【科學家的警告】


(J. E. N. Veron, A Reef in Time: The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End, 2008)


作者是澳洲一位海洋生物學家。本書討論他的大堡礁研究,指出由地質、海洋和環境氣候的歷史轉變,如何看出大堡礁的未來生態。作者指出,海洋生態的頭號殺手仍是炭排放,使海水成酸性,傷害珊瑚及其中生物。他表示,如果各國不及早用非比平常的方法處理炭排放,將來全球珊瑚地帶必成死寂,像我上載的那幅照片一樣。


本書雖頗為學術,但在最後一章,作者跳出了他的專業,忠告讀者,環境污染迫在眉睫。現分題抄錄他的說話如下:


(1) 炭排放量預測

“The most recent census of atmospheric CO2 concentration shows that its rate of increase is now at an all-time maximum – 6.3 billion tons per year – and is increasing annually by 0.3 percent. Augmented at this rate, CO2 emissions will reach 12 billion tons a year by 2030 and 20 billion tons by 2100, …” (p. 223)


(2) 會否有下一次的大規模絕種?

“The potential to recreate the conditions of a mass extinction, at least as far as marine life is concerned, is very real and the event will be under way long before it is clearly visible, by which time it will be absolutely unstoppable.” (p. 224)



(3) 其他科學家的評論

Michael Boulter:

“Now it’s too late to change and we cannot organise ourselves to stop. I speculate that our system is in free fall, out of control.” (p. 224)


E. O. Wilson:

“Scientists estimate that if habitat conversion and other destructive human activities continue at their present rates, half the species of plants and animals on Earth could be either gone or at least fated for early extinction by the end of this century. A full quarter will drop to this level during the next half century as a result of climate change alone.” (p. 225)


(4) 公眾的無知

“On the one hand, a conference is held somewhere in the world every week or so on some aspect of enhanced greenhouse warming, and it has been the central issue at virtually all international meetings of reef scientists. On the other hand, most of the general public remains blissfully unaware of the seriousness of its consequences.” (p. 226)


(5) 科技發展的重要

“The question now is whether industrialized countries are prepared to make the investment necessary for new technologies to replace old ones before the latter are due for replacement. … Time is running out, and the longer we rely on fossil fuels the costlier it will become to kick the addiction and the closer we will come to being unable to do so.” (p. 229)


(6) 不能逆轉點快到

“If we as individuals wants to preserve any degree of ecological stability, we must be vocal in bringing about government action. Time is critical: the point of no return – the tipping point – is probably within a decade.” (p. 230)


(7) 政界請注意

“We are now entering a world where political leaders may not live to see the consequences of their actions – or lack of action – but their children and grandchildren certainly will.” (p. 230)


(8) 我們每人能做的事

“The first, and ultimately only effective, step is to stop polluting our Earth with greenhouse gases. Individuals can make a difference, by changing their personal lifestyles to reduce their own energy consumption and by pressuring governments into action to reduce consumption in public arenas.” (p. 231)


(9) 最後警告

“The options are ours. For if we do not change our ways, Gaia, her forests denuded and her oceans acidified, will have taken just revenge.” (p. 232)


還記得《阿凡達》(2009) 電影登上銀幕不久,有華人基督教領袖煞有介事,指出這是後現代電影,勸信徒不要看。但電影中那些強奪大自然的人類,以及巨人的反擊,明顯喻意生態危機,喻意自然與人類文明的衝突。今天讀到本書結尾最後的警告,再查一查其出版年分(2008) ,才發現此與《阿凡達》面世時日相隔不遠,但一是學術、一是影藝,不謀而合的互相呼應,忠告人類。十年後的今天,你說大自然是否已在反擊?

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