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2008年4月 5日 (土)


Science For All Americans 勝手に翻訳プロジェクト Chapter 3: THE NATURE OF TECHNOLOGY



The Human Presence

The earth's population has already doubled three times during the past century. Even at that, the human presence, which is evident almost everywhere on the earth, has had a greater impact than sheer numbers alone would indicate. We have developed the capacity to dominate most plant and animal species―far more than any other species can―and the ability to shape the future rather than merely respond to it.





Use of that capacity has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, developments in technology have brought enormous benefits to almost all people. Most people today have access to goods and services that were once luxuries enjoyed only by the wealthy―in transportation, communication, nutrition, sanitation, health care, entertainment, and so on. On the other hand, the very behavior that made it possible for the human species to prosper so rapidly has put us and the earth's other living organisms at new kinds of risk. The growth of agricultural technology has made possible a very large population but has put enormous strain on the soil and water systems that are needed to continue sufficient production. Our antibiotics cure bacterial infection, but may continue to work only if we invent new ones faster than resistant bacterial strains emerge.



Our access to and use of vast stores of fossil fuels have made us dependent on a nonrenewable resource. In our present numbers, we will not be able to sustain our way of living on the energy that current technology provides, and alternative technologies may be inadequate or may present unacceptable hazards. Our vast mining and manufacturing efforts produce our goods, but they also dangerously pollute our rivers and oceans, soil, and atmosphere. Already, by-products of industrialization in the atmosphere may be depleting the ozone layer, which screens the planet's surface from harmful ultraviolet rays, and may be creating a buildup of carbon dioxide, which traps heat and could raise the planet's average temperatures significantly. The environmental consequences of a nuclear war, among its other disasters, could alter crucial aspects of all life on earth.


[1] access to and use of ですが、access は「入手または利用できること」、use は「実際に利用すること」だと思ったのですが、いまひとつ訳し方に自信のない部分でもあります。
[2] crucial aspects はもう少しうまい日本語にできないものかと思うのですが。


From the standpoint of other species, the human presence has reduced the amount of the earth's surface available to them by clearing large areas of vegetation; has interfered with their food sources; has changed their habitats by changing the temperature and chemical composition of large parts of the world environment; has destabilized their ecosystems by introducing foreign species, deliberately or accidentally; has reduced the number of living species; and in some instances has actually altered the characteristics of certain plants and animals by selective breeding and more recently by genetic engineering.


[1] chemical composition は土壌や大気中の元素構成のことかと想像したのですが、確信がありません。


What the future holds for life on earth, barring some immense natural catastrophe, will be determined largely by the human species. The same intelligence that got us where we are―improving many aspects of human existence and introducing new risks into the world―is also our main resource for survival.


[1] disaster ではなく catastrophe なので一応「大災害」としてみましたが、「自然大災害」とは、なんだか微妙な言い回しのように見えてしまっています。



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