And No Birds Sing: The Story of an Ecological Disaster in a Tropical Paradise/
Mark Jaffe/ Simon and Schuster

這本書是在UF圖書館舊書SALE中拎回家的。

作者Mark Jaffe是個記者,
某次因緣際會之下接觸到關島(Guam)的鳥類族群劇減的消息,
從幾次的訪問中衍生了極大的興趣,到最後完成的變成了一本書。

關島的故事很有名的啊......(只少在生態學界來說是如此吧!? XD)

棕樹蛇(Brown Tree Snake)在二戰之後,
因為各國家間的軍事、經貿交流,
從原生地紐幾內亞(New Guinea)地區搭便船登陸了關島;
之後,在沒有天敵、食物資源豐富的情形下,
棕樹蛇族群一整個大爆發。
(眾多的壁虎和石龍子提供了幼體生存所需的資源,)
(一般來說爬蟲動物的幼體死亡率極高,是控制族群成長的依據之ㄧ,)
(棕樹蛇根本就是到了天堂......)

外來物種棕樹蛇的族群大爆發,
倒楣的就是島上原產的動物們;
首當其衝的是許多關島特有的鳥類,
島上的科學家們、野生動物資源管理局的管理人們,
驚覺到島上的鳥類以極為劇烈的速度消失時,
對flycatcher, bridled white-eye, 以及rufous-fronted fantail這三種物種來說,
已經為時已晚了,牠們從此加入了地球一長串滅絕的動物的名單裡。

Mariana fruit dove, white- throated ground dove,
以及cardinal honeyeater,掙扎的生存於關島周邊的一些小島上;
而當時Guam rail和Micronesian kingfisher的野外族群正岌岌可危。

問題時,當人們注意到這個問題時,
他們並不清楚是什麼導致了這個問題。

Rachel Carson著名的"Silent Spring",
加上二戰期間美軍使用除草劑的惡名,
讓殺蟲劑、除草劑這類化學物質最先被列入"鳥類神祕消失"的嫌疑犯名單中;
之後被懷疑的是鳥類傳染病,
因為Hawaii有過類似的情形,而最後發現鳥類瘧疾是主因。

那個年代,還沒有人相信,
一個單一外來物種可以造成如此嚴重的生態浩劫;
Ph. D學生+關島當地DAWR顧員Savidge第一次提出"掠食者假說"時,
在conference現場引起喧然大波,
某些德高望重的前輩更是毫不客氣的直斥為"胡說"。

你知道的,科學的美好就在於這裏,
只要拿的出證據證明,誰都別想輕易的否認現實,
Sawidge跟她的同僚們證實了罪魁禍首是棕樹蛇,
從此開啟了關島漫長的對抗棕樹蛇之路。
(同時,知己知彼百戰百勝的想法,)
(讓棕樹蛇從一開始還會被誤認為Philipian Rat Snake的物種,)
(一躍成為世界上最為人所研究透徹的爬蟲動物之ㄧ......)

Guam rail跟Micronesian kingfisher此時已在野外絕跡了,
但是Guam DAWR跟美國本土各大動物園合作的結果,
顫顫的維持住了一小群圈養的族群;
如何處理掉棕樹蛇威脅、關島迅速發展的棲地消失問題、
將這兩種鳥類成功野放回關島並支持其發展出獨立族群,
是Guam DAWR持續到今天還在奮鬥的課題 。

這是關島的故事,
一個關於外來物種的威脅可以大到人類所無法想像的故事,
一個生態學上極為諷刺同時需要被警惕的故事。

本書最後敘述了關島上的Area 50,
一個一小塊被圈起來、準備用來進行族群復育的區域,
而Mark Jaffe是這麼開頭的:
"Into these fifty acres would be poured the knowledge of
Savidge, Fritts, Rodda, Shelton, Derrickson, Pimm, and a dozen
other researchers who for more than a decade labored over
the Guam's birds and the threat of the brown tree snake......"

你們知道我的,
我的個性是一點點的憤世嫉俗+大量的熱血以及相信"未來總會有希望"的天真;
關島的故事並不是個成功的保育案例,
科學家們解開了鳥類消失的謎題,卻還未能成功的讓這些物種回家,
相較於振奮人心的California Condor,
Guam Rail跟Micronesia Kingfisher的路還遠的很。

但是啊,讓人感動的是在於,
總是有人會選擇不放棄,
不管初衷是為了博士論文、為了工作,
還是為了自己的關於人類所應負的責任的信念,
總之這個世界之所以美好,
大概就是因為每個讓人沮喪、哀傷、憤怒的事實背後,
總是還是會有人選擇努力的去找解決辦法,
即使幾個人的力量看起來那麼小,
即使所面臨的問題看起來那麼醜陋的巨大與複雜。

Sister Teresa, Gerald Durrell, Muhammad Yunus......
有時候,這些人的存在,是讓你相信,
選擇去doing good for the world,並不是笨蛋才會做的事。

附上兩篇文章,
第一篇連結至"吳祥輝的天涯海角",
內容是關於村上春樹到耶路撒冷領取文學獎時所做的演說,
"永遠站在雞蛋的那方"請按我

另一篇文章來自於喵喵的supervisor轉給我們lab的mail,
Paul Hawken在Universirt of Portland進行的演講。

-----------我是文章分隔線------------

Paul Hawken is a friend of CharityFocus, renowned entrepreneur, visionary environmental activist, founder of Wiser Earth and author of many books -- most recently Blessed Unrest.

Last week, he was presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters by University of Portland, when he delivered this superb commencement address.


Commencement Address to the Class of 2009
University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009


When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was "direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful." No pressure there.

Let's begin with the startling part. Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation... but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don't poison the water, soil, or air, don't let the earth get overcrowded, and don't touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food—but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn't afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, "So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world." There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.

There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity's willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. "One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice," is Mary Oliver's description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.

Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown -- Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood — and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity.  Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, non-governmental organizations, and companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.

The living world is not "out there" somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. We are the only species on the planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can't print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. And dreams come true. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a "little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven."

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. Our innate nature is to create the conditions that are conducive to life. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn't stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn't ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn't make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

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