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Ted演讲:当地球人口达到100亿时 我们将如何生存

kira86 于2019-04-30发布 l 已有人浏览
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Charles C. Mann在Ted的演讲,当地球人口超100亿,我们又将如何生存?
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Charles C. Mann: How will we survive when the population hits 10 billion?

当地球人口达到100亿时,我们将如何生存

How are we doing? No, no, no, by that, I meant, how are we, homo sapiens "we"...

我们最近过得怎么样?哦不,我的意思是,最近,身为现代人的“我们”...

(Laughter)

(笑声)

doing as a species?

作为一个物种,过得怎么样?

(Laughter)

(笑声)

Now the typical way to answer that question is this. You choose some measure of human physical well-being:average longevity, average calories per day, average income, overall population, that sort of thing, and draw a graph of its value over time. In almost every case, you get the same result. The line skitters along at a low level for millennia, then rockets up exponentially in the 19th and 20th century. Or choose a measure of consumption:consumption of energy, consumption of fresh water, consumption of the world's photosynthesis, and draw a graph of its value over time. In the same way, the line skitters along at a low level for millennia, then rockets up exponentially in the 19th and 20th century.

关于这个问题的回答, 很典型的一类就是,选择一些描述人们身体状况的词:平均寿命,每天平均的食物摄入量,平均收入,总人口等等,然后画一个随时间变化的曲线。在几乎所有的情况下, 你得到的都是同样的结果。在几千年的时间线上,变化 都是处于一个较低的水平,随后在19世纪和20世纪 以指数方式猛涨。或者以消耗量为单位:消耗了多少能源,用了多少水,消耗了多少光合作用,再画一个随时间变化的曲线。同样,时间线在几千年来 还是处于低值,且变化平缓,在19世纪与20世纪 以指数方式猛涨。

Biologists have a word for this: outbreak. An outbreak is when a population or speciesexceeds the bounds of natural selection. Natural selection ordinarily keeps populations and specieswithin roughly defined limits. Pests, parasites, lack of resources prevent them from expanding too much. But every now and then, a species escapes its bounds. Crown-of-thorns starfish in the Indian Ocean, zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, spruce budworm here in Canada. Populations explode, a hundredfold, a thousandfold, a millionfold. So here's a fundamental lesson from biology:outbreaks in nature don't end well.

生物学家对此的解释是:生物爆炸。生物爆炸指的就是一种物种的数量超出了自然界所能承受的范围。通常来说,自然选择在大致范围内控制了人口和物种的数量。害虫,寄生虫,资源缺乏等 因素,导致它们无法过度繁殖。但偶尔,一些物种 也会突破自身的边界。比如印度洋的棘冠海星,北美五大湖的斑马贻贝, 加拿大的云杉蚜虫。这些生物数量是呈百倍,千倍,甚至是万倍增长的。下面是一个生物学中普遍的教训:自然界中的生物爆炸 通常没什么好结果。

(Laughter)

(笑声)

Put a couple of protozoa into a petri dish full of nutrient goo. In their natural habitat, soil or water, their environment constrains them. In the petri dish, they have an ocean of breakfastand no natural enemies. They eat and reproduce, eat and reproduce, until bang, they hit the edge of the petri dish, at which point they either drown in their own waste, starve from lack of resources, or both. The outbreak ends, always, badly.

把几种单细胞生物放入 一个有营养物质的培养皿中,在它们的自然环境中,土壤 或水分等因素限制了它们的繁衍。而在培养皿中,它们营养充足,并且没有天敌。它们不断地摄入与繁殖,直到有一天,它们撑爆了培养皿,只能要么淹没在自己的排泄物中,要么因缺乏营养而饿死, 或者两者兼有之。生物爆炸总是以糟糕的方式结束。

Now, from the viewpoint of biology, you and I are not fundamentally different than the protozoa in the petri dish. We're not special. All the things that we, in our vanity, think make us different --art, science, technology, and so forth, they don't matter. We're an outbreak species, we're going to hit the edge of the petri dish, simple as that.

