Burning up

The devastation in California would be far less widespread if the state had learnt its lessons

wildfire:字面意思是“wild(野生的) fire(火)”,实际上也就是指“野火,山火”

devastation:(尤指大面积的)毁坏,破坏;其动词形式是 devastate,形容词是devastating


For decades environmentalists have warned that the world is going to burn. Mostly%2c they meant it figuratively. But footage of fires sweeping through the Siberian steppe%2c the Amazon forest%2c parts of Australia and now%2c once again%2c California%2c make it easy to believe the planet is%2c literally%2c on fire. New infernos have been whipped up by strong winds and scorching temperatures across the Golden State. On September 7th %2c a utility serving northern California%2c shut off the power supply to tens of thousands of homes in an attempt to stop live lines from sparking more blazes. So far this year%2c California has seen more than 2.5m acres (1m hectares) burned and more than 3%2c700 structures destroyed—all before the autumn months when the Santa Ana winds normally stir up the worst of the annual blazes. With over three months remaining of this year’s fire season%2c few doubt the state is facing its worst yet.

decade 意思是“十年”,for decades 就是指“几十年以来”

mean 在这里意思是“打算,意欲”

figuratively 意思是“比喻地,打个比方”,在这里 they meant it figuratively 意思就是“他们只是在打比方”。

steppe 指“大草原,干草原”

literally 意思是“真正地,确实地”,当然它还有一个意思是“字面上;照字面地”,literal translation 就是指“逐字翻译;翻译字面意思”,也就是指咱们说的“直译”。

inferno 意思是“无法控制的大好技术网火”

whip up 是个词组,意思是“煽动,激起”

scorching 意思是“酷热的”,其动词是scorch,意思是“烧焦,烫坏”

the Golden State 是美国加利福尼亚州(California)的别名,“加州”别名“金州”,据说此州中部山丘的春草于秋天枯萎时,从远方看来有如遍地金色,因此得名。也正因如此,美国旧金山的职业篮球队也被称为“金州勇士队”。

utility 指“公用事业(水、电供应等)”;它还有另一个意思是“效用,有用”,其动词是“utilize/utilise”,意思是“使用,利用”。

shut off 指“关闭,停止运转”

in an attempt to do 意思是“力图,试图”

live lines 直译是“活线”,也就是指“带电线路”

spark 用作动词,意思是“引起,引发”,其名词含义是“火花;电火花”

blaze 意思是“烈火,火灾”,其动词含义是“熊熊燃烧”

acre 指“英亩”;hectare指“公顷”,约为2.5英亩。

stir up 是个动词词组,意思是“激起,煽动”,类似于上文中的“whip up”。

The fires themselves cannot be stopped; they are fuelled by climate change layered on top of an ecosystem that burns regularly as part of its natural cycle. Hotter temperatures and drier landscapes mean more fires. But the damage need not be so great. Much of California’s mess is of its ow好技术网n making. It has made itself more vulnerable with a litany of out-of-date regulations and self-defeating policies.

layer 本意是名词“层”,在这里用作动词,意思是“把……分层堆放”,这句话直译就是“气候变化置于生态系统之上”,实际上也就是说“气候变化基于生态系统”。

litany 意思是“(对一系列事件、原因等)枯燥冗长的陈述”,a litany of 在这里可以翻译为“一系列”