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)”,實際上也就是指“野火,山火”

devastation:(尤指大面積的)毀壞,破壞;其動詞形式是 devastate,形容詞是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“幾十年以來”

mean 在這里意思是“打算,意欲”

figuratively 意思是“比喻地,打個比方”,在這里 they meant it figuratively 意思就是“他們只是在打比方”。

steppe 指“大草原,干草原”

literally 意思是“真正地,確實地”,當然它還有一個意思是“字面上;照字面地”,literal translation 就是指“逐字翻譯;翻譯字面意思”,也就是指咱們說的“直譯”。

inferno 意思是“無法控制的大好技術網火”

whip up 是個詞組,意思是“煽動,激起”

scorching 意思是“酷熱的”,其動詞是scorch,意思是“燒焦,燙壞”

the Golden State 是美國加利福尼亞州(California)的別名,“加州”別名“金州”,據說此州中部山丘的春草于秋天枯萎時,從遠方看來有如遍地金色,因此得名。也正因如此,美國舊金山的職業籃球隊也被稱為“金州勇士隊”。

utility 指“公用事業(水、電供應等)”;它還有另一個意思是“效用,有用”,其動詞是“utilize/utilise”,意思是“使用,利用”。

shut off 指“關閉,停止運轉”

in an attempt to do 意思是“力圖,試圖”

live lines 直譯是“活線”,也就是指“帶電線路”

spark 用作動詞,意思是“引起,引發”,其名詞含義是“火花;電火花”

blaze 意思是“烈火,火災”,其動詞含義是“熊熊燃燒”

acre 指“英畝”;hectare指“公頃”,約為2.5英畝。

stir up 是個動詞詞組,意思是“激起,煽動”,類似于上文中的“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好技術網n making. It has made itself more vulnerable with a litany of out-of-date regulations and self-defeating policies.

layer 本意是名詞“層”,在這里用作動詞,意思是“把……分層堆放”,這句話直譯就是“氣候變化置于生態系統之上”,實際上也就是說“氣候變化基于生態系統”。

litany 意思是“(對一系列事件、原因等)枯燥冗長的陳述”,a litany of 在這里可以翻譯為“一系列”