阅读理解 : CET6-201606-2试题

阅读理解 : CET6-201606-2-1

     Facing water shortages and escalating fertilizer costs, famers in developing countries are using raw sewage (下水道污水) to irrigate and fertilize nearly 49 million acres of cropland, according to a new report --- and it may not be a bad thing.
     While the practice carries serious health risks for many, those dangers are outweighed by the social and economic gains for poor urban farmers and consumers who need affordable food.
     "There is a large potential for wastewater agriculture to both help and hurt great numbers of urban consumers," said Liqa Raschid-Sally, who led the study.
     The report focused on poor urban areas, where farms in or near cities supply relatively inexpensive food. Most of these operations draw irrigation water from local rivers or lakes. Unlike developed cities, however, these areas lack advanced water-treatment facilities, and rivers effectively become sewers (下水道).
     When this water is used for agricultural irrigation, farmers risk absorbing disease-causing bacteria, as do consumers who eat the produce raw and unwashed. Nearly 2.2 million people die each year because of diarrhea-related (与腹泻相关的) diseases, according to WHO statistics. More than 80% of those cases can be attributed to contact with contaminated water and a lack of proper sanitation. But Pay Drechsel, an environmental scientist, argues that the social and economic benefits of using untreated human waste to grow food outweigh the health risks.
     Those dangers can be addressed with farmer and consumer education, he said, while the free water and nutrients from human waste can help urban farmers in developing countries to escape poverty.
     Agriculture is a water-intensive business, accounting for nearly 70% of global fresh water consumption.
     In poor, dry regions, untreated wastewater is the only viable irrigation source to keep farmers in business. In some cases, water is so scarce that farmers break open sewage pipes transporting waste to local rivers.
     Irrigation is the primary agricultural use of human waste in the developing world. But frequently untreated human waste harvested from lavatories is delivered to farms and spread as fertilizer.
     In most cases, the human waste is used on grain crops, which are eventually cooked, minimizing the risk of transmitting water-borne diseases. With fertilizer prices jumping nearly 50% per metric ton over the last year in some places, human waste is an attractive, and often necessary, alternative.
     In cases where sewage mud is used, expensive chemical fertilizer use can be avoided. The mud contains the same critical nutrients.
     "Overly strict standards often fail," James Bartram, a WHO water-health expert, said. "We need to accept that fact across much of the planet, so waste with little or no treatment will be used in agriculture for good reason."

  1. What does the author say about the use of raw sewage for farming?

    1. Its risks cannot be overestimated.

    2. It should be forbidden altogether.

    3. Its benefits outweigh the hazards involved.

    4. It is polluting millions of acres of cropland.

  2. What is the main problem caused by the use of wastewater for irrigation?

    1. Rivers and lakes nearby will gradually become contaminated.

    2. It will drive producers of chemical fertilizers out of business.

    3. Farmers and consumers may be affected by harmful bacteria.

    4. It will make the farm produce less competitive on the market.

  3. What is environmental scientist Pay Drechsel’s attitude towards the use of untreated human waste in agriculture?

    1. Favorable.

    2. Skeptical.

    3. Indifferent.

    4. Responsible.

  4. What does Pay Drechsel think of the risks involved in using untreated human waste for farming?

    1. They have been somewhat exaggerated.

    2. They can be dealt with through education.

    3. They will be minimized with new technology.

    4. They can be addressed by improved sanitation.

  5. What do we learn about James Bartram’s position on the use of human waste for farming?

    1. He echoes Pay Drechsel’s opinion on the issue.

    2. He challenges Liqa Raschid-Sally’s conclusion.

    3. He thinks it the only way out of the current food crisis.

    4. He deems it indispensable for combating global poverty.



阅读理解 : CET6-201606-2-2

     These days, nobody needs to cook. Families graze on high-cholesterol take-aways and microwaved ready-meals. Cooking is an occasional hobby and a vehicle for celebrity chefs, which makes it odd that the kitchen has become the heart of the modern house: what the great hall was to the medieval castle, the kitchen is to the 21st-century home.
     The money spent on kitchens has risen with their status. In America the kitchen market is now worth $170 billion, five times the country's film industry. In the year to August 2007, IKEA, a Swedish furniture chain, sold over one million kitchens worldwide. The average budget for a "major" kitchen overhaul in 2006, calculates Remodeling magazine, was a staggering $54,000; even a "minor" improvement cost on average $18,000.
     Exclusivity, more familiar in the world of high fashion, has reached the kitchen: Robinson & Cornish, a British manufacturer of custom-made kitchens, offers a Georgian-style one which would cost £145,000-155,000 --- excluding building, plumbing and electrical work. Its big selling point is that nobody else will have it: "You won't see this kitchen anywhere else in the world."
     The elevation of the room that once belonged only to the servants to that of design showcase for the modern family tells the story of a century of social change. Right into the early 20th century, kitchens were smoky, noisy places, generally located underground, or to the back of the house, and as far from living space as possible. That was as it should be: kitchens were for servants, and the aspiring middle classes wanted nothing to do with them.
     But as the working classes prospered and the servant shortage set in, housekeeping became a matter of interest to the educated classes. One of the pioneers of a radical new way of thinking about the kitchen was Catharine Esther Beecher, sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe. In American Woman's Home, published in 1869, the Beecher sisters recommended a scientific approach to household management, designed to enhance the efficiency of a woman's work and promote order.
     Many contemporary ideas about kitchen design can be traced back to another American, Christine Frederick, who set about enhancing the efficiency of the housewife. Her 1919 work, Household Engineering: Scientific Management in the Home, was based on detailed observation of a housewife's daily routine. She borrowed the principle of efficiency on the factory floor and applied it to domestic tasks on the kitchen floor.
     Frederick's central idea, that stove, sink and kitchen table must be placed in such a relation that useless steps are avoided entirely", inspired the first fully fitted kitchen, designed in the 1920s by Margarete Schütter-Lihotsky. It was a modernist triumph, and many elements remain central features of today's kitchen.

  1. What does the author say about the kitchen of today?

    1. It is where housewives display their cooking skills.

    2. It is where the family entertains important guests.

    3. It has become something odd in a modern house.

    4. It is regarded as the center of a modern home.

  2. Why does the Georgian-style kitchen sell at a very high price?

    1. It is believed to have tremendous artistic value.

    2. No duplicate is to be found in any other place.

    3. It is manufactured by a famous British company.

    4. No other manufacturer can produce anything like it.

  3. What does the change in the status of the kitchen reflect?

    1. Improved living conditions.

    2. Women’s elevated status.

    3. Technological progress.

    4. Social change.

  4. What was the Beecher sisters’ idea of a kitchen?

    1. A place where women could work more efficiently.

    2. A place where high technology could be applied.

    3. A place of interest to the educated people.

    4. A place to experiment with new ideas.

  5. What do we learn about today’s kitchen?

    1. It represents the rapid technological advance in people’s daily life.

    2. Many of its central features are no different from those of the 1920s.

    3. It has been transformed beyond recognition.

    4. Many of its functions have changed greatly.




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