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澳洲summary范文:How the Current Mass Extinction of Animals Threa

论文价格: 免费 时间:2019-09-04 11:55:44 来源:www.ukassignment.org 作者:留学作业网
澳大利亚人类学家托姆·凡·多伦(Thom van Dooren)于2014年撰写的《飞行方式:灭绝边缘的生命与损失》一书呼吁人们更多地关注我们周围每天发生的灭绝,参与保护和保护生物多样性。作为这个星球的一部分,即使只是小动作。作为灭绝研究领域的领军人物,托姆·范·多伦将哲学见解与自然科学知识结合起来,向我们传达了一个重要信息,即当前大规模灭绝的伦理意义。
The book titled “Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction”, composed by Australian anthropologist Thom Van Dooren and published in 2014, called on people to pay more attention to extinctions happening everyday around us, taking part in the protection and conservation of biodiversity as a part of this planet, even just by small actions. As a leading figure in the field of extinction studies, Thom Van Dooren incorporated philosophy insights into his words, together with knowledge of natural sciences, transmitted an important message to all of us regarding the ethical significance of current mass extinctions.
在这本书中,Dooren描述了像乌鸦和城市企鹅这样濒临灭绝的生命是如何在艰难的环境和恶化的环境中生存下来的。在接受《国家地理》杂志采访时,他说,这本书的主要目的是从民族、历史和人种学的角度重新思考和反映在现代灭绝背景下人文学科所扮演的角色。用他的话说,他对当今物种的灭绝速度正在迅速加快这一事实表示担忧,这一速度几乎与恐龙灭绝时的速度相同。
In this book, Dooren depicted how endangered lives like grieving crows and urban penguins managed to survive under tough situations and deteriorating environment. During his interview with the National Geographic magazine, he said that the main purpose of this book was to rethink and reflect the role of humanities play under modern context of extinctions, from ethnic, historic and ethnographic perspectives. In his words, he expressed concerns on the fact that nowadays the rate of extinction in species is rapidly speeding up, reaching up to almost the same one as when dinosaurs were all gone.
当人们对其他物种的灭绝漠不关心时,他提到了“哀悼疲劳”,这可能是人们不太关心灭绝事件的次要原因之一。然而,造成这种现象的主要原因仍然是社会对减少生物多样性缺乏认识。更重要的是,为了揭示那些处于灭绝边缘的物种的独特性,我们需要真正理解是什么使得灭绝变得更为重要。在他看来,“没有单一的灭绝悲剧”,也就是说,在每一个物种的灭绝案例背后都有一个故事,而这些案例尚未被发现。
While towards the indifference of people felt about the extinctions of other species, he mentioned the phrase “mourning fatigue”, probably one of the minor reasons why people do not care so much about extinction events. Yet the major cause of this phenomenon still goes to the lack of awareness in the society concerning decreasing biodiversity. More importantly, in order to uncover the uniqueness of those species at the edge of extinction, we need to really comprehend what makes extinction matters in depth. In his point of view, “there is not a single extinction tragedy”, meaning that a story lies behind extinction cases of each one of them, which yet to be discovered.
在这次采访中,Dooren还表达了他对“人类例外论”这个词的理解,他在书中也使用了这个词。他解释说,正是人类对其他物种的优越感导致了对它们的漠不关心。更多的人需要认识到其他人的重要性,因为他们是我们祖国不可替代的一部分,所以他们可以重新加入“生命共同体”。

文章要求具体如下:
In this interview, Dooren also expressed his understanding towards the term “human exceptionalism” that he used also in the book. He explained that it was the superiority humans stand over all of the rest species that resulted in these indifferent feelings towards them. And more people need to realize the importance of other beings, as they are an irreplaceable part of our homeland, so that they could rejoin “the community of life”.
 
In a sum, this book recovered a way of responding ethically to extinctions by telling lively stories of birds, reminding us of the valuable positions they sit at within both the ecosystem and our daily lives.
How the Current Mass Extinction of Animals Threatens Humans
We seem indifferent to the mass extinction we're causing, yet we lose a part of ourselves when another animal dies out.
 
By Simon Worrall, for National Geographic
 
PUBLISHED August 20, 2014
 
More species are becoming extinct today than at any time since dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the Earth by an asteroid 65 million years ago. Yet this bio-Armageddon, caused mainly by humans, is greeted by most of us with a yawn and a shrug. One fewer bat species? I've got my mortgage to pay! Another frog extinct? There are plenty more!
 
In his new book Australian anthropologist Thom Van Dooren tries to break through this wall of indifference by showing us how we're connected to the living world, and how, when a species becomes extinct, we don't just lose another number on a list. We lose part of ourselves.
 
Here he talks about grieving crows and urban penguins—and how vultures in India provide a free garbage-disposal service.
 
Your book is part of a new field of enquiry known as extinction studies. Can you give us a quick 101?
 
It's an attempt to think about what role the humanities, and to some extent the social sciences, might play in engaging with the contemporary extinction crisis. In other words, how ethics, historical, and ethnographic perspectives can flesh out our notion of what extinction is and the way that different communities are differently bound up in extinction or potential solutions via conservation.
 
We live in a time of mass extinctions. How bad is it?
 
I think that it's pretty widely accepted now that we're living through the sixth massive extinction. The fifth one was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs vanished. Today we're losing biodiversity at a similar rate. And this is, of course, an anthropogenic mass extinction. The primary cause is human communities.
 
But what we're trying to do in extinction studies is to think about scale in different ways. How the loss of a species is not just the loss of some abstract collection of organisms that we can add to a list but contributes to an unraveling of cultural and social relationships that ripples out into the world in different ways.
 
