次の英文は、英検1級の過去問題です。解説のほうは、パラグラフごとに、抄訳(サマリー)を

日本語で入れてあります。

このサマリーは、私が英文を読むときに、パラグラフごとに大づかみで意味を理解するのですが、

その理解の仕方を表しているとも言えます。

長文問題の急所は、論旨の流れをつかむことであり、いわゆる5W1Hで内容を理解していくことです。

様々な研究チームの成果や説(賛成、反対)が紹介され、最後は作者の意見が入り、

どちらが正しいかは神様だけが知っている、時間の経過を待たねばならない、

それは神の領域に人間が入り込むことだといった結論が目立ちます。


長文を読むこつは、設問をひとつずつ先に読み、何を聞いているか理解して、問題意識を持って、

第1パラグラフを読みます。そこに手がかりがあれば、選択肢から正解を選びます。

そのパラグラフに手がかりが無ければ、次のパラグラフを読みます。手がかりがあれば、

選択肢から正解を選ぶ-----これを繰り返します。

いきなり、本文を最初から最後まで読む→設問1を読む→本文を頭から読み直して探す→

見つかったら選択肢から正解を選ぶ------これを繰り返していては、時間がいくらあっても足りません。

設問は、本文の順番に沿っているので、設問を読んで本文の流れに沿って上のパラグラフから順番に

手がかりを探すのが合理的な読み方です。設問1の手がかりを得たら、

次は、設問2を読んで問題意識を持って次のパラグラフから読んでいけばいいのです。

それ以前のパラグラフに戻る必要はありません。


もうひとつ気をつけるべき点は、本文と設問では、同じことを別の表現であらわしていることです。

つまり、本文で述べられていることの意味を理解していないと、設問の中から正解を

得られないということです。

人や、組織や、文物の名前がたくさん出てきてややこしいのが英検長文の特徴です。

私は、いつもマーカーを会場に持ち込み、キーワードになりそうな単語を

黄色でハイライトしています。

こうすると、俄然、読みやすくなります。


扱う題材は、学術的のものが多く、最近では、遺伝子、DNA、地球温暖化、脳の働き、

眠りの構造などが出ています。ミステリアスな文物の発見や発掘にまつわるストーリーも

度々出ています。

また、最近は、インドの国際収支やベトナムの店頭株式市場の特徴についてのレポートも

出題されています。

歴史や国際問題に関する出題もあります。

ポーランド陸軍の将校がCIAのスパイだった話も出ましたし、

直近の試験では第二次大戦中の米英間の抗争にかかわる題材も扱われています。

このように、多岐にわたる題材が出題されており、広い意味での教養の豊かさが

求められていると言ってもいいでしょう。


過去問

Melting a New Trade Route

Environmentalists bemoan the disastrous effects that global warming

could have on habitats for Arctic wildlife and indigenous peoples,

citing estimates that the Arctic could be ice-free in the summertime by 2080.

But not all those who foresee an Arctic melt are doomsayers.

A handful of shipowners see a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow,

or in this case, the end of the Arctic passage.

"In the next 10 years, I believe we will solve the problems of round-the-year

goods transport via the Northern Sea route,"

said Alexander Medvedev of Russia's Murmansk Shipping Company.

Murmansk Shipping currently runs two or three cargo voyages per year

from Japan to Europe, using icebreakers to plow through this new route,

which hugs the coast of northern Russia.

Medvedev believes that with the predicted melt,

up to 15 days could be shaved off the voyage from Europe to Japan and back,

particularly in the summer. The shrinking ice could therefore expand the company's

shipping opportunities exponentially.

The passage through the other side of the Arctic, the Northwest Passage,

which snakes over Alaska and through a maze of islands off Canada,

will likely be clogged with ice for another two decades beyond

the opening of the Northern Sea route above Russia.

The Northwest Passage is further north than the Russian route,

and it passes through straits more easily blocked by ice.

But most scientists agree that while the specifics are open to question,

both passages will be open within this century.

For environmentalists, the new passages portend a potentially disastrous

get-rich rush to northern resources.

"Melting of the ice will make access far easier to northern

Siberia and other wilderness regions," states Svein Tveitdal of the U.N.

Environmental Program's polar center.

"There has to be a strategy for sustainable development of the Arctic.

It mustn't be a sort of new Africa, where colonists exploited the resources."

