Setting the Bottom Line for our Planet’s Future / 為地球的未來設定底線

(按此看中文版)

Dr. David SUZUKI is an academic, science broadcaster and an environmental activist. He is also the recipient of the prestigious UNESCO Kalinga Prize for his work in the field of environmental science. Dr. Suzuki was invited to Hong Kong to be the speaker at the CityU Sustainability Lecture Series hosted by Department of Asian and International Studies (AIS) and Hall 10. The topic chosen was “Setting the Bottom Line for the Planet’s Future”.

Dr. Suzuki started off the lecture talking about the climate changes occurring in Canada, how the ice caps are melting and the forestry are disappearing. He mentioned the idiocy of the previous Prime Minister of Canada and his government’s historically miserable environmental policies.

Dr. Suzuki believes that the human species might have an abrupt end towards the end of this century. Hence we need to start building the future and it’s not too late. He gave us examples of various instances of global warming which are taking place. Carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere is being dissolved in the oceans creating carbonic acid. This carbonic acid is harmful and is creating numerous dead zones in different parts of the ocean. The death of fish leads to the death of birds and other animals causing an ecological reverberation. 80% of the planet’s forests are gone.

People don’t understand the consequences of this global warming and climate change. They don’t realize that they are digging their own graves.  The problem with us human species is that we can’t avoid these negative consequences because we don’t know enough or have substantial information to anticipate the effects of our invention. Dr. Suzuki gave us an example of the invention of DDT. DDT was invented to kill insects and pests which would damage crops. What the inventor of DDT did not know was that it would affect the food chain and be the reason for the depletion in the number of Eagles. Another example was the invention of CFC. Although CFC proved to be extremely useful in the market, it caused the started to destroy the ozone layer.

“We are at a pivotal point where our actions will determine our own existence.” The above statement made by Dr. Suzuki is undeniable. We are undergoing and existential crisis. The Earth’s temperature will rise by 3-4 Degree Celsius by the end of this century and with the population growth at it’s all time high, there is a very little chance that our race can survive. We need to start taking responsibility and try to build a better future for the generations to come.

Writer:   Suhas YOGISH (Jockey Club Academy Hall)
Image:   Metro News Toronto

~~~

大衛. 鈴木博士是一位著名的學術科學傳播者和環保鬥士。他也因為在環境科學領域的成就獲得了聯合國教科文組織頒發的卡林加獎。鈴木博士此次受亞洲及國際研究部及舍堂十的邀請下,前往城市大學作持續性發展系列演說。主題是「為地球的未來設定底線」。

鈴木博士以加拿大的氣候變化,冰蓋融化,植被消失等一系列環境危機作為演講伊始,提到了加拿大前總理備受詬病的環境政策。

鈴木博士認為人類有可能在本世紀末尾就走向滅亡。因此我們需要開始規劃未來,趁現在還來得及。他給出了許多發生在世界各地的全球變暖例子。比如大氣中的二氧化碳被海水溶解,生成石碳酸。這種石碳酸對環境極為有害,使許多海洋形成局部「死亡地帶」。魚類的死亡又導致鳥類和其他物種的死亡,形成了連環生態影響。八成的地表植被也都消失。

人們對全球變暖和氣候變化帶來的後果沒有清晰的認知。他們也沒有意識到自己的所作所為是自掘墳墓。人類面臨的問題是我們無法避免這些後果,因為我們沒有足夠的知識和信息來預測一些人類發明的影響。鈴木博士給出了DDT的例子。DDT被發明用來除農田害蟲,而它的發明者卻不知道這種化學物其實會對食物鏈造成負面影響,並且是鷹數量銳減的原因之一。另一個例子則是CFC的發明。儘管CFC被證實在市場上極為有用,它卻會對臭氧層造成損害。

「我們現在處於一個自身行動決定未來存亡的關鍵點。」鈴木博士的這句話毋庸置疑。我們正在經歷攸關生死存亡的危機。本世紀末地球溫度會增長2-4攝氏度,伴隨著高居不下的人口增長速度,我們存活下來的幾率其實非常小。我們要承擔起自己的責任,為後代建立一個更好的未來。

文:   Suhas YOGISH (賽馬會群智堂)
譯:   陳妍宇 (舍堂十)
圖:   Metro News Toronto

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