來說,這是一項驚人的成就。

It's by far the fastest growing meat product but pound for pound, the price of chicken has fallen sharply.

這是目前為止增長最快的肉類產品,但雞肉價格卻大幅下跌。

How as this happened?

怎么了?



Chickens were first domesticated over 8,000 years ago.

雞最早在8000多年前就被馴養了。

But it wasn't until the 1940's that major efforts were made to create a super breed.

但直到1940年代才做出重大努力來創造一個超級品種。

The chicken-of-tomorrow competition in America would change chickens forever.

然而養雞事業競賽面臨美國(肯得雞金拱萌躺槍?)的壓力,影響雞兒深刻

The aim of that competition was to try and encourage the development of a fast growing chicken that could provide a larger amount of protein at an affordable cost.

這一競爭的目的是試圖鼓勵發展一種能夠以負擔得起的價格提供更多蛋白質的快速生長的雞。

The success of the contest rose conclusively that it is possible to breed chickens with superior meat-type characteristics.

養雞事業競爭的初步結果最終表明,有可能培育出具有優良肉型特性的雞。

Today, the life cycle of broilers, chickens that are bred purely for their meat, is entirely pre ordained.

悲哀的是:今天,肉仔雞的生命周期完全是注定的。



That starts around day 34, the biggest birds for us off of this farm are around 39 days of age.

只要34天,農場的最老的雞大約是39天。

Then we have a really frantic seven to ten days to clean everywhere, get it all nice and warm and fresh ready for the next batch of chicks.

然后我們就有七到十天的時間去打掃所有的地方,場舍理應溫暖而新鮮,坐等下一批小雞的到來。

We do that seven and a half, eight times a year.

我們一年七次半到八次輪回。

This efficiency is passed on to the consumer.

消費者感同身受。

It's good value, I don't like referring to it as cheap.

它有價值,我不喜歡“便宜”。

These are not cheap, these are animals.

寧有貴種乎?低端動物的命也是命呀!

二、可再生能源的骯臟秘密

We often do covers on things that are in the news,

我們經常做新聞報道

things that are right there on the front page of your newspaper.

那些你看得見的新聞頭條

But sometimes we like to look behind an issue that we think's being neglected.

但有時候你會想更深入了解一些被忽略的問題



But it means that there's an oversupply of generating capacity which is weighing down on prices.

但這代表著電力過度供給,導致價錢下降

The second problem is the supply of renewable energy is intermittent.

第二個問題是,可再生能源發電是間接性的

And for those moments when you don't have wind or sunshine, you need to get your electricity from somewhere else.

當沒有風在吹或是沒有陽光在照時,我們必須從別的地方獲得電力

And that somewhere else is the old dirty power stations that we used to rely on in the past.

而那個源頭就是我們現在正在仰賴的老舊又骯臟的發電廠

And the third point is that renewables inherently cost very little.

第三點則是可再生能源的成本很低

Because the sun shines free and the wind blows free.

因為陽光跟風都不用錢

Now that means that suppliers of this energy bid very low prices to supply to the grid.

這代表供給需求里能源的供給商用非常低的價錢來供應

That brings down the cost for everybody which lowers profits.

這使價錢整個降低,導致利潤也相對受到影響

Now this has a number of implications.

這有幾個含義

One is that the whole grid requires vast subsidies,

其中一個是要平衡原本的供給需求,需要巨額的津貼

which actually raises the price for the consumer even though the industry's not earning very much.

我們可以撇開上述的成本問題,提高消費者的電價

To fix this mess,

要解決這個問題



and we wrote the lead of this week to try and get people to face up to the problem, and how to fix it.

而我們這篇報導的用意是要試著,讓人們正視這個問題,以及如何解決這個問題。