每周一文Your weekly English digest : Biotechnology isn't the answer.

孟山都這家以製造農藥起家的百年企業富可敵國,靠著基因改良作物與種子賺取暴利。對於孟山都有興趣的同學,可以去Google鍵入下面這些關鍵字the dark side/history of Monsanto。官商勾結不是只有台灣有,全世界都如此。人類的貪婪與狂妄,最後的結果就是滅亡。




中文說的報應,是佛教經典中勸世的基本信條,這件事情已經不是迷信,因為因果關係cause and effect是最科學的關聯。大家要記得下面這句英文

The law of Karma: Your fate is never really set; whatever you do will eventually come back to you.




科技不是萬靈丹,地球的永續經營是我們唯一的出路。少了原物料,生技科技再發達也使不上勁!這篇文章充滿警「世」作用,大家要愛惜水源,保護我們的土地。

Biotechnology: Friend or foe?

Biotechnology is one of the big hopes among both politicians and stockholders(企業或是公司的股東). It is supposed to本來應該 provide more jobs, promote more growth, assist the world's poor countries, create better harvests, and spare the Earth many pesticides in the bargain之外還同時. But while genetic engineering基因工程 produces new headlines almost daily, the raw material that this new science employs is slipping away慢慢消失. With mind-boggling令人極為驚訝的 speed, the plants and animals that genetic engineers depend upon are becoming extinct.

This disappearance affects all of us. It is true that no one knows exactly how many plants and animals there are on the planet. So far, 1.75 million species have been counted, and it is estimated there are far more. But before we can accurately say how many species exist, people are destroying them. As many as 130 species per day may be disappearing.

A commission of twelve professors assembled by the German government has sounded the alarm.提出警訊 The Scientific Council on the Global Environment has made a clear statement of its findings: The destruction of species due to human settlements and disturbance of landscapes and ecosystems has already reached such proportions that restoring回復 a complex system of species might take millions of years if this "terrible trend" is not stopped within a few decades.

The commission points out that in its history to date到目前為止, the Earth has seen five major extinctions. All of them were set off啟動/引發 by natural catastrophes自然災害 such as meteorite impacts隕石攻擊 or climate changes. The most recent of these waves of extinction occurred 65 million years ago. The present mass extinction, the sixth, is different, though, from all of its predecessors—not just in "the raging speed急速/極快速" at which it is proceeding but because, for the first time, it was unleashed by導致 mankind. Homo sapiens現代人 is working toward a "total triumph" over millions of its fellow species, the 500-page document states. It may soon achieve "the most spectacular monument yet created by civilization"—an impoverished窮困, monotonous單調無趣的 world.

The detailed results are not yet available, but the consequences will be dramatic. In just a few more decades, the tropical rain forests熱帶雨林 could be completely destroyed through fire, logging伐木, and man-made climate change. A similar fate may await the coral reefs珊瑚礁, although here part of the blame will also be laid at the feet of amateur divers業餘潛水客 seeking pleasure underwater. And then there is the German tourist industry and its works in the Alps, with planned construction projects including 45 ski runs and the avalanche protective systems 雪崩保護系統they will need, 22 reservoirs水庫 and hydroelectric水力發電 projects, 49 highway projects, five power lines電力線, and 18 resorts度假飯店, according to the commission委員會. Only when it has eaten up its natural capital, and the landscape can no longer pay dividends得到好處/獲得效益, will "the architects of the beautiful new Alpine world" realize what irreparable damage無法挽回的傷害 they have done there, the report says.

Just how thoroughly the 6 billion people on Earth have subjected it to their rule is obvious from a single statistic: Forty percent of all photosynthesis光合作用 by green plants is already under human jurisdiction由人類來決定. The highest form of civilization人類文明 apparently tolerates little competition for anything other than its own crops.這句意指人類為了種植作物養活自己,幾乎不給地球其他物種生存機會 This is not just arrogant, it is dangerous. Only a few plant species, at risk 暴露在風險當中from pests and climate changes, must provide food for more and more people. In the meantime, global feedback mechanisms地球回饋機制, which are not yet understood, are being disturbed.

