...offsetting commitment to correcting, let alone reversing...

Jeepster

Senior Member
Not being native English-speaker I canot got what the author try to convey in the sentence below and would anyone help me out by just retelling the message? Particularly, what VERB omitted in the clause coming after FASTER
??

the very xentence:

No other nation in the developed world has yet found a way to reverse the ecologically destructive effects of its way of life faster than any offsetting commitment to correcting, let alone reversing, them
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    It's a confusing sentence. What I think the author means is that most nations haven't found a way to reverse the harmful effects of their way of life that doesn't include making a full-blown commitment to rectifying those effects. Let's wait for more answers. Perhaps you could give us the surrounding text.
     

    Jeepster

    Senior Member
    my pleasure:

    We read in the newspapers nearly daily how China is leading the world in renewable energy, as it must if it is to continue its economic growth. [Example given of China building wind farms] While China is to be commended for these ef­forts, whether this commitment to renewable energy will be able to catch up with the speed and size of its emerging consumer demand is still an open question. No other nation in the developed world has yet found a way to reverse the ecologically destructive effects of its way of life faster than any offsetting commitment to correcting, let alone re­versing, them.

    but I'm afraid there is no help
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    I can't understand that sentence, either. It would make sense if it said, "No other nation ... has yet found a way to reverse the ... effects of its way of life faster than any offsetting commitments that increase those effects." I would think that "correcting the effects" of a way of life would require "reversing" those effects, so that last part doesn't make sense, but perhaps by "correcting" the author means "halting" or "stopping." Then, I think, he means that so far no developing nation has been able to halt the ecologically destructive effects of its development, much less reverse those effects and improve its environment.

    Taking one measure of environmental or ecological "destruction," particulates in the air measured in parts per million (a measure of air pollution), not only has no developing country been able to reduce particulates (which would mean an improvement in air quality), none has even been able to stop the increase and hold the level constant, albeit at a higher level before development began.

    I think that would be a sensible observation that might be true, but I don't think that's the obvious meaning of the sentence in question.
     
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