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  • In 1845, Ireland's vast potato fields were struck by an invasive fungal disease

    1845年,愛爾蘭廣大的馬鈴薯田被來勢洶洶的真菌疾病侵襲

  • that rapidly infested this staple crop.

    疾病迅速感染這種作物

  • The effect was devastating.

    造成災難性的影響

  • One million people died of famine,

    一百萬人死於饑荒

  • and over a million more were forced to leave Ireland.

    超過一百萬人被迫遷離愛爾蘭

  • Nowadays, we avoid such agricultural catastrophes with the help of pesticides.

    如今,我們藉由農藥的幫忙來避免這樣的農業災害

  • Those are a range of manmade chemicals that control insects,

    農藥是一些人工的化學物質可以控制昆蟲、

  • unwanted weeds,

    不想要的雜草、

  • funguses,

    真菌、

  • rodents,

    齧齒類動物、

  • and bacteria

    和細菌

  • that may threaten our food supply.

    等等可能危害到糧食產量的東西

  • They've become an essential part of our food system.

    它們已經成為我們食物系統中重要的一環

  • As populations have grown, monoculture, single crop farming,

    隨著人口增長,單作(種植單一作物)

  • has helped us feed people efficiently.

    協助我們有效率地餵養人民

  • But it's also left our food vulnerable to extensive attack by pests.

    但這也讓我們的食物對廣泛的病蟲害顯得脆弱

  • In turn, we've become more dependent on pesticides.

    轉而,我們更加地依賴農藥

  • Today, we annually shower over 5 billion pounds of pesticides across the Earth

    如今,全世界每年傾注超過50億磅的農藥

  • to control these unwanted visitors.

    來控制這些不速之客

  • The battle against pests, especially insects,

    對抗病蟲害的戰爭,尤其是對昆蟲

  • has marked agriculture's long history.

    在農業悠久的歷史佔一席之地

  • Records from thousands of years ago

    數千年前的記載

  • suggest that humans actively burned some of their crops after harvest

    指出人類在收成後積極地燃燒一些作物

  • to rid them of pests.

    來驅趕害蟲

  • There's even evidence from ancient times that we recruited other insects to help.

    甚至有古早時代的證據指出我們曾借助其他昆蟲來幫忙

  • In 300 A.D., Chinese farmers specially bred ferocious predatory ants

    西元300年,中國農夫刻意繁殖兇猛的掠食蟻

  • in orange orchards to protect the trees from other bugs.

    在橘子園裡,保護果樹不被其他蟲攻擊

  • Later, as large-scale farming spread,

    之後,隨著大規模栽種的傳播

  • we began sprinkling arsenic, lead, and copper treatments on crops.

    我們開始灑砷、鉛、銅在作物上

  • But these were incredibly toxic to humans as well.

    但這些物質對人類也十分具有毒性

  • As our demand for more, safer produce increased,

    隨著我們對更多、更安全的農產品要求增加

  • so did the need for effective chemicals

    就更需要有效的化學藥劑

  • that could control pests on a grander scale.

    可以更大規模地控制害蟲

  • This ushered in the era of chemical pesticides.

    這開啟了化學農藥的紀元

  • In 1948, a Swiss chemist named Paul Hermannller

    1948年,一位瑞士化學家 保羅·赫爾曼·穆勒

  • was awarded a Nobel Prize for his discovery

    獲得諾貝爾獎,因為他發現

  • of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, also known as DDT.

    雙對氯苯基三氯乙烷,又稱DDT

  • This new molecule had unparalleled power to control many insect species

    這個新的化學物質擁有控制許多種昆蟲的超凡能力

  • until the 1950s, when insects became resistant to it.

    直到1950年代,昆蟲對它產生抵抗力

  • Worse, the chemical actually drove dramatic declines in bird populations,

    更糟的是,此化學物質實際上造成鳥類數量的劇減、

  • poisoned water sources,

    水源毒化、

  • and was eventually found to cause long-term health problems in humans.

    而且最後被發現會造成人類長期的健康問題

  • By 1972, DDT had been banned in the United States,

    到1972年,DDT在美國已被禁用

  • and yet traces still linger in the environment today.

