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《经济学人》:永恒的守护者-荒野的未来

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Nature conservation
保护自然

The constant gardener
永恒的守护者

The future of wilderness
荒野的未来

Sep 17th 2011 | from the print edition

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World. By Emma Marris. Bloomsbury; 224 pages; $25 and £20. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

书名:《喧闹的花园:在人类统领的世界里保护自然》 作者:艾玛•马里斯。布鲁斯堡出版社出版。224页。售价25美元或20英镑。可从Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk购买。

WHEN the Scottish-born American naturalist, John Muir, encountered a pristine wilderness where the soaring mountains touched the open sky, birds sang in the pine trees and fish spawned in the free-flowing rivers, he was determined to protect it from over-exploitation by the settlers who succeeded the native American presence. Muir fought to ensure that the Yosemite Valley in California became a national park, and he succeeded in 1890. The concept of preserving nature from man’s interference proved both powerful and enduring: almost a century later the Wilderness Act of 1964 empowered states to designate protected land. In “Rambunctious Garden” Emma Marris outlines why the concept of wilderness is flawed.

当年,苏格兰裔的美国自然主义者约翰•缪尔邂逅了一片原生态荒原。那里的山峰高高耸立,直入云霄,松林间鸟儿浅唱低吟,溪流里鱼儿繁衍生息,见此美好景象,他下定决心要保护那片土地,以免其遭到继原住民之后占据此地的移民过度开发。为了让它——加利福利亚优胜美地山谷成为国家公园,他不懈努力,终于在1890年申请成功。保护自然免受人类行为干扰这一观念影响深远:几乎一个世纪以后的1964年,荒野法案面世,授权美国各州指定土地加以保护。在《喧闹的花园》一书中,艾玛•马里斯却阐述了为什么这个关于荒野的观点是有缺陷的。

The journey begins in Hawaii, where biologists are toiling to remove species that have been introduced to the islands over the centuries since James Cook’s party landed there in 1778. Invaders such as purple-flowered Asian melastome and strawberry guava threaten to overrun delicate Hawaiian natives such as thornless roses and delicate tree ferns. Yet even if all the invaders were removed, it would only return the islands to the state into which the Polynesians, who inhabited them for at least 1,000 years before Cook’s arrival, had shaped them.

作者从夏威夷下笔,1778年詹姆斯•库克带领的探险队登上夏威夷群岛,此后数百年间外来物种被移植到了此岛,生物学家们为移除它们费尽了心思。包括亚洲紫色野牡丹和草莓番石榴在内的外来物种肆意繁殖,威胁了脆弱的本地物种,如无刺玫瑰和树厥的生长。然而即使将这些外来物种清除殆尽,夏威夷群岛也只能退回到波利维亚人定居时期,库克船长到来之前,他们已在此地生存了上千年。

Even theoretically, returning Hawaii to a prehuman existence would be impossible. Ecosystems change over time, with or without the involvement of mankind, so no one can tell what Hawaii “should” look like. And mankind’s influence on his environment is now such that he has changed the composition of the atmosphere over the past few centuries, so the effects of humanity can never be completely removed.

即使是从理论上来说,将夏威夷岛还原成有人类居住之前的状态也是不可能的。不管有没有人类的影响,生态系统都会随时间演变,因此没有人可以说出夏威夷“应该”是什么样的。人类对其所处环境的影响是如此巨大,几个世纪以来连大气层的构成都发生了改变,因此人类的影响永远也无法消除。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
certain ['sə:tn]

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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.

 
impossible [im'pɔsəbl]

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adj. 不可能的,做不到的
adj.

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interference [.intə'fiərəns]

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n. 妨碍,干扰
[计算机] 干涉

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migration [mai'greiʃən]

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n. 移民,移往,移动

 
cult [kʌlt]

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n. 宗教膜拜仪式,异教,狂热崇拜,个人崇拜

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pine [pain]

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n. 松树,松木
vi. 消瘦,憔悴,渴望

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involvement [in'vɔlvmənt]

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n. 包含,缠绕,混乱,复杂的情况

 
pristine ['pristi:n]

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adj. 远古的,原始状态的,未受损的,新鲜而纯净的

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established [is'tæbliʃt]

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adj. 已被确认的,确定的,建立的,制定的 动词est

 
prevent [pri'vent]

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v. 预防,防止

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