While shipping companies may face less ice in the future,

they still must contend with other obstacles. Aware of ice-instigated disasters

like the Titanic, insurance companies are hesitant to cover Arctic shippers,

resulting in pricey premiums. In addition, shippers must equip their ships

with ice-resistant hulls and provide icebreaker escorts,

which could wipe out the financial advantages of shorter routes.

As the ice recedes, governments also face billions of dollars in expenses

to make the passages usable. Ports in northern Russia, for instance,

have been left to deteriorate since the end of the Cold War,

when nuclear-powered icebreakers regularly led warships between the Pacific

and the Atlantic. "The obstacles are more economic and political," said

Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University. "It's a question of infrastructure:

navigational aids, search and rescue teams, the ability to clean up pollution."

At least one scientist, however, thinks the predictions themselves are premature.

According to Rob Huebert of Canada's Centre for Military and Strategic Studies,

global warming is having an inconsistent effect in Arctic regions.

"In some areas the ice is getting thicker," said Huebert,

"even as it breaks up elsewhere." These areas, as if to snow on the global-warming

parade, are doing the unthinkable: getting colder.


(1)Which Arctic passage is likely to open first, and why?

1 The Northern Sea route, because its lower latitude means the ice will melt faster.

2 The Northern Sea route, because basic shipping facilities are already in place.

3 The Northwest Passage, because global warming is having a greater impact in that area.

4 The Northwest Passage, because it is the most sought after by shipping companies.


(2)In the opinion of Svein Tveitdal, the opening of the northern routes

1 would mean northern Siberia and other wilderness areas becoming accessible for study.

2 could open the door to colonization and the exploitation of natural

resources in the Arctic.

3 would provide an opportunity to test new development strategies,

such as those that have been used in Africa.

4 will be unlikely to lead to environmental damage due to strict U.N.

regulations already in place.


(3)Regarding ports in northern Russia, the author's main point is that

1.the lack of military transport in the area since the end of the

Cold War has left the ports out-of-date.

2.the use of icebreakers during the Cold War caused a gradual deterioration of the ports.

3.even though the Cold War is over, there may still be political obstacles

to the transport of Western goods.

4.the ports are being used for military transport and may not be suitable

for commercial usage.


問題解説

Melting a New Trade Route

Environmentalists bemoan the disastrous effects that global warming could have

on habitats for Arctic wildlife and indigenous peoples, citing estimates that the

Arctic could be ice-free in the summertime by 2080. But not all those who foresee an

Arctic melt are doomsayers. A handful of shipowners see a pot of gold at the end

of that rainbow, or in this case, the end of the Arctic passage.


環境保護団体は、北極海は2080年までに夏場に氷が解けてなくなる状況になり、

自然環境や原住民に悪い影響を与えると心配しているが、

少数の船主が北極海航路にビジネスチャンスが開けると期待している。

設問1の手がかりはここにはありません


"In the next 10 years, I believe we will solve the problems of round-the-year

goods transport via the Northern Sea route," said Alexander Medvedev of

Russia's Murmansk Shipping Company. Murmansk Shipping currently

runs two or three cargo voyages per year from Japan to Europe,

using icebreakers to plow through this new route, which hugs the coast of northern Russia.

Medvedev believes that with the predicted melt, up to 15 days could be shaved off

the voyage from Europe to Japan and back, particularly in the summer.

The shrinking ice could therefore expand the company's shipping

opportunities exponentially.


北極海ルートで年に数回、砕氷船を使って日本から欧州に輸送船を航行させているMedvedev氏の

見解:欧州-日本の往復ルートで夏場には15日くらいまでの航行時間短縮ができる。

設問1の手がかりはここにもありません


(1)The passage through the other side of the Arctic, the Northwest Passage,

which snakes over Alaska and through a maze of islands off Canada,

will likely be clogged with ice for another two decades beyond the opening of the

Northern Sea route above Russia. The Northwest Passage is further north than the

Russian route, and it passes through straits more easily blocked by ice.

But most scientists agree that while the specifics are open to question,

both passages will be open within this century.


北西ルートについての記述:アラスカからカナダの沖の島々を通って行く航路。

北極海ルートより北にあり、氷に閉ざされやすい。

科学者は、どちらのルートも21世紀中に開かれるだろうと見ている。

設問1の手がかりがやっと出てきました。

(1)下線部で示す箇所が設問1の答えが書いてある場所です。

the Northwest Passage, which snakes over Alaska and through a maze of islands off Canada と、

the Northern Sea route above Russia.の二つのルートの比較です


(1)Which Arctic passage is likely to open first, and why?

