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2017/03/17 第164期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 In Bhutan, Happiness Index as Gauge for Social Ills不丹 用幸福指數測量社會良窳
An Opportunity Rises Offshore成本降技術升 離岸風電打入主流
In Bhutan, Happiness Index as Gauge for Social Ills不丹 用幸福指數測量社會良窳
文/Kai Schultz

As a downpour settled into a thick fog outside, Dasho Karma Ura let his eyes flicker at the ceiling of a wood-paneled conference room and began expounding on the nature of happiness.

“People feel happy when they see something ethical,” he said. “When you think you have done something right and brave and courageous, when you can constantly recharge yourself as a meaningful actor.”



“And lastly,” he added, thumbing Buddhist prayer beads, “something which makes you pause and think, ‘Ah, this is beautiful. Beautiful, meaningful, ethical.'”

Ura, 55, is perhaps one of the world’s leading experts on happiness, at least as seen through the lens of development economics. It has been something of a preoccupation for more than two decades as he has developed and fine-tuned Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness indicator, a supplementary, sometimes alternative, yardstick to the conventional measure of development, gross domestic product.



As the president of the Center for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research, Ura has spent much of his time asking Bhutanese questions about interactions with neighbors, quality of sleep and physical vigor in an attempt to understand and measure subjective well-being. Over the years, he has watched the idea catch on far beyond Bhutan, a remote kingdom in the Himalayas.

When Denmark repeatedly came in first on the World Happiness Report, which looks at the science of measuring quality of life, more people became aware of both the report, and the concept behind it.



As nations struggle with what Ura called more “guns, bullets and bombs” than at any other time in history, he said it was imperative that many more countries devise indicators that look beyond economics.

“We have to find new ways of organizing our drives and energies toward peace and harmony,” he said. “We have to sincerely find a way out of it, out of this mutual insecurity. Because you have more guns, I have to have a little more guns. The long-term collapse is facing us.”



While Gross National Happiness has become a political tool around election time, Ura believes the index has drawn greater attention to social problems. And the results appear to be positive, he said.

In 2015, his staff members released a study that showed 91.2 percent of Bhutanese reporting that they were narrowly, extensively or deeply happy, with a 1.8 percent increase in aggregate happiness between 2010 and 2015.

Those who were educated and lived in urban areas reported higher levels of contentment than their rural counterparts. Men reported feeling happier than women.






不丹第四位國王吉格梅.辛格.旺楚克在1972年創造「國民幸福總值」(Gross National Happiness)一詞,他當時宣布,國民幸福總值比國民生產毛額(Gross National Product,簡稱GNP)重要。之後不丹發展出「國民幸福總值指數」(GNH Index),簡稱為幸福指數,其概念為不應該單以經濟來衡量一個國家的發展。

不丹的幸福指數經過不斷修正,文中幸福問題專家烏拉帶領的研究機構2012年修訂出最新版本,列有8個衡量幸福的標準,包括身心靈上的健康(physical, mental and spiritual health)、時間均衡(time-balance)、社交和社區活力(social and community vitality)、文化活力(cultural vitality)、教育(education)、生活水準(living standards)、良好的治理(good governance)和生態活力(ecological vitality)。

An Opportunity Rises Offshore成本降技術升 離岸風電打入主流
文/Stanley Reed

When engineers faced resistance from residents in Denmark over plans to build wind turbines on the Nordic country’s flat farmland, they found a better locale: the sea. The offshore wind farm, the world’s first, had just 11 turbines and could power about 3,000 homes.

That project now looks like a minnow compared with the whales that sprawl for miles across the seas of Northern Europe.



Off this venerable British port city, a Danish company, DONG Energy, is installing 32 turbines that stretch 600 feet high. Each turbine produces more power than that first facility.

It is precisely the size, both of the projects and the profits they can bring, that has grabbed the attention of banks, money managers, private equity funds and wealthy individuals like the owner of the Danish toymaker Lego and the investment bank Goldman Sachs. As the technology has improved and demand for renewable energy has risen, costs have fallen.



And offshore wind, once a fringe investment, with limited scope and reliant on government subsidies, is moving into the mainstream. Europe, too, looks all the more attractive, as the United States under President Donald Trump rethinks its stance on renewables.

“If you had polled infrastructure investors five years ago, only a few would have been looking at offshore wind,” said Suzanne Buchta, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch global co-head of green bonds.



Now, she said, they “are a little more comfortable.”

Offshore wind has several advantages over land-based renewable energy, whether wind or solar. Turbines can be deployed at sea with fewer complaints than on land, where they are often condemned as eyesores.

But the technology had been expensive and heavily dependent on government subsidies, leaving investors wary. That is now changing.

Turbines today are bigger, produce much more electricity and are deployed on much larger sites than in the past. The result is more clean power and extra revenue.




The number of major players has also expanded, creating more competition. A joint venture of Vestas, the Danish turbine maker, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, is now competing with Siemens, which had long dominated the market for building offshore turbines. Others, like the American giant General Electric and Chinese manufacturers, are also jumping into the game.

“For us competition is great,” said Benj Sykes, Britain country manager for DONG. “It drives innovation. It drives performance. It also drives cost.”

Companies are developing specialized vessels and improving installation techniques (taking a cue from the oil industry), cutting construction timetables. DONG and its competitors are learning to better cope with the bad weather, corrosive saltwater and scouring currents that increase costs.








fringe指的是「邊緣的、非主流的」,當名詞用時也有「周遭、邊緣」之意,因而文中一詞fringe investment譯為邊緣投資,取其邊緣之意。此外,當我們說到頭髮的瀏海造型時,則會使用fringe這個單字,意思同於另一單字bangs,後者則常見於美式英語。至於fringe benefit指薪酬以外的附帶福利,取其邊緣的意思。

至於文中片語grab the attention of代表「引起...的注意」的意思,介系詞of後常接人,其中動詞grab也可用catch取代。


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