从生物学的方面来看,你和我比起培养皿中的单细胞生物, 并没有什么本质上的区别,我们并不特殊。我们因虚荣心而认为, 思想使得我们与众不同,艺术,科技等等,但这些都不重要。我们就是一种生物爆炸的物种,我们就要撑爆我们的 培养皿了,就这么简单。

Well, the obvious question: Is this actually true? Are we in fact doomed to hit the edge of the petri dish? I'd like to set aside this question for a momentand ask you guys another one. If we are going to escape biology, how are we going to do it? In the year 2050, there will be almost 10 billion people in the world, and all of those people will want the things that you and I want:nice cars, nice clothes, nice homes, the odd chunk of Toblerone. I mean, think of it: Toblerone for 10 billion people. How are we going to do this? How are we going to feed everybody, get water to everybody, provide power to everybody, avoid the worst impacts of climate change?

不过有个显而易见的问题: 这会是真的吗?我们的人口真的会达到极限吗?我暂且先把这个问题放一放,来问大家另一个问题。如果我们能够突破 生物爆炸的宿命,要怎么做呢?到2050年,地球上将会有100亿人口,并且我们想要的东西, 这些人也都会需要:豪车,名牌衣服,大别墅,奇奇怪怪的三角巧克力。假设把三角巧克力分给100亿个人。要怎么实现呢?我们怎么给每个人 足够的食物,足够的水,让每个人保持足够的体力 来应对最极端的气候变化?

I'm a science journalist, and I've been asking these questions to researchers for years, and in my experience, their answers fall into two broad categories, which I call "wizards" and "prophets. "Wizards, techno-whizzes, believe that science and technology, properly applied, will let us produce our way out of our dilemmas. Be smart, make more, they say. That way, everyone can win. Prophets believe close to the opposite. They see the world as governed by fundamental ecological processeswith limits that we transgress to our peril. Use less, conserve, they say. Otherwise, everybody's going to lose. Wizards and prophets have been butting their heads together for decades, but they both believe that technology is key to a successful future. The trouble is, they envision different types of technologyand different types of futures.

我是一名科学记者,这些年来我一直在 问专家们这些问题,以我的经验看来,他们的回答 大体可分为两大类,就是我说的“奇才”和“先知”。奇才,也就是所谓的技术宅,认为恰当地运用科技,会让我们找到摆脱困境的方法。他们会说:“机灵点,提高生产力。那样的话,每个人都会生存下来。”先知们则认为恰恰相反。他们认为世界有一种 基本的生态法则,而我们必须遵守这个法则, 不然就要自食其果。他们会说“少用点,存起来,不然的话,每个人都得饿死。”几十年来,奇才与先知的 观点一直处于对立的状态,但他们都认为,科技是一把 通向美好明天的钥匙。分歧在于,他们所预想的科技和未来都是不一样的。

Wizards envision a world of glittering, hyperefficient megacitiessurrounded by vast tracts of untouched nature, economies that have transitioned from atoms to bits, dematerialized capitalist societiesthat no longer depend on exploiting nature. Energy, to wizards, comes from compact nuclear plants;food from low-footprint farms with ultraproductive, genetically modified crops tended by robots;water from high-throughput desalination plants, which means we no longer exploit rivers and aquifers. Wizards envision all 10 billion of uspacked into ultradense but walkable megacities, an urbanized world of maximum human aspirationand maximum human liberty.

奇才们认为世界上都是 灯火辉煌的,高效率的大城市,被周围广阔的原生态自然所包围着,经济体从实体经济转向数字经济,非物质化的资本主义社会不再依赖于剥削自然。在奇才们看来,能源来自于核电站,来自于高生产力的小农场 生产的转基因食物,并且这些庄稼都由机器人看管;水源都来自于高流通量的 海水淡化工厂,这就意味着我们不再需要 利用河流与地下水。这些人假设把我们100亿人,全部塞进一个交通便捷的特大城市,这是一个全人类的美好愿景:高度自由化的超级城市化世界。

Now, prophets object to every bit of this. You can't dematerialize food and water, they point out. They say, you can't eat bits, and industrial agriculture has already given us massive soil erosion, huge coastal dead zones and ruined soil microbiomes. And you wizards, you want more of this? And those giant desalination plants? You know they generate equally giant piles of toxic saltthat are basically impossible to dispose of. And those megacities you like? Can you name me an actually existing megacitythat really exists in the world today, except for possibly Tokyo, that isn't a cesspool of corruption and inequality? Instead, prophets pray for a world of smaller, interconnected communities, closer to the earth, a more agrarian world of maximum human connectionand reduced corporate control. More people live in the countryside in this vision, with power provided by neighborhood-scale solar and wind installationsthat disappear into the background. Prophets don't generate water from giant desalination plants. They capture it from rainfall, and they reuse and recycle it endlessly. And the food comes from small-scale networks of farmsthat focus on trees and tubersrather than less productive cereals like wheat and rice.

