纽约时报双语笔记:“地球黑匣子”:记录人类文明崩溃之日

“地球黑匣子”:记录人类文明崩溃之日
Earth Is Getting a ‘Black Box’ to Hold Humans Accountable for Climate Change
LIVIA ALBECK-RIPKA
2021年12月14日
纽约时报双语笔记:“地球黑匣子”:记录人类文明崩溃之日

笔记导读

vault 金库;保险库;A vault is a secure room where money and other valuable things can be kept safely.

posterity 后裔;子孙;后代;You can refer to everyone who will be alive in the future as posterity . ◆ Their music has been preserved for posterity. 他们的音乐已为后世保存起来。

repository /rɪ’pɒzɪt(ə)rɪ/ 1.贮存处;存放处;仓库;A repository is a place where something is kept safely. 2.博学者;无所不知的人;A repository of information is a person or group of people who know a lot of information about a particular place or subject. ◆ My father is a repository of family history. 我的父亲对家族史无所不知。

monolith (尤指古代竖立的)单块巨石,独石柱;A monolith is a very large, upright piece of stone, especially one that was put in place in ancient times.

immutable 永远不变的;永恒的;Something that is immutable will never change or cannot be changed.

双语全文(官方译文)

In a remote part of Australia, a steel vault about the size of a school bus will record the Earth’s warming weather patterns. It will listen to what we say and do. It will create an archive that could be critical to piecing together the missteps, its creators say, should humanity be destroyed by climate change.

在澳大利亚一个偏远的地方,一个校车大小的钢制保险库将记录地球变暖的天气模式。它会倾听我们的一言一行。创造这个物件的人说,如果人类被气候变化摧毁,它将创建一个档案,可能对拼凑出人类所犯的错误至关重要。

The vault, known as Earth’s Black Box, will be constructed in Tasmania, an Australian island state off the south coast. It will operate much like a plane’s flight recorder, which records an aircraft’s final moments before crashing. But the makers of this new black box — including data researchers from the University of Tasmania, artists and architects — say they hope it won’t have to be opened.

这个被称为“地球黑匣子”的保险库将建在澳大利亚南海岸的岛州塔斯马尼亚。它类似于能记录下飞机坠毁之前的最后时刻的记录仪。但是这个新黑匣子的创造者——包括来自塔斯马尼亚大学的数据研究人员、艺术家和建筑师——表示,他们希望它永远不必打开。

“I’m on the plane; I don’t want it to crash,” said Jim Curtis, the executive creative director of an Australian advertising agency where the project was conceived. “I really hope that it’s not too late.”

“我自己就在这架飞机上;我可不想让它坠毁,”澳大利亚一家广告公司的执行创意总监吉姆·柯蒂斯说道,这个项目就是该公司的创意。“我真的希望现在还不算太晚。”

Many questions remain, such as whether Earth really needs a black box and how future generations would decipher it. Mr. Curtis said the box would be designed “to hold our leaders to account.” He added, “If civilization does crash, this box will survive with a completely objective data story.”

还有一些问题没有答案,比如地球是否真的需要一个黑匣子,以及未来的人要如何破译它。柯蒂斯说,这个盒子的设计是为了“让我们的领导人担起责任来”。他还说,“如果人类文明真的崩溃了,这个盒子将带着一个完全客观的数据叙事幸存下来。”

Climate change is one of the gravest threats humanity faces, scientists say. It is exacerbating economic and health inequalities, increasing the frequency and intensity of natural disasters and, the United Nations has warned, threatens the world’s food supply.

科学家说,气候变化是人类面临的最严重的威胁之一。它加剧了经济和健康方面的不平等,增加了自然灾害的发生频率和强度,联合国警告,它还威胁到世界的粮食供应。

In November, negotiators at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow reached a consensus that all countries had to act more swiftly to prevent a catastrophic rise in world temperatures. Scientists have warned that if they rise beyond a threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, the risk of disasters like water shortages, deadly heat waves and ecosystem collapse will grow immensely. (The world has already warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius.)

11月,在格拉斯哥举行的联合国气候变化大会上,谈判代表达成了一项共识,即所有国家必须加速采取行动,防止全球气温出现灾难性的上升。科学家们警告,如果气温上升超过1.5摄氏度(2.7华氏度)的临界值,水资源短缺、致命热浪和生态系统崩溃等灾难的风险将大大增加。全球气温目前已经上升了1.1摄氏度。

And so some conceived of a black box.

所以,有人提出了黑匣子的想法。

The project is not alone in its attempt to jolt human beings out of what the creators suggest is short-term thinking about global warming. It is not the first to try to salvage pieces of human civilization for posterity. Scientists have built repositories for everything from essential food crops to glacier ice to frozen animal embryos, some of them already extinct. Others have tried to hide our nuclear waste so that future generations can avoid the deathly toxic material.

它试图将人类唤醒,不再像其发明者所称的那样陷入对全球变暖的短视。它并不是唯一一个这样的项目,也不是人类第一次试图为子孙后代抢救文明的碎片。科学家已经建起了储存库,储存了从基本的粮食作物到冰川冰、冷冻的动物胚胎(其中一些动物已经灭绝)在内的各种东西。还有一些人在努力将我们的核废料掩埋妥当,以便子孙后代避开这种致命有毒物质的伤害。

The box’s creators say it will record leaders’ actions (or inaction) by scraping the internet for keywords relating to climate change from newspapers, social media and peer-reviewed journals. It will collect daily metrics, including average oceanic and land temperatures, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and biodiversity loss.