1 The Northern Sea route, because its lower latitude means the ice will melt faster.

2 The Northern Sea route, because basic shipping facilities are already in place.

3 The Northwest Passage, because global warming is having a greater impact in that area.

4 The Northwest Passage, because it is the most sought after by shipping companies.


For environmentalists, the new passages portend a potentially disastrous get-rich

rush to northern resources. "Melting of the ice will make access far easier to northern

Siberia and other wilderness regions," states Svein Tveitdal of the

U.N. Environmental Program's polar center.

"There has to be a strategy for sustainable development of the Arctic.

(2) It mustn't be a sort of new Africa, where colonists exploited the resources."


環境保護団体は、新しいルートの開発によって、

シベリアなどの資源が荒らされるのではないかとの疑念を持つようになる。

国連のTveitdal氏の主張:持続可能な開発が必要。アフリカの収奪の二の舞は避けねばならない。


設問(2)の手がかりは、(2)下線部にあり、下記2の選択肢が正解であることがわかります


(2)In the opinion of Svein Tveitdal, the opening of the northern routes

1.would mean northern Siberia and other wilderness areas becoming accessible for study.

2.could open the door to colonization and the exploitation of natural resources

in the Arctic.

3.would provide an opportunity to test new development strategies,

such as those that have been used in Africa.

4.will be unlikely to lead to environmental damage due to strict U.N.

regulations already in place.


While shipping companies may face less ice in the future,

they still must contend with other obstacles.

Aware of ice-instigated disasters like the Titanic, insurance companies

are hesitant to cover Arctic shippers, resulting in pricey premiums.

In addition, shippers must equip their ships with ice-resistant hulls and

provide icebreaker escorts, which could wipe out the financial advantages of

shorter routes.

氷が解けると言って手放しでは喜べない。北極圏ルートには他の問題もある。

タイタニック号のような問題がありうるので保険料が高い。

氷に耐えられるように船体の強化も必要だし、砕氷船も同行必要でコストがかかる。

設問3の手がかりはここにはありません


As the ice recedes, governments also face billions of dollars in expenses

to make the passages usable. (3)Ports in northern Russia, for instance,

have been left to deteriorate since the end of the Cold War,

when nuclear-powered icebreakers regularly led warships between the

Pacific and the Atlantic. "The obstacles are more economic and

political," said Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University.

"It's a question of infrastructure: navigational aids,

search and rescue teams, the ability to clean up pollution."

氷が解けても、政府は航路整備のために莫大な投資が必要。

ロシアの北極の港は冷戦終了後荒れ放題。Wadham氏の主張:インフラ整備の問題。

設問(3)の手がかりは、(3)下線部にあり、下記1の選択肢が正解であることがわかります


(3)Regarding ports in northern Russia, the author's main point is that

1.the lack of military transport in the area since the end of the

Cold War has left the ports out-of-date.

2.the use of icebreakers during the Cold War caused a gradual deterioration of the ports.

3.even though the Cold War is over, there may still be political obstacles

to the transport of Western goods.

4.the ports are being used for military transport and may not be suitable

for commercial usage.


At least one scientist, however, thinks the predictions themselves are premature.

According to Rob Huebert of Canada's Centre for Military and Strategic Studies,

global warming is having an inconsistent effect in Arctic regions.

"In some areas the ice is getting thicker," said Huebert,

"even as it breaks up elsewhere."

These areas, as if to snow on the global-warming parade, are doing the unthinkable:

getting colder.


Huebert氏の主張:予測は時期尚早。地球温暖化が北極圏に与える影響は均一ではなく、

氷が解けている地域もあれば、逆に氷が厚くなっている地域もある。


重要な語句:

a handful of

ひと握りの; 少量の

see a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow

あの虹の端には金の壺(宝物)がある。夢をかなえる意味にも使われる。

ムーンリバーの歌詞にも登場。we're after the same rainbow's end 。

round-the-year

年中、1年を通じて

cargo voyage

荷物運搬の航海

portend

〜の前兆となる, 予告する

get-rich rush

一攫千金を狙って殺到すること

sustainable development

持続可能な開発

exploit the resources

資源を収奪、搾取する