2017-08-11 17:34:59 来源：新东方在线专四专八资料下载
Environmentalists may get off on terrifying climate change, but most people just turn away. “If it was really so bad, they’d do something,” says one colleague. The human tendency to convince yourself that everything is OK, because no one else is worried, is deeply seated.
Our tendency to shrug off responsibility seems to hold true even when we ourselves are in danger. John Darley and Bibb Latané asked a series of college students to sit in a room and fill out a questionnaire. When smoke started to pour into the room through a vent, the others, all actors, ignored it and went on writing calmly. Ninety percent of subjects copied the actors, even when the smoke became so thick that they could barely see and were coughing. But subjects who were alone in the room, under the same conditions, almost all reported the smoke as an emergency. That is an astonishing finding—that the inaction of other people can make us underestimate threats to our own safety.
In the past few weeks we have been told, by reputable sources, that the oceans are warming faster than anyone predicted. That species are becoming extinct a hundred times faster than fossils record. That we are approaching tipping points that may make climate change irreversible. This stuff makes me feel pretty desperate. I would think that other people would worry too. But then I go to the office, and to friends’ houses, and no one mentions it. Nor do the politicians. Despite the noise from green groups, we look for get-out clauses. We blame other countries or big corporations. The part of our brain that is programmed to imitate dominates the part cued to self-preservation—especially when the threats are complex and long-term.
Could we send the herd in the other direction? Maybe. Ten years after Darley and Latané’s smoke experiment, another professor Arthur Beaman showed its films to his students. He explained the psychology. And in future those students were, apparently, almost twice as likely as others to react to help other people.
In January I counted a Toyota Prius hybrid car on almost every one of the rich streets in a part of London just east of my house. Yesterday I did another count. They seemed to have increased to two or three. That is the power of imitation, for people who can afford it. But how do you get other people to imitate behavior that is less visible: buying less, traveling less or changing their electricity supplier? The answers must surely lie in social etiquette. If we are programmed to act like lemmings, then we must give some people incentives to break out and publicize their activities.
The smoke is coming up through the vent. If enough people start talking about the smoke, perhaps others will start to see it too. And if enough people act, the rest may follow. For that, it seems, is human nature. [487 words]
11. It can be inferred from the first two paragraphs that people tend to .
[A] be optimistic about changes occurring around
[B] turn a blind eye to the approaching threats
[C] have their judgments influenced by others
[D] wait for someone else to act first
12. In face of environmental degradation, most people are .
[A] feeling unable to assume such a big responsibility
[B] endeavoring to find out its causes
[C] imitating others’ inaction
[D] trying to protect themselves
13. Professor Arthur Beaman’s experiment shows that .
[A] it’s human nature to shrink from responsibility
[B] environmental education should begin with the young people
[C] there will be many more who are ready to help others
[D] proper guidance can make people more concerned about climate change
14. “Act like lemmings(Last line, Paragraph 5)”most probably means .
[A] go along unquestioningly with popular opinion
[B] remain indifferent to everything happening around
[C] lack the courage to make a major change
[D] pursue the lifestyles of your rich neighbors
15. The author suggests that in order to counter climate change, .
[A] more attention should be paid to psychological aspects
[B] imitation should be minimized or avoided
[C] more popularization should be done about its danger
[D] some restrictions should be made on people’s spending pattern
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