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经济学人:莱克星顿 农场主对战北美野牛极端保护者

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Lexington

莱克星顿
Ranchers v bison-huggers
农场主对战北美野牛极端保护者
What the ceaseless rows over Yellowstone National Park reveal about America
有关黄石国家公园无休止的争论,为我们揭示出美国的哪些?
THE most original political book of early 2015 is not formally about politics at all. Instead “The Battle for Yellowstone” by Justin Farrell, a young scholar at Yale University, ponders venomous rows that have shaken Yellowstone National Park in recent decades, and why they are so intractable. The rows turn on such questions as wolf re-introduction, bison roaming-rights and snowmobile access to that lovely corner of the Rocky Mountains.
2015年初第一本政治性书籍形式上并不和政治相关,而是一本“为黄石公园而战”的书,作者是耶鲁大学的一名年轻的学者贾斯丁·法雷尔,他在该文中对最近几十年撼动了黄石国家公园的恶毒争吵进行了思考,以及它们为何如此棘手的原因。这些争吵引发了许多问题,如狼群的再引进,野牛的漫步权力,以及雪地摩托车对落基山脉中这个景色优美的角落的接近。

It is nearly half a century since biologists first asked Congress to re-introduce wolves into Yellowstone, so that they might usefully eat some of the elk then lumbering about in over-large herds. Getting to the point of releasing wolves in the mid-1990s involved executive actions and directives from six presidents, debates in dozens of congressional committees, 120 public hearings, more than 160,000 public submissions to federal wildlife bosses and at least $12m-worth of scientific research. Pro- and anti-wolf types drew up competing technical reports about the value of wolves as “apex predators”, economic costs to cattle ranchers, tourism benefits and elk ecology. This techno-rationalist arms race bought no peace: the wolf-wars blaze as fiercely as ever.

