一位科学家与化工业的较量——马克 · 莱特尔(Mark Lytle) Mark Lytle: How one scientist took on the chemical industry

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演员: Mark Lytle


台词
In 1958, Rachel Carson received a letter
1958 年,蕾切尔 · 卡森 收到了一封来信,
describing songbirds suddenly dropping from tree branches.
信里描述了一群鸣鸟 突然从树枝上跌落的情形 。
The writer blamed their deaths on a pesticide called DDT
写信人认为鸟儿的死因与 一种叫滴滴涕(DDT)的杀虫剂有关,
that exterminators had sprayed on a nearby marsh.
灭虫员将这种药 喷洒在了附近的沼泽里。
The letter was the push Carson needed to investigate DDT.
正是这封信促使卡森 展开了对滴滴涕的调查。
She had already heard from scientists and conservationists who were worried
她已经听闻,有科学家 和环保主义者们担心
that rampant use of the pesticide posed a threat to fish, birds,
滥用杀虫剂已经 对鱼类、鸟类造成了伤害,
and possibly humans.
还可能对人类健康造成威胁。
She began to make inquiries through government contacts
她开始通过数年来 在美国渔业局工作时
from her years working in the United States Bureau of Fisheries.
所累积的政府人脉 进行询查。
She asked: “what has already silenced the voices of spring?”
她很好奇:“究竟是什么东西使得 春天之声沉寂下来了呢?”
In 1962, Carson published her findings in "Silent Spring."
1962 年,卡森将她的发现 出版在了《寂静的春天》中。
Her book documented the misuse of chemicals
该书记载了 化学物质的误用
and their toll on nature and human health.
对自然界和人类健康 造成的致命危害。
"Silent Spring" immediately drew both applause and impassioned dissent—
《寂静的春天》一经面世便好评如潮, 但同时也伴随着激烈的批判——
along with vicious personal attacks on the author.
包括对作者的 恶毒人身攻击。
How did this mild-mannered biologist and writer ignite such controversy?
一位温和的生物学家兼作家 为何激起了如此大的争议?
Carson began her career as a hardworking graduate student,
卡森的事业要从 她勤恳的研究生时期说起。
balancing her studies in biology at John Hopkins University
当时她一边在约翰 · 霍普金斯大学 修读生物学,
with part time jobs.
一边做着兼职。
Still, she had to leave school before completing her doctorate
即便如此,她还是不得不 在完成博士学业之前就辍学,
to provide for her ailing father and sister.
去照顾生病的父亲和姐姐。
Carson found part time work with the Bureau of Fisheries
卡森在渔业局找了一份兼职,
writing for a radio program on marine biology.
负责为海洋生物广播节目撰稿。
Her ability to write materials that could hold the general public’s attention
她的稿子深受大众欢迎,
impressed her superiors, and in 1936,
业务能力也因此受到了 上级的赏识,于是在 1936 年,
she became the second woman to be hired at the Bureau full time.
她成为了渔业局招聘的 第二名女性全职员工。
In 1941, she published the first of three books on the ocean,
1941 年,她出版了 海洋三部曲中的第一本,
combining science with lyrical meditations on underwater worlds.
书中结合科学与抒情沉思, 描绘出了海底的世界。
These explorations resonated with a wide audience.
她的探索引来了广泛的回响。
In "Silent Spring," Carson turned her attention
(书名:《海风之下》 《我们周围的海》《海的边缘》)
to the ways human actions threaten the balance of nature.
在《寂静的春天》中,卡森着重讨论了 人类的行为对自然界平衡的威胁。
DDT was originally used during World War II to shield crops from insects
二战期间,滴滴涕原本 被用于保护庄稼不受虫害,
and protect soldiers from insect-borne diseases.
并防止士兵患上虫媒传染病。
After the war, it was routinely sprayed in wide swaths to fight pests,
战争结束后,人们日常将它 喷洒在大片土地上灭虫,
often with unforeseen results.
但往往会招致意外的后果。
One attempt to eradicate fire ants in the southern U.S.