而先知们则反对这一切说辞。他们指出,你不能抹去 水和食物的物质形态,你不可能以吃比特为生吧,而且工业化农业生产已经给我们 造成了严重的水土流失,造成海洋水体富营养化, 微生物群落被摧毁。那我问你们,这些土地 都贫瘠成这副样子了,还想着建你们的海水淡化工厂?毕竟,它们会产生大量的有毒盐,而这些基本上都是不可能处理掉的。这就是你喜欢的超级城市?你能给我列出一座现实世界存在的这种城市吗,除了东京之外,而且看着还不像一个 腐败和不平等的污浊之地?相反地,先知们希望这个世界 是一个更小型的,相互关联的社区,与自然相处更和谐,一个全人类紧密相连的农业世界,没有任何商业纷争。在这个愿景中,更多的人居住在乡下,用全社区规模的太阳能 与对环境无破坏的风力发电机来提供电力。先知们才不会用淡化工厂来提取水呢,他们在降雨中获得水分,并且不断地重复使用和循环利用。食物呢,则有小型的网络型农场,专门栽种树木和薯类,而不是像大米小麦这样产量低的谷物。

Above all, though, prophets envision people changing their habits. They don't drive to work, they take their renewable-powered train. They don't take 30-minute hot showers every morning. They eat, you know, like Michael Pollan says, real food, mostly plants, not too much. Above all, prophets say submitting to nature's restraintsleads to a freer, more democratic, healthier way of life.

最重要的是,先知们希望人们 能够改变他们的生活方式。他们不用开车上班, 而是乘坐可再生能源列车。他们每天早上不用再 花30分钟来洗个热水澡。像迈克尔 · 波伦说的,他们吃的是真正的食物, 绝大多数是素食,还要控制食量。最重要的就是,先知们提倡利用 地球母亲给我们提供的一切,引领一个更自由,更民主, 更健康的生活方式。

Now, wizards regard all this as hooey. They see it as a recipe for narrowness, regression, and global poverty. Prophet-style agriculture, they say, only extends the human footprintand shunts more people into low-wage agricultural labor. Those neighborhood-run solar facilities, they sound great, but they depend on a technology that doesn't exist yet. They're a fantasy. And recycling water? It's a brake on growth and development. Above all, though, wizards object to the prophets' emphasison wide-scale social engineering, which they see as deeply anti-democratic.

不过,奇才们则认为 这些都是异想天开。他们觉得这会导致狭隘, 倒退,以及全球性的贫困。他们认为“先知”式的农业 就是扩展人类的足迹,给更多的人分配低薪的农务。那些在社区使用的太阳能装置,听起来还不错,但依赖于一种 尚未开发出来的技术手段,完全是痴人说梦。再说循环利用的水,这就是 限制社会发展的一颗毒瘤。最重要的是,奇才们反对先知们在 大规模社会生产上的观点,他们认为这是完全反民主的。

If the history of the last two centuries was one of unbridled growth, the history of the coming century may well be the choice we makeas a species between these two paths. These are the arguments that will be resolved, in one way or another, by our children's generation, the generation that will come into the world of 10 billion.

如果过去两个世纪的历史 是无节制增长的话,那么下一个世纪的历史很可能是,我们作为一个物种 在这两条道路之间做出的选择。这些问题不管怎样,都会被我们的下一代给解决掉,终将成为构成100亿人口的下一代人。

Now, but wait, by this point, biologists should be rolling their eyesso loud you can barely hear me speak. They should be saying, all of this, wizards, prophets, it's a pipe dream. It doesn't matter which illusory path you think you're taking. Outbreaks in nature don't end well. I mean, you think the protozoa see the edge of the petri dish approachingand say, "Hey guys, time to change society"? No. They just let her rip. That's what life does, and we're part of life. We'll do the same thing. Deal with it.

