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2018/05/18 第216期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
編輯小語 Wind Buffets Energy Landscape 替代能源競爭 天然氣發電受挑戰
Giving Voice To the Victims Of Racist Terror 為美國種族主義私刑遇難者發聲 「光看名字就夠了」
Wind Buffets Energy Landscape 替代能源競爭 天然氣發電受挑戰
文/Ivan Penn

As environmental concerns drive power companies away from using coal, natural gas has emerged as the nation’s No. 1 power source. Plentiful and relatively inexpensive as a result of the nation’s fracking boom, it has been portrayed as a bridge to an era in which alternative energy would take primacy.

But technology and economics have carved a different, shorter pathway that has bypassed the broad need for some fossil-fuel plants. And that has put proponents of natural gas on the defensive.



Some utility companies have scrapped plans for new natural-gas plants in favor of wind and solar sources that have become cheaper and easier to install. Existing gas plants are being shut because their economics are no longer attractive. And regulators are increasingly challenging the plans of companies determined to move forward with new natural-gas plants.

“It’s a very different world that we’re arriving at very quickly,” said Robert McCullough, an energy consultant in Portland, Oregon. “That wind farm can literally be put on a train and brought online within a year. It is moving so fast that even critics of the old path like myself have been taken by surprise.”



The shifting dynamics are being seen in the Western states in particular — driven not only by economics, but by regulation and climate as well.

The Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s investor-owned utilities, recently refused to endorse plans by three power companies that included more natural-gas facilities. Commissioners directed them to make greater use of energy storage and plants that produce zero emissions.



Nationwide, utility executives, power producers and federal regulators have also argued that a healthy power grid requires consistent power, even when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind ceases to blow. The more solar and wind power that is added to the electric grid, they say, the greater the need for reliable backup sources like natural gas.

“Gas has got to be part of that equation,” Robert F. Powelson, a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, recently told an energy conference. “The gas system has gotten extremely reliable.”

Natural gas isn’t likely to be unseated as the country’s primary source of electricity generation anytime soon. In fact, utility companies plan to add more natural-gas plants than any other source, including all alternative energy sources, like solar, wind and hydropower, combined.




Giving Voice To the Victims Of Racist Terror 為美國種族主義私刑遇難者發聲 「光看名字就夠了」
文/Campbell Robertson

In a plain brown building sits an office run by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, a place for people who have been held accountable for their crimes and duly expressed remorse.

Just a few yards up the street lies a different kind of rehabilitation center, for a country that has not been held to nearly the same standard.



The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened on the 26th of April on a 6-acre site overlooking the Alabama state capital, is dedicated to the victims of American white supremacy. And it demands a reckoning with one of the nation’s least recognized atrocities: the lynching of thousands of black people in a decadeslong campaign of racist terror.

At the center is a grim cloister, a walkway with 800 weathered steel columns, all hanging from a roof. Etched on each column is the name of a U.S. county and the people who were lynched there, most listed by name, many simply as “unknown.” The columns meet you first at eye level, like the headstones that lynching victims were rarely given. But as you walk, the floor steadily descends; by the end, the columns are all dangling above, leaving you in the position of the callous spectators in old photographs of public lynchings.



The magnitude of the killing is harrowing, all the more so when paired with the circumstances of individual lynchings, some described in brief summaries along the walk: Parks Banks, lynched in Mississippi in 1922 for carrying a photograph of a white woman; Caleb Gadly, hanged in Kentucky in 1894 for “walking behind the wife of his white employer”; Mary Turner, who after denouncing her husband’s lynching by a rampaging white mob, was hung upside down, burned and then sliced open so that her unborn child fell to the ground.

There is nothing like it in the country. Which is the point.



“Just seeing the names of all these people,” said Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, the nonprofit organization behind the memorial. Many of them, he said, “have never been named in public.”

Stevenson and a small group of lawyers spent years immersing themselves in archives and county libraries to document the thousands of racial terror lynchings across the South. They have cataloged nearly 4,400 in total.





新開幕的美國私刑紀念館展示鮮為人知的美國私刑史。私刑(lynching)是一群暴民(mob)在未經法院審判的情況下伸張正義,處決自行認定的犯罪者,通常在處決前還施以折磨,使受害者殘廢(corporal mutilation)。lynching一詞源自查爾斯.林奇(Charles Lynch),他是美國獨立戰爭時期維吉尼亞的保安官,為了壓制親英國分子而動用私刑。


美國人動用私刑往往事先在報上宣傳,吸引大批白人家庭到場觀看。1901年,美國作家馬克吐溫撰文批評這個現象,題為「私刑合眾國」(The United States of Lyncherdom),但最後決定不發表,他告訴出版社,此文「要是透過報紙發表,我在南方將連半個朋友都不剩」。(I shouldn't have even half a friend left down there [in the South], after it issued from the press.)直到死後13年即1923年,他的遺囑執行人才悄悄把它塞進一本文集裡出版。


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