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              石油的故事(上)

              來源:經濟學人 編輯:Helen ?  可可英語APP下載 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet
                


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              Culture

              文化板塊

              Book review: The story of oil

              書評:石油的故事

              A dirty business

              一個骯臟的行業

              A Pipeline Runs Through It. By Keith Fisher.

              《貫穿其中的管道》基思·費舍爾著

              In 1908 drillers working for Weetman Pearson hit a gusher.

              1908年,維特曼·皮爾遜手下的鉆井工人發生了井噴事故。

              Pearson, a British industrialist, had done a deal with the anti-American government of Mexico for a 50-year oil concession that covered much of the state of Veracruz.

              皮爾遜是一位英國實業家,事故發生前,他與墨西哥反美政府達成了一項為期50年的石油特許權協議,該協議覆蓋了韋拉克魯斯州的大部分地區。

              From a depth of 1,830 feet (558 metres), the Dos Bocas well exploded into a broiling fountain of oil that rose 1,000 feet into the air.

              多斯博卡斯油井在1830英尺(558米)深的地方爆炸,形成了高達1000英尺的灼熱石油噴泉,直沖天空。

              The ensuing fire raged uncontrolled for 57 days, spilling more than 10m barrels of oil and leaving a toxic environmental legacy that persists today.

              隨之而來的大火肆虐了57天,導致逾1000萬桶石油泄漏,并產生了有毒物質,至今還在危害環境。

              A geologist at the site observed: “What had been lush monte [bush] was now a gaunt spectre of dead trees.

              現場的一位地質學家說:“曾經郁郁蔥蔥的山地(灌木叢)現在成了枯樹的幽靈。

              The air stunk with the smell of rotten eggs.

              空氣中彌漫著臭雞蛋的味道。

              There was no sign or sound of animal, bird or insect life…It smelled and looked like I imagined hell might look and smell.”

              各種動物,哪怕是鳥類或昆蟲的蹤跡或聲音都無處可尋…那里的味道和情形活像我想象中地獄的樣子?!?/p>

              The oilfields opened up by this catastrophe were so prolific and profitable that they became known, apparently without irony, as the “Golden Lane”.

              由這場災難開辟的油田產量如此之大,又如此有利可圖,以至于它們被稱為“黃金巷”,而這顯然毫無諷刺意味。

              As Keith Fisher shows in “A Pipeline Runs Through It”, a sprawling, painstakingly researched history of oil from the Palaeolithic era to the first world war, black gold has been as much a curse as a blessing for the people on whose land it has been found.

              《貫穿其中的管道》對舊石器時代到第一次世界大戰時期的石油歷史進行了詳盡研究,正如基思·費舍爾在書中所展示的那樣,對于發現了黑金的土地上的人來說,黑金既是一種祝福,也是一種詛咒。

              Oil has always been a dirty business, both literally and metaphorically.

              石油一直是一個骯臟的行業,無論是從字面上還是從比喻意義上看都是如此。

              Mr Fisher begins with a slightly plodding survey of the uses found in bygone eras for the different kinds of oil that seeped from the ground.

              費舍爾首先進行了一個略顯乏味的調查,他調查了舊時發現的從地下滲出的各種石油的用途。

              It was an adhesive for toolmaking, a waterproofing agent for boats and roofs, a medicinal cure and a lubricant.

              發現石油可以用作工具制造粘合劑、船只和屋頂的防水劑、藥劑和潤滑劑。

              The Byzantines chucked a napalm-like substance, known as Greek Fire, over the walls of besieged cities.

              拜占庭人會在被圍困城市的城墻上投擲一種被稱為“希臘火”的凝固汽油彈狀物質。

              The book gets into its stride when it reaches the late 18th century.

              費舍爾在寫到18世紀末的事情時開始游刃有余。

              Then the extirpation of Native American nations paved the way for the development, just over 50 years later, of the “oil region” of Pennsylvania and New York states.

              當時,美洲原住民的滅絕為50多年后賓夕法尼亞州和紐約州這兩個“產油區”的開發鋪平了道路。

              It was there that large-scale industrialised oil production first occurred.

              大規模工業化石油生產正是在那里首次出現。

              The soaring demand for oil was driven mainly by its use for lighting (after being refined into kerosene).

              對石油需求飆升的主要原因是,石油在被提煉成煤油之后可用于照明。

              It burned cleaner, brighter and with less smell than other oils, such as those derived from coal or whales.

              相比其它油,比如從煤或鯨魚中提取的油,煤油燒起來更干凈、更明亮,氣味也更淡。

              The oil rush began in 1859 along what became known as Oil Creek, near Titusville, Pennsylvania, when an entrepreneur called Edwin Drake became the first American to drill for oil successfully.

              1859年,在賓夕法尼亞州的泰特斯維爾附近,一位名叫埃德溫·德雷克的企業家成為了第一個成功鉆探石油的美國人,該地后來被稱為石油溪,石油熱潮就是由此開始的。

              As wildcatters rushed to the region, small refineries started popping up all over the place.

              隨著盲目開采油井者涌入該地區,小型煉油廠開始在各處涌現。

              Railway companies cashed in by providing the only route to market until pipelines, which required large amounts of capital, could be constructed.

              在需要大量資金的管道建成之前,鐵路公司憑借提供通往市場的唯一路線從該領域牟利。

              Into this Wild East of desperate competition—and prices that fluctuated madly as capacity grew either too fast or too slowly—stepped John D. Rockefeller, whose Standard Oil set out to control the industry through a process of “combination”, or monopolisation.

              約翰·D·洛克菲勒踏入了這片充滿絕望競爭的狂野東部——由于石油產能增長要么太快,要么太慢,當地的石油價格也瘋狂波動——他的標準石油公司開始通過“合并”或壟斷的過程控制石油行業。

              Such was Standard’s financial muscle and legislative clout that competitors sold it their assets before being driven out of business.

              標準石油公司的財力和立法影響力如此之大,以至于競爭對手在被趕出石油行業之前就把資產賣給了它。

              By controlling pipelines and refineries, Rockefeller could also dictate terms to producers.

              通過控制管道和煉油廠,洛克菲勒甚至還可以向石油生產商發號施令。

              譯文由可可原創,僅供學習交流使用,未經許可請勿轉載。

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