等会儿,生物学家们 现在应该对此嗤之以鼻,它们的反对之声大到 你都听不到我说话了。他们铁定会说,所有这些 “奇才”,“先知”之类的,都是白日梦。你认为你做的是 什么白日梦并不重要。自然界的生物爆炸注定没有好结果。我是说,你以为单细胞动物 看到了培养皿的边缘正在靠近,然后说,"朋友们,我们是不是 该改变一下社会结构了?”不,它们只会继续。这就是生命,我们也是 这个生命的一部分。我们也会做同样的事。 直面这个事实吧。

Well, if you're a follower of Darwin, you have to take this into consideration. I mean, the basic counterargument boils down to: "We're special. "How lame is that?

如果你是达尔文的追随者, 就必须考虑到这一点。基本的反驳可以归结为: “我们是特殊的。”是不是挺厚颜无耻的?

(Laughter)

(笑声)

I mean, we can accumulate and share knowledgeand use it to guide our future. Well, are we actually doing this? Is there any evidence that we're actually using our accumulated, shared knowledgeto guarantee our long-term prosperity? It's pretty easy to say no.

我们可以积累和分享知识,再用知识来引领我们的未来。但我们真的在行动了吗?有什么证据能够证明 我们在用我们所积攒的知识,来保证我们长期的繁荣呢?答案显而易见是否定的。

If you're a wizard, and you believe that hyperproductive, genetically engineered cropsare key to feeding everyone in tomorrow's world, you have to worry that 20 yearsof scientists demonstrating that they are safe to consumehas failed to convince the public to embrace this technology. If you're a prophetand you believe that key to solving today's growing shortage of fresh wateris to stop wasting it, you have to worry that cities around the world, in rich places as well as poor, routinely lose a quarter or more of their waterto leaky and contaminated pipes. I mean, Cape Town, just a little while ago, almost ran out of water. Cape Town loses a third of its water to leaky pipes. This problem has been getting worse for decades, and remarkably little has been done about it.

如果你站在奇才那边,并且相信高产转基因作物在未来能够保证每个人的温饱的话,那你就不得不担心,20年来科学家一直在证明 转基因食物是安全的,却没能够说服公众接受这项技术。如果你是先知的话,你也相信解决如今 水资源短缺的唯一关键就是节约用水,那你也不得不担心 世界上所有的城市里,不管是富裕还是贫穷的地方,通常都会因为破损 和受到污染的管道,浪费掉至少四分之一的水。举个例子,前阵子 开普敦差点就没水用了。开普敦有三分之一的水 是因管道漏水而流失的。几十年来这个问题一直在恶化,让人无语的是,人们在这个问题上 几乎没有采取任何措施。

If you're a wizard, and you think that clean, abundant, carbon-free nuclear power is key to fighting climate change, then you have to worrythat the public willingness to build nukes is going down. If you're a prophet, and you think that the solution to the same problemis these neighborhood-run solar facilities shuttling power back and forth, you have to worry that no nation anywhere in the worldhas devoted anything like the resources necessary to develop this technologyand deploy it in the time that we need it. And if you're on either side, wizard or prophet, you have to worry that, despite the massive alarm about climate change, the amount of energy generated every year from fossil fuels has gone upby about 30 percent since the beginning of this century.

如果你是一个奇才的话, 你会认为清洁、丰富、无碳的核能是对抗气候变化的关键,那你就不得不考虑公众对于建造核电站的意愿正在下降。如果你是先知,你觉得 解决同样问题的关键是靠这些社区运营的太阳能设施 来回运送的电力的话,你就不得不考虑, 这世上是否有哪个国家真正投入了开发 这项技术所需的资源,并且在我们需要的时候能够部署它。如果你是任意一方,奇才或先知,你得考虑,尽管气候变化的 严重预警早已出现,自本世纪初以来,每年从化石燃料中产生的能量增加了约30%。

So, still think we're different than the protozoa? Still think we're special? Actually, it's even worse than that.

那么,你还认为我们 和单细胞动物不一样吗?还觉得我们很特别吗?实际情况其实更加糟糕。

(Laughter)

(笑声)

We're not in the streets. No seriously, if there's a difference between us and the protozoa, a difference that matters, it's not just our art and science and technology and so forth --it's that we can yell and scream, we can go out into the streets, and, over time, change the way society works, but we're not doing it. Wizards have been arguing literally for decadesthat nuclear power is key to resolving climate change. But the first pro-nuke march in history occurred less than two years ago, and it was dwarfed by the anti-nuke marches of the past. Prophets have been arguing, again literally for decades, that conservation is key to keeping freshwater supplieswithout destroying the ecosystems that generate those freshwater supplies. But in the history of humankind, there has never been a streetfull of angry protesters waving signs about leaky pipes. In fact, most of the political activity in this spherehas been wizards and prophets fighting each other, protesting each otherrather than recognizing that they are, fundamentally, on the same side. After all, these people are concerned about the same thing:How are we going to make our way in the world of 10 billion?