近半个世纪以前,生物学家首次要求国会再次为黄石公园引进狼群,让它们吃掉马鹿,以有效减少这个过于庞大的群体。在20世纪90年代中期,释放狼群这个决定牵扯了行政措施以及六名总统的指令,国会委员会进行了多次争辩,召开了120场公众听证会,野生生物管理局官员们收到了超过160,000篇公众意见书,政府投入了至少一亿两千万去进行科学研究。支持引入狼群和反对者们竞相起草各种科技报告,如关于狼群作为“顶端捕食者”的价值,养牛场场主的经济成本,旅游收益以及马鹿生态。这种技术武装的理论者竞争闹得没有宁日:狼群之争一如既往地激烈。
Yellowstone's wild bison trigger ferocious rows, too, each time they amble outside the national park. Let them roam, cry fans of these last genetically pure survivors of the vast herds that once filled the West. Stop them, bellow ranchers who fear the bison will infect their cattle with brucellosis, a nasty disease. Tottering stacks of brucellosis research have not resolved the dispute. Since 1997 more than 5,000 volunteers—many of them young, affluent outsiders, some adopting such “forest names” as Chipmunk, Grumble or Frog—have catalogued countless allegations of bison-bullying outside park boundaries, but changed few minds about the rights and wrongs of it.
每当黄石公园的野牛在国家公园外围漫步时,它们都会引发激烈的争辩。这个庞大的群体一度遍布西方世界,而如今只剩下了这些最后的纯种幸存者,让它们尽情漫步吧!野牛群体的粉丝们大声呼喊。阻止它们!农场主们怒吼,因为他们害怕野牛们会向家牛传染讨厌的布鲁菌病。而那些大堆关于布鲁菌病的研究也未解决这场争辩。自1997年起就有超过五千名志愿者—大多数都是年轻人和富裕的外来者,也有一些采用了 “森林之名”,如花栗鼠、咕哝或者青蛙,他们将无数关于北美野牛在公园边界外围横行霸道的指控进行了编目,但只改变了一小批人的是非观念。
As for snowmobilers and their right to roar along Yellowstone trails when winter descends, millions of dollars have been spent on lawsuits in Wyoming and Washington, DC since the late 1990s, backed by studies of engine-noise, exhaust-pollution and wildlife behaviour. Some wrangling continues.
关于冬天来临时驾雪车者以及他们在黄石山径呼啸而过的事情,自20世纪90年代后期,怀俄明州和华盛顿已经有数百万美元的法律诉讼了,这些诉讼由发动机噪音研究、废气污染研究以及野生生物行为研究支持。有些争辩如今仍在继续。
All this puzzled Mr Farrell, a sociologist at Yale's school of forestry and environmental studies, whose book is due out this summer, under the full title “The Battle for Yellowstone: Morality and the Sacred Roots of Environmental Conflict”. He spent two years asking folk in and around Yellowstone why they are so cross. Beneath debates about science and economics he found arguments about morality and the proper relations between humans and nature—though those involved often do not, or will not acknowledge this. In short, all sides purport to be weighing what is true and false, while really arguing about right and wrong.
所有这些都使法雷尔先生很困惑,他是一名来自耶鲁大学林学与环境研究院的社会学家,他的著作将于今年夏天出炉,全称是“为黄石公园而战:道德与环境冲突的神圣根源”。他花了两年时间询问黄石公园之中以及周边的居民他们如此生气的原因。在关于科学和经济的争辩之下他发现了关于道德和人类与自然之间合适关系的论证—尽管那些参与争论的人经常意识不到,或者不承认这点。总之,各方都声称在他们争辩对错时确实仔细考虑了是非对错。
Pro-wolf biologists and officials call themselves dispassionate custodians of a unique place. But they give themselves away with quasi-spiritual talk of wolves restoring “wholeness” to a landscape damaged by man. Indeed, when the first Yellowstone wolves were released in 1995, the then-interior secretary, Bruce Babbit, called it “a day of redemption”. While living with pro-bison activists, a startled Mr Farrell heard them telling various furry specimens “We love you,” or “We are here to protect you, you big sacred boy,” and spouting bowdlerised Native-American teachings about the animals' ancient souls (while simultaneously insisting, in many cases, that they distrusted religion and its works).
赞成引进狼群的生物学家和官员们自称为独特地方的冷静管理员。但他们类似精神的谈话暴露了自己的狐狸尾巴,称狼群可以将被人类破坏的风景“完全”恢复。确实,当黄石公园在1995年第一次放出狼群时,当时的内政部长布鲁斯·巴比特把这天叫做“救赎日”。而在与赞成保护野牛的活动家们一起居住时,法雷尔先生听到了一些令他震惊的话:他们对着各种毛绒绒的标本说“我们爱你们”,或“神圣的孩子们,我们来保护你们了”,并唾弃有所删节的美国本土关于动物古老灵魂的学说(同时在许多情况下,他们也坚持不信任宗教和其作品)。
As for anti-wolf types, when offered financial compensation for wolf-attacks on their livestock, some turn it down—suggesting that more than economics is at stake. Dig a bit, and a culture war is raging between the “old West” of rugged ranchers and hunters, who once earned respect and status by taming nature, but who now find themselves called environmental menaces by “new West” incomers with big-city ideas about animal rights and natural ecosystems. Behind that local clash—pitting folk with gun racks on their trucks against those with bike racks, as Mr Farrell puts it—there lurks a still larger suspicion of the federal government. Many “old West” types see a plot to drive ranchers from the land. They talk of “federal wolves” undermining their property rights, and challenging the God-ordained duty of humans to protect their own families, and exercise dominion over Creation.
对于反对引入狼群的人来说,当向他们提供狼群袭击家畜的财政补贴时,有些人拒绝了,并建议说处于险境的并不只是他们的经济。更深入一点,在“老西部”的坚毅农场主与猎人中正在发生着一场激烈的文化战争,他们曾经因为驯化制服自然而获得尊敬与地位,但如今却发现自己被持有动物权利与自然生态等大都市思想的“新西部”移民们叫做环境威胁。在当地的冲突中,武装居民把枪架在卡车上,与另一队把枪架在自行车上的居民对峙,正如法雷尔提出的那样,那里隐藏着对联邦政府更大的猜疑。许多“老西部”居民都能看出一场要把农场主赶出这片土地的阴谋。他们说“联邦狼”暗中破坏了他们的财产权,挑战了上帝规定的人类要保护自己家庭的责任,而且滥用了上帝的造物权。
Crying wolf
嚎叫的狼
Yellowstone's hidden moral disputes offer wider lessons to America, a country that is increasingly divided and unusually keen on tackling complex ethical questions in judicial and quasi-judicial settings. Lots of other countries debate such issues as the death penalty, abortion, gun control or global warming in parliament, allowing partisans to admit when they are advancing emotional or religious arguments. From its earliest days American law courts and congressional hearings have rung to the noise of impassioned partisans, hurling facts (and, all too often, confected para-facts) at one another in a bid to prove the other side wrong.
黄石公园中隐藏的道德之争为美国提供了更广泛的教训,这个国家分歧日渐增多,经常热衷于处理司法与准司法背景的复杂道德问题。许多其他国家都在国会上争辩如死刑、堕胎、枪支管理或全球变暖之类的问题,当党派人员推动情感或宗教争辩时,就允许他们加入。早期美国法院与国会听证会会收到充满激情的党派人员们的争论电话,互相用事实(并且常常是特意寻出的侧面事实)攻击对方以证明另一方是错误的。
Mr Farrell is not the only scholar testing the thesis that this approach has its limits. Earlier this winter the Faith Angle Forum—a twice-yearly conference bringing together theologians, scientists and political journalists—heard from academics working to bridge divides between science and Americans of deep religious faith. Many partisans subscribe to the post-Enlightenment idea that giving people lots of facts ought to be enough to convince them, noted Jeff Hardin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a zoologist and devout Christian. But “most of us hold our beliefs in a tangled ball of yarn”, especially in a religious, polarised place such as America. Tug at one thread, and people fear that their very identity is under attack.
法雷尔并不是测试这种方法具有限制性这个论题的唯一学者。今年冬天早期信仰天使座谈会—一个两年一次的会议,聚集了大量神学家、科学家和政治新闻记者—听说学术界正在致力于沟通科学与美国居民根深蒂固的宗教信仰之间的分歧。威斯康星大学的动物学家以及虔诚的基督徒杰夫·哈丁表明,许多党派人员们都认同了后启蒙思想,认为后启蒙思想为人们带来的大量事实足以使人们信服。但“大部分人的信仰都是一团乱麻”,特别是在美国这样宗教化、极端化的地区。这是悬在人们头上的一柄达摩克利斯之剑,人们都担忧自己的身份会遭受攻击。
This is not a call to abandon rationality or to scorn facts. It is a call for more empathy in American political debate, and more honesty about the tangled agendas that lurk in every breast. That would not end every conflict: just look at Yellowstone and its unending rows. But even agreeing to disagree would be a start.
这并不是号召放弃理性或嘲笑事实。这是号召美国政治辩论对于潜藏在每个人心中的混乱议题应该更同情,更诚实。这不会终结所有冲突:去看看黄石公园和它那无休止争吵你就知道了。但即使是求同存异,也将会是个开始。翻译:靳方方 校对:萧毛毛
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