Section Ⅱ Reading Comprehension
Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing A, B, C or D. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (40 points )
Commuter trains are often stuffy and crowded, and they frequently fail to run on time. As if that were not bad enough, Tsuyoshi Hondou, a physicist at Tohoku University in Japan, published a paper in 2002 that gave commuters yet another reason to feel uncomfortable. Dr Hondou examined mobile phone usage in enclosed spaces such as railway carriages, buses and lifts, all of which are, in essence, metal boxes. His model predicted that a large number of passengers crowded together, all blathering, sending text messages, or browsing the web on their phones, could produce levels of electromagnetic radiation that exceed international safety standards. That is because the radio waves produced by each phone are reflected off the metal walls of the carriage, bus or lift. Enough radiation escapes to allow the phone to communicate with the network, but the rest bathes the inside of the carriage with bouncing microwaves.
This sounds worrying. But maybe it isn't after all. In a paper published recently in Applied Physics Letters, Jaime Ferrer and Lucas Fernández Seivane from the University of Oviedo in Spain-along with colleagues from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and Telefónica Móviles, a Spanish mobile operator-dispute Dr Hondou's findings. They conclude that the level of radiation is safe after all.
The key addition to the new research is the effect of the passengers themselves. While each phone produces radiation that bounces around the car, the passengers absorb some of it, which has the effect of reducing the overall intensity, just as the presence of an audience changes the acoustics of a concert hall, making it less reverberant. Dr Hondou's model, in short, was valid only in the case of a single passenger sitting in an empty carriage with an active mobile phone on every seat.
While Dr Hondou acknowledged this in his original paper, he did not specifically calculate the effect that leaving out the other passengers would have on the radiation level. As a result, say the authors of the new paper, he significantly overestimated the level of electromagnetic radiation. When one is sitting on a train, Dr Ferrer and his colleagues found, the most important sources of radiation are one's own phone, and those of one's immediate neighbours. The radiation from these sources far exceeds that from other phones or from waves bouncing around the carriage. And all these sources together produce a level of radiation within the bounds defined by the ICNIRP, the international body that regulates such matters.
21. According to paragraph 1, the essential common characteristic of train carriages, buses, and lifts is that
[A] they are all metal boxes.
[B] they are often stuffy and overcrowded.
[C] they all allow enough radiation to escape for mobile communications to take place.
[D] people use their mobile phones in them.
22. How could "levels of electromagnetic radiation that exceed international safety standards" be produced?
[A] Mobile phones give off a lot of electromagnetic radiation.
[B] Train carriages, buses, and lifts are not safe places to use mobile phones.
[C] A lot of people could use their mobile phones in a confined space at the same time.
[D] Blathering produces radio waves which bounce around the interior of these places.
23. Why do the Spanish researchers dispute Dr. Hondou's theory?
[A] Because they are funded by a mobile phone operator.
[B] Because people absorb electromagnetic radiation.
[C] Because electromagnetic radiation isn't dangerous at all.
[D] Because Dr. Hondou assumed that every single person was using their mobile phone at exactly the same time.
24. Dr. Hondou's research was not thorough enough because
[A] he didn't have enough time to assess everything before his paper was published.
[B] he didn't admit that the people in train carriages, buses, and lifts could influence the level of electromagnetic radiation.
[C] he didn't investigate the effect of people on electromagnetic radiation levels.
[D] Japan is a crowded country where people often use mobile phones, so he only looked at that specific situation.
25. According to the Spanish researchers, which of the following statements is true?
[A] The closer you are to a mobile phone, the greater your exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
[B] The closer you are to a mobile phone that is being used to send and receive signals, the greater your exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
[C] The amount of electromagnetic radiation reflected by metal is almost too small to be measured.
[D] You shouldn't stand close to people who are using their mobile phones in train carriages, buses, and lifts.
Last year a high profile panel of experts known as the Copenhagen Consensus ranked the world's most pressing environmental, health and social problems in a prioritized list. Assembled by the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute under its then director, Bjorn Lomborg, the panel used cost benefit analysis to evaluate where a limited amount of money would do the most good. It concluded that the highest priority should go to immediate concerns with relatively well understood cures, such as control of malaria. Long-term challenges such as climate change, where the path forward and even the scope of the threat remain unclear, ranked lower.
Usually each of these problems is treated in isolation, as though humanity had the luxury of dealing with its problems one by one. The Copenhagen Consensus used stat-o-the-art techniques to try to bring a broader perspective. In so doing, however, it revealed how the state of the art fails to grapple with a simple fact: the future is uncertain. Attempts to predict it have a checkered history-from declarations that humans would never fly, to the doom-and-gloom economic and environmental forecasts of the 1970s, to claims that the "New Economy" would do away with economic ups and downs. Not surprisingly, those who make decisions tend to stay focused on the next fiscal quarter, the next year, the next election. Feeling unsure of their compass, they hug the familiar shore.
This understandable response to an uncertain future means, however, that the nation's and the world's long term threats often get ignored altogether or are even made worse by shortsighted decisions. In everyday life, responsible people look out for the long term despite the needs of the here and now: we do homework, we save for retirement, we take out insurance. The same principles should surely apply to society as a whole. But how can leaders weigh the present against the future? How can they avoid being paralyzed by scientific uncertainty?
In well-understood situations, science can reliably predict the implications of alternative policy choices. These predictions, combined with formal methods of decision analysis that use mathematical models and statistical methods to determine optimal courses of action, can specify the trade-offs that society must inevitably make. Corporate executives and elected officials may not always heed this advice, but they do so more often than a cynic might suppose. Analysis has done much to improve the quality of lawmaking, regulation and investment. National economic policy is one example. Concepts introduced by analysts in the 1930s and 1940s-unemployment rate, current account deficit and gross national product-are now commonplace. For the most part, governments have learned to avoid the radical boom-and-bust cycles that were common in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
26. The Copenhagen Consensus didn't believe that allocating a limited amount of money to climate change was a good idea because
[A] nothing can be done about it in the immediate future.
[B] there are too many competing approaches to solving it.
[C] it is not a pressing issue.
[D] the money would be better spent on immediate concerns.
27. Paragraph 2 intends to demonstrate that
[A] technology cannot solve all our problems.
[B] predictions are usually inaccurate.
[C] solving problems one-by-one is ineffective.
[D] thinking short-term is often reasonable.
28. According to the text, how could scientific uncertainty paralyze decision-making by world leaders?
[A] By presenting many different solutions to problems.
[B] By presenting short-term solutions and long-term ones.
[C] By presenting solutions to problems that are not well understood.
[D] By presenting solutions that are too technical for decision-makers to comprehend.
29. According to the text, how have governments learned to avoid boom-and-bust economic cycles?
[A] By using mathematical and statistical models prepared by experts.
[B] By observing historical economic patterns.
[C] By improving the quality of lawmaking.
[D] By discussing the implications and effects of various policies.
30. What are the "trade-offs" mentioned in the final paragraph?
[A] Difficult decisions.
[B] Things which have benefits in some ways and costs in others.
[C] Key, costly decisions.
[D] Things that promote economic prosperity.