我们又不是在市区。说真的,如果说我们与单细胞动物 之间存在什么差异的话,一个重要的差异并不是我们的艺术和科技等等——而是我们可以走到大街上, 我们可以大喊大叫,随着时间的推移, 改变了社会的运作方式,但我们并没有。几十年来,奇才们一直在争论核能是不是解决气候变化的关键。但历史上第一次支持核武器的 游行就发生在不到两年前,与过去的反核武器游行相比, 它显得相形见绌。先知们几十年来一直在争论,在不破坏产生淡水供应的 生态系统的前提下,保持淡水供应的关键就是贮存。但在人类历史上, 从来没有任何一条街挤满了挥舞着写着破旧管道 标语的愤怒的抗议者。事实上,在这个领域的 大多数政治活动,一直都是奇才们和先知们 在相互争斗,相互抗议,而不是承认他们从根本上 就是在同一战线的。毕竟,这些人都在关心同一个问题:在100亿人口的世界里, 我们将如何生存?

The first step towards generating that necessary social movement, creating that critical mass and getting that yelling and screaming goingseems obvious: wizards and prophets join together. But how are you going to do this, given the decades of hostility?

开始必要的社会运动, 创造一种群众效益,并且开始走上街 游行的第一步是显而易见的:奇才们与 先知们是在同一战线的。但考虑到十几年来的 敌意,要如何实现呢?

One way might be this:Each side agrees to accept the fundamental premises of the other. Accept that nuclear power is safe and carbon-free, and that uranium mines can be hideously dirtyand that putting large volumes of toxic waste on rickety trainsand shuttling them around the countryside is a terrible idea. To me, this leads rather quickly to a vision of small, neighborhood scale, temporary nukes, nuclear power as a bridge technology while we develop and deploy renewables. Or accept that genetically modified crops are safeand that industrial agriculture has caused huge environmental problems. To me, this leads rather quickly to a vision of plant scientistsdevoting much more of their attention to tree and tuber crops, which can be much more productive than cereals, use much less water than cereals, and cause much less erosion than cereals.

一种可行的方式是这样:双方同意接受对方的基本前提。接受核能是安全且无碳的,而且铀矿的污染也非常严重,把大量的有毒污染物 滞留在破旧的火车上,让火车在乡村间穿行 是个糟糕的想法。对我来说,这很快就 引出了一个想法,在我们发展和部署可再生能源时,小型社区的临时核电站供应的 核能是我们的过渡性技术。或者接受改良转基因食物是安全的,并且农业产业化已经 对环境造成了巨大破坏。在我看来,植物科学家们 很快就会发现他们应该花费更多的精力 研究那些比谷物更高产,比谷物更节水,对环境 造成的侵蚀更少的作物,像树木和薯类作物。

These are just ideas from a random journalist. I'm sure there's a hundred better ones right here in this room. The main point is, wizards and prophets working together have many paths to success. And success would mean much more than mere survival, important though that is. I mean, if humankind somehow survives its own outbreak, if we get food to everybody, get water to everybody, get power to everybody, if we avoid the worst effects of climate change, if we somehow safeguard the biome, it would be amazing. It would say, I think, even to a hardened cynic like me, maybe we really are special.

这些想法都只是 来自我这样一个普通人。而我相信在这儿 有更多人比我聪明。问题的关键就是,奇才和先知的观点结合起来 会使人类走向成功。而成功不仅仅意味着生存,尽管活下来的确很重要。我是说,如果人类能够挺过来的话,如果我们能有保证 每个人都饭吃,有水喝,有电用,要是我们避开 气候变化的严重后果的话,要是我们能够保护生物圈的话,那未来就会相当美好。我觉得我会说,即使像我这样冷酷的愤世嫉俗者,都会觉得我们这个物种 可能真的有点特别。

Thank you.

谢谢大家。

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