    然而它的痕跡今日仍遺留在環境中

  • Since then, chemists have been searching for alternatives.

    從那時起,科學家一直在尋找替代品

  • With each new wave of inventions, they've encountered the same obstacle -

    每當一個新發明出現,它們都遇到相同的阻礙--

  • rapid species evolution.

    快速的物種演化

  • As pesticides destroy pest populations,

    農藥減少害蟲數量

  • they leave behind only the most resistant individuals.

    只留下最有抵抗力的個體

  • They then pass on their pesticide-resisting genes

    牠們接著便將抗農藥基因傳遞

  • to the next generation.

    到下一個世代

  • That's lead to the rise of super bugs,

    這導致超級害蟲的產生

  • such as the Colorado potato beetle,

    像是科羅拉多馬鈴薯甲蟲

  • which is resistant to over 50 different insecticides.

    牠對超過50種不同的農藥有抵抗力

  • Another downside is that other bugs get caught in the crossfire.

    另一個缺點是其他蟲子在這場戰爭中被波及

  • Some of these are helpful predators of plant pests or vital pollinators,

    其中一些是有益的植物害蟲掠食者或重要的傳粉昆蟲

  • so erasing them from agriculture wipes out their benefits, too.

    所以將牠們從農業根除也除去了牠們的益處

  • Pesticides have improved over time

    農藥已隨時間進步

  • and are currently regulated by strict safety standards,

    目前被嚴格的安全標準所管制

  • but they still have the potential to pollute soil and water,

    但他們仍有潛力汙染土壤和水

  • impact wildlife,

    影響野生動物

  • and even harm us.

    甚至傷害人類

  • So considering all these risks, why do we continue using pesticides?

    考慮到這些風險,我們為什麼要繼續用農藥?

  • Although they're imperfect,

    雖然它們並不完美

  • they currently may be our best bet against major agricultural disasters,

    但目前它們可能是我們對抗大規模農業災害的最佳賭注

  • not to mention mosquito-born diseases.

    更不用說蚊媒疾病

  • Today, scientists are on a quest for alternative pest control strategies

    今日,科學家在尋找替代的害蟲控制方法

  • that balance the demands of food production

    能夠在食物生產的需求

  • with environmental concerns.

    和環境議題間取得平衡

  • Nature has become a major source of inspiration,

    大自然是主要的靈感來源

  • from natural plant and fungal chemicals that can repel or attract insects,

    從自然的植物和真菌能夠驅趕或吸引昆蟲的化學物質

  • to recruiting other insects as crop bodyguards.

    到利用其他昆蟲作為農作保鑣

  • We're also turning to high-tech solutions, like drones.

    我們也尋求高科技的幫助,例如無人機

  • Programmed to fly over crops,

    設計在作物上空飛行

  • these machines can use their sensors and GPS

    這些機器利用它們的感應器和全球衛星定位系統

  • to carry out more targeted sprays

    可以更針對性地噴灑農藥

  • that limit a pesticide's wider environmental impact.

    便能限制農藥對環境的更廣泛影響

  • With a combination of biological understanding,

    結合對生物的了解、

  • environmental awareness,

    環保意識、

  • and improved technologies,

    和進步的科技

  • we have a better chance of finding a holistic solution to pests.

    我們更有機會找出一個宏觀的害蟲解決方法

  • Chemical pesticides may never shake their controversial reputation,

    化學農藥或許永遠無法動搖它們極具爭議性的名聲

  • but with their help,

    但有了它們的幫助

  • we can ensure that agricultural catastrophes

    我們可以確定農業災難

  • stay firmly in our past.

    只存在過去

In 1845, Ireland's vast potato fields were struck by an invasive fungal disease

1845年,愛爾蘭廣大的馬鈴薯田被來勢洶洶的真菌疾病侵襲

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B2 中高級 中文 TED-Ed 農藥 害蟲 昆蟲 作物 化學

【TED-Ed】真的有必要用殺蟲劑嗎? (Do we really need pesticides? - Fernan Perez-Galvez)

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    Jenny 發佈於 2017 年 06 月 01 日
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