外文：http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/24/how-china- used-more-cement-in-3-years-than-the-u-s-did-in-the-entire-20th- century/
How China used more cement in 3 years than the U.S. did in the entire 20th Century
By Ana Swanson March 24 at 9:15 AM
China used more cement between 2011 and 2013 than the U.S. used in the entire 20th Century.
It’s a statistic so mind-blowing that it stunned Bill Gates and inspired haiku. But can it be true, and, if so, how? Yes, China’s economy has grown at an extraordinary rate, and it has more than four times as many people as the United States. But the 1900s were America’s great period of expansion, the century in which the U.S. built almost all of its roads and bridges, the Interstate system, the Hoover Dam, and many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. And China and the U.S. are roughly the same size in terms of geographic area, ranking third and fourth in the world, respectively.
这个数据太惊人了，会惊呆比尔盖茨，让人禁不住想要吟诗。但是这可能吗？而如果这是真的，中国是怎么做到的？当然，中国的经济增长飞快，人口也是美国的四 倍多。但是二十世纪是美国的黄金时代，美国在这期间建造了几乎所有的路桥、州际公路、胡佛水坝、以及很多世界上最高的摩天大楼。中国和美国的地理面积则差 不多大，一个排世界第三，一个排第四。
The statistic seems incredible, but according to government and industry sources, it appears accurate. What’s more, once you dive into the figures, they have a surprisingly logical explanation that reveals some fascinating differences between the two countries, and some ominous realities about China.
Gates plucked the statistic from the historian Vaclav Smil, who calls cement “the most important material in terms of sheer mass in our civilization.” (In case you need a refresher, cement is a powdery lime-and-clay substance that is combined with water and gravel or sand to make concrete.) Smil got his estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey, whose figures for the American use of cement in the 20th Century are below.
盖茨的数据来自历史学家Vaclav Smil，Vaclav Smil把水泥称为“我们的文明中最重要的物质”。（如果你需要温故而知新，水泥是石灰和粘土的粉状物，与水和小石子或者沙子混合，制成混凝土）Smil 的估算来自美国地质调查，以下是地质调查关于美国在二十世纪水泥的用量。
This chart shows some interesting economic trends – including dips in construction during the Great Depression, World War II and the recession of the early 1980s. All of America’s cement consumption during the century adds up to around 4.4 gigatons (1 gigaton is roughly 1 billion metric tons).
In comparison, China used around 6.4 gigatons of cement in the three years of 2011, 2012 and 2013, as data below from the International Cement Review, an industry publication based in London, shows. U.S. Geological Survey estimates on China's cement consumption are similar: According to Hendrik van Oss, a mineral commodity specialist at the USGS, China’s cement consumption between 2010–12 was about 140 percent of U.S. consumption for 1900–99.
对比之下，中国在2011、2012、2013三年中用掉了64亿吨，数据来自国际水泥观察，一本伦敦发行的行业刊物。美国地质调查的数字与此近似：根据 地质调查的一名矿物商品专家Hendrik van Oss的估计, 中国2010-12年的水泥消费量是美国整个二十世纪的140%。
Clearly, the amount of cement that China has used in recent years is just stunningly huge. Here it is as a cube, overlooking Chicago.
As a parking lot, it would cover Hawaii’s big island:
So how did China use so much cement? First, the country is urbanizing at a historic rate, much faster than the U.S. did in the 20th Century. More than 20 million Chinese relocate to cities each year, which is more people than live in downtown New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined. This massive change has taken place in less than 50 years. In 1978, less than a fifth of China’s population lived in cities. By 2020, that proportion will be 60 percent.