Although the economy is usually blamed when suspects are sought for this terrible situation每次地球生態平衡遭到破壞,就一定會說是為了追求經濟才造成這些影響, economic theory provides no justification for it但是這回若再將問題栽贓給經濟理論就沒效了. On the contrary, even ostensibly useless表面上看起來沒什麼用 or undiscovered species have potential value潛在的價值. The loss of Earth's biological diversity cannot be quantified地球的多元生態無法被量化. When preservation interests come into competition with development, they almost always lose每當生態保育與人類的開發出現衝突,總是犧牲環境(環保贏不了)—even under an environmentally friendly regime即便是講求環保的政權.


Biotechnology is one of the big hopes among both politicians and stockholders(企業或是公司的股東). It is supposed to本來應該 provide more jobs, promote more growth, assist the world's poor countries, create better harvests, and spare the Earth many pesticides in the bargain之外還同時. But while genetic engineering基因工程 produces new headlines almost daily, the raw material that this new science employs is slipping away慢慢消失. With mind-boggling令人極為驚訝的 speed, the plants and animals that genetic engineers depend upon are becoming extinct.

This disappearance affects all of us. It is true that no one knows exactly how many plants and animals there are on the planet. So far, 1.75 million species have been counted, and it is estimated there are far more. But before we can accurately say how many species exist, people are destroying them. As many as 130 species per day may be disappearing.

A commission of twelve professors assembled by the German government has sounded the alarm.提出警訊 The Scientific Council on the Global Environment has made a clear statement of its findings: The destruction of species due to human settlements and disturbance of landscapes and ecosystems has already reached such proportions that restoring回復 a complex system of species might take millions of years if this "terrible trend" is not stopped within a few decades.

The commission points out that in its history to date到目前為止, the Earth has seen five major extinctions. All of them were set off啟動/引發 by natural catastrophes自然災害 such as meteorite impacts隕石攻擊 or climate changes. The most recent of these waves of extinction occurred 65 million years ago. The present mass extinction, the sixth, is different, though, from all of its predecessors—not just in "the raging speed急速/極快速" at which it is proceeding but because, for the first time, it was unleashed by導致 mankind. Homo sapiens現代人 is working toward a "total triumph" over millions of its fellow species, the 500-page document states. It may soon achieve "the most spectacular monument yet created by civilization"—an impoverished窮困, monotonous單調無趣的 world.

The detailed results are not yet available, but the consequences will be dramatic. In just a few more decades, the tropical rain forests熱帶雨林 could be completely destroyed through fire, logging伐木, and man-made climate change. A similar fate may await the coral reefs珊瑚礁, although here part of the blame will also be laid at the feet of amateur divers業餘潛水客 seeking pleasure underwater. And then there is the German tourist industry and its works in the Alps, with planned construction projects including 45 ski runs and the avalanche protective systems 雪崩保護系統they will need, 22 reservoirs水庫 and hydroelectric水力發電 projects, 49 highway projects, five power lines電力線, and 18 resorts度假飯店, according to the commission委員會. Only when it has eaten up its natural capital, and the landscape can no longer pay dividends得到好處/獲得效益, will "the architects of the beautiful new Alpine world" realize what irreparable damage無法挽回的傷害 they have done there, the report says.

Just how thoroughly the 6 billion people on Earth have subjected it to their rule is obvious from a single statistic: Forty percent of all photosynthesis光合作用 by green plants is already under human jurisdiction由人類來決定. The highest form of civilization人類文明 apparently tolerates little competition for anything other than its own crops.這句意指人類為了種植作物養活自己,幾乎不給地球其他物種生存機會 This is not just arrogant, it is dangerous. Only a few plant species, at risk 暴露在風險當中from pests and climate changes, must provide food for more and more people. In the meantime, global feedback mechanisms地球回饋機制, which are not yet understood, are being disturbed.

Although the economy is usually blamed when suspects are sought for this terrible situation每次地球生態平衡遭到破壞,就一定會說是為了追求經濟才造成這些影響, economic theory provides no justification for it但是這回若再將問題栽贓給經濟理論就沒效了. On the contrary, even ostensibly useless表面上看起來沒什麼用 or undiscovered species have potential value潛在的價值. The loss of Earth's biological diversity cannot be quantified地球的多元生態無法被量化. When preservation interests come into competition with development, they almost always lose每當生態保育與人類的開發出現衝突,總是犧牲環境(環保贏不了)—even under an environmentally friendly regime即便是講求環保的政權.



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