You say that despite this, there is very little public outcry. Are people just too overwhelmed by the enormity of the crisis? Or what?
 
I think there are lots of answers to that question. For some people it probably is overwhelming. People have "mourning fatigue." But I think for most people it's just a genuine lack of awareness about the rates of biodiversity loss that we're experiencing.
 
There's an even more important answer to the question, though, which is that we haven't found ways to really understand why it is that extinction matters. We can talk about numbers and the loss of a white rhino or a kakapo. But we haven't developed the kind of story that we need to explain why it is that it matters—what is precious and unique about each of those species.
 
You have a wonderful phrase, "telling lively stories about extinction." What does that mean?
 
I was trying to get at two things. One is to tell stories that make a committed stand for the living world. The other is to tell stories that are themselves lively, that will draw people in and arouse a sense of curiosity and accountability for disappearing ways of life, so they might contribute to making a difference. Stories are one way we make sense of the world and decide what it is that matters and what it is we will invest our time and energy in trying to hold on to and take care of.
 
Flight Ways differs from many other books in that it's less interested in the phenomenon itself than in our moral and emotional responses to the crisis.
 
I have a background in philosophy and anthropology. So I'm more interested in how we understand and live with extinction. I started out wanting to write a book about extinction in general. But what I found doing fieldwork with scientists and communities bound up with the disappearing birds I describe is that each extinction event is totally different. There isn't a single extinction tragedy. Each case is a unique kind of unraveling, a unique set of losses and consequences that need to be fleshed out and come to terms with.
 
Tell us about "urban penguins."
 
One of the last colonies on mainland Australia, only about 60 or 65 breeding pairs, live in what is the biggest harbor in Australia, Sydney, my hometown. Some of them even nest under the ferry wharf, which many people don't know as they catch the ferry in and out of the mainland. They're beautiful little birds, about one foot [30 centimeters] tall, and they've been coming here as long as there have been historical records. Thanks to the dedication and work of conservationists and volunteer penguin wardens, who make sure the birds aren't harassed at night or attacked by dogs and foxes, they've managed to hang on.#p#分页标题#e#
 
So that's a hopeful story?
 
Yes, I think in many ways it is a hopeful story. For the most part we've been talking about extinctions that are caused by people. But in this case living in proximity with humans seems to be working.
 
One of your bugbears is what you call human exceptionalism. What is that?
 
This is a concept used by philosophers to describe an attitude where humans are set apart from the rest of the natural world. A little bit special, and so not like the other animal species.
 
The Lords of Creation?
 
Exactly. Rather than thinking of ourselves as an animal, we have a long history, in the West at least, of thinking of ourselves as either the sole bearers of an immortal soul or a creature that is set apart by its rationality and its ability to manipulate and control the world.
 
There are a whole lot of consequences that flow on from that kind of an orientation to the world. And some of them are very damaging for our species and for the wider environment. By diagnosing and analyzing human exceptionalism, we can try to fit humans back into the "community of life," as the philosopher Val Plumwood called it.
 
Extinctions affect us in complex ways. Tell us about the Gyps vulture of India.
 
That's a particularly interesting case, which drove home to me how extinction matters differently to different communities. The Parsi community in Mumbai have traditionally exposed their dead to vultures in "towers of silence," as they're called in English. Now the vultures are disappearing. Estimates suggest that 97 to 99 percent of the birds have gone in the last few decades. So the Parsi community is left in a very difficult position of trying to figure out how to appropriately and respectfully take care of their own dead in a world without vultures.
 
Vultures are great at garbage disposal, aren't they?
 
[Laughs.] They certainly are! It's estimated that they clean up five to ten million camel, cow, and buffalo carcasses a year in India. And that is obviously a free service. [Laughs.]
 
They've also played an important role in containing disease of various kinds and controlling the number of predators that feed on those carcasses and spread other diseases, like rats or dogs. The worry now is that the decline in vultures may lead to rises in the numbers of scavengers and in the incidence of diseases like rabies and anthrax in India.
 
You wrap the idea of the importance of mourning the loss of a species into a chapter about the Hawaiian crow. Do crows really grieve?
 
Yes, I think there's very good evidence to suggest that crows and a number of other mammals grieve for their dead, and we don't quite know how to make sense of that. In part this is bound up in those issues of human exceptionalism—the notion that grieving is something that only humans do. But it's clear from observations of different species around the world that crows do mourn for other crows. They notice their deaths, and those deaths impact on them. So the chapter is a provocation to us to pay attention to all of the extinctions that are going on around us, to take up the challenge of learning from them in a way that, I hope, leads us to live differently in the world.
 
The Hawaiian crow is another good news story, isn't it?
 
That's right, thanks to really dedicated work by the Hawaiian state government, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the San Diego Zoo. They've been looking after these birds and breeding them in captivity for decades, and they now have over a hundred birds.
 
But what they need is somewhere for them to be released. They need good forest, and there's not a lot of good forest left in Hawaii. Introduced species, like pigs and goats, have largely destroyed the understory of a lot of Hawaiian forest. There are plans to fence some of these areas and remove the ungulates, so that the forest might be restored. It's a work in progress. But something a lot of people are dedicating a lot of time and energy towards achieving.
 
Your book is also a clarion call to action. You write, "We are called to account for nothing less than the entirety of life on the planet." What can a regular Joe like me do?
 
That's a tough question, which I struggle with all of the time. It's one of the reasons that I write and tell stories. I love to do it. It's also something that I find challenging, and I think might contribute in some way. So all that I can suggest to others is that they find ways of contributing, which they feel similarly passionate about and which might contribute, even in some small way. I don't think change comes from singular, world-changing events. I think it's built slowly, piece by piece, by people who are passionate about the world.

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