一次,人们试图用它 消灭美国南部的火蚁,
killed wildlife indiscriminately, but did little to eliminate the ants.
结果收效甚微, 还误杀了大量野生动物。
In spite of this and other mishaps, the US Department of Agriculture
尽管发生了一次又一次的意外, 美国农业部和化工企业
and chemical companies extolled the benefits of DDT.
仍然不懈地鼓吹着 滴滴涕的优势。
There was little regulation or public awareness about its potential harm.
面对缺乏针对其潜在危害的管制措施, 公众意识也相对薄弱的现状,
But Carson showed how the overuse of chemicals
卡森揭示了化学物质的过量使用
led to the evolution of resistant species—
将导致物种产生抗药性——
which, in turn, encouraged the development of deadlier chemicals.
从而反过来促使企业 研发更具杀伤力的杀虫剂。
Since DDT does not dissolve in water,
由于滴滴涕不溶于水,
she asserted that over time it would accumulate in the environment,
卡森断言,随着时间推移, 化学物质将在环境中、
the bodies of insects, the tissues of animals who consume those insects,
虫子的尸体中、 以死虫为食的动物体内,
and eventually humans.
最后,甚至在人体内 不断地累积。
She suggested that exposure to DDT might alter the structure of genes,
她还推断滴滴涕 可能改变基因结构,
with unknown consequences for future generations.
对生物体的后代造成 无法预测的后果。
The response to "Silent Spring" was explosive.
《寂静的春天》引发了 爆炸性的社会反响。
For many people the book was a call to regulate substances
许多人认为这本书 呼吁政府加强管制
capable of catastrophic harm.
可能导致灾难性破坏的物质。
Others objected that Carson hadn’t mentioned DDT’s role
其他人则批判卡森对滴滴涕避免
controlling the threat insects posed to human health.
人体遭受虫害的功效闭口不言。
Former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson demanded to know
前农业部部长 埃兹拉 · 塔夫脱 · 本森则傲慢发问:
“why a spinster with no children was so concerned about genetics?”
“为何一个没有孩子的老处女 对基因问题如此关切?”
and dismissed Carson as “probably a Communist.”
他反驳卡森,称她 “可能是个共产主义者。”
A lawyer for a pesticide manufacturer alluded to Carson and her supporters
一名杀虫剂制造商的代理律师 暗指卡森和她的支持者们
as “sinister influences” aiming to paint businesses as “immoral.”
“用心险恶”, 意图抹黑商业是“不道德的”。
In reality, Carson had focused on the dangers of chemicals
事实上,卡森着重强调了 化学物质的危害,
because they weren’t widely understood, while the merits were well publicized.
因为其好处已经广为人知, 其弊端却鲜有人了解。
She rejected the prevailing belief that humans
她反对社会上 所流行的一种思想,
should and could control nature.
即人类应该也有能力 控制自然界。
Instead, she challenged people to cultivate
相反,她建议大众
“maturity and mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves.”
“完善及掌控自我,而非大自然。”
Carson died of cancer in 1964,
1964 年,距《寂静的春天》出版 仅仅过去两年,
only two years after the publication of "Silent Spring."
卡森不幸罹患癌症逝世。
Her work galvanized a generation of environmental activists.
她的工作激励了 一代环保活动家。
In 1969, under pressure from environmentalists,
1969 年, 在环保主义者的施压下,
Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act
国会通过了 《国家环境政策法案》,
that required federal agencies to evaluate environmental impacts of their actions.
要求联邦机构评估 其行为对环境的影响。
To enforce the act,
为了确保法案的执行,
President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
理查德·尼克松总统成立了 美国国家环境保护局。
And in 1972, the EPA issued a partial ban on the use of DDT.
1972 年,环保局宣布 对滴滴涕有条件的禁用。
Long after her death, Rachel Carson continued to advocate for nature
尽管已逝世许久, 蕾切尔 · 卡森仍继续
through the lingering impact of her writing.
通过其作品延绵不绝的影响力, 为大自然保护发声。