这个黑匣子的打造者说,它将借助互联网,在报纸、社交媒体和同行评议的期刊上搜索与气候变化相关的关键字,以此记录领导人的作为(或不作为)。它将收集日常指标,包括海洋和陆地的平均温度,大气中二氧化碳的浓度和生物多样性的丧失情况。

The vault — a 33-foot-long box made of three-inch thick steel — is not expected to be completed until the middle of next year. But creators say they have already begun to gather information. Eventually, the data will be stored on a giant, automated, solar-powered hard drive with a capacity to collect information for about 50 years.

这个10米长的保险库由7.5厘米厚的钢材制成,预计明年年中完工。但它的打造者表示,他们已经开始收集信息。最终,这些数据将存储在一个巨大的、自动化的、太阳能驱动的硬盘上,其信息收集能力可以维持50年左右。

Tasmania was chosen for its relative geopolitical and environmental safety, and the monolith will be designed to be resilient against threats including cyclones, earthquakes and, with its sloped walls, attacks by vandals.

塔斯马尼亚因其在地缘政治和生态环境方面相对安全而被选中,这座庞然大物在设计上能够抵御飓风、地震等威胁,其倾斜的墙壁也能承受破坏者的袭击。

David Midson, general manager of the local council overseeing much of Tasmania’s rugged west coast, where the box will be constructed, said the response from residents to the project had been largely positive.

黑匣子将建在塔斯马尼亚地势崎岖的西海岸,负责管理这里大部分区域的地方议会管理人大卫·米德森表示,当地居民对该项目的反应基本上是积极的。

“There has been a lot of curiosity and interest around the box,” Mr. Midson said, adding that though permits were yet to be approved, he was optimistic.

“人们对这个匣子充满了好奇和兴趣,”米德森说,他还表示,虽然许可证还没有批下来,但他相信项目能够顺利完成。

Some scientists doubt that climate change will wipe us out completely.

一些科学家怀疑气候变化会彻底消灭我们人类。

Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University, who says that though the effects of climate change are extremely grave, “it would be a real mistake to confuse whether or not climate change poses an extinction risk to humans with whether or not climate change poses a very real, present and intensifying risk to humans and to ecosystems.”

斯坦福大学气候科学家诺亚·迪芬博表示,尽管气候变化的后果极其严重,但是“将气候变化是否会给人类带来灭绝危险,与气候变化是否会给人类及生态系统带来非常真实的、迫切和日益加剧的危害混为一谈,这才是真正的错误。”

“There’s very little evidence,” Professor Diffenbaugh stressed, “that global warming threatens the survival of the human species.”

迪芬博教授强调称,“几乎没有证据表明全球变暖会威胁人类的生存。”

A more likely scenario if humans do not significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he added, would be a world in which some places disappear below sea level, many others become too hot for humans to comfortably inhabit, and hazards like heat waves, droughts and storms become more common.

他还表示,如果人类不能大幅减少温室气体排放,更可能出现的情况是,一些地方被海平面淹没,而其他很多地方热到不再适合人类居住,热浪、干旱和风暴等灾害会更加常见。

Some also note that climate change data are already being recorded by scientists and other researchers.

还有人指出,科学家和其他研究者已经在记录气候变化的数据。

“It’s not easily accessible or comprehensible to most people,” Daniel Kevles, a historian of science at Yale University, said of the black box. Though it may have some merit as a document for the future, he added, “I’m not all that impressed with regard to its consequential impact for warning us.”

“大多数人都接触不到,或是难以理解,”耶鲁大学的科学史学家丹尼尔·凯夫莱斯在谈到这个黑匣子时表示。虽然作为一份留给未来的资料,它具有一定价值,但他还说,“对于它所能起到的警世效果,我并不认为有多么了不得。”

Though the information can be found elsewhere, the creators insist, it is not stored for posterity in one immutable place.

设计者坚持认为,虽然这些信息也可以在别处找到,但它们并没有被储存在一个固定的场所,以便后人使用。

How will future visitors retrieve the contents of the box?

未来的访客要如何看到匣子里的内容呢?

The creators say they are working on it. One option is to encode the contents in various formats, such as in script or binary code that would be unraveled. The creators say that if the planet is nearing cataclysm, instructions for opening the box would be etched on its exterior. The message can’t be included beforehand, they say, because of the risk that vandals would attempt to crack it open.

设计者对此表示他们正在努力。一个办法是对内容进行各种格式编码,比如可以被解开的脚本或二进制代码。设计者称,如果这个星球即将发生大灾难,如何打开匣子的指示就将蚀刻于其表面。他们说这一信息不能提前准备,因为可能会有破坏者试图将其打开。

“It’s in Beta,” said Michael Ritchie, who runs a production company based in Sydney, Australia, that is managing the project. For now, “people are on notice,” Mr. Ritchie said, adding, “We want to make sure that we don’t crash this earth.”

“它还在测试阶段,”迈克尔·里奇表示,他在澳大利亚悉尼市经营的公司负责管理该项目。就目前而言,“大家都看到了它,”里奇说道。他还表示,“我们希望确保大家不要摧毁这个地球。”

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