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Nature Must Be Respected

Human beings should take time to reflect on their relationship with nature again, said an article in Nanfang Weekend. An excerpt follows:

Since it broke out in November, the potentially lethal bird flu virus has spread to many countries and regions in Asia. An increasing number of people have fallen victim to the virus and some of them have died.


After standing the test of SARS, people have behaved this time in a more reasonable manner. Concerned countries, regions and international organizations have taken effective measures to quickly put the outbreak under control. Open and transparent information disclosure has alleviated any possible panic situations.


However, human beings are seldom aware of substantial threats around them if a crisis did not take place. Even now that people know about what is being considered a real epidemic disease, few would bother to trace the sources of the crisis if there was no imminent danger around them.


Developing their culture on a constant basis, human beings want to break through the natural boundaries to acquire more freedom. Through this process, they gradually lose their respect for nature. As a result, natural harmony has been sacrificed and human activities have exerted more influence on nature than its own evolution does.


But nature has its laws. Without respecting them, human beings will be punished. Outbreaks like bird flu might be one of these punitive measures.


People's growing desire, on one hand, pushes forward productivity; on the other hand, it pushes the unlimited human exploitation of nature. In this sense, human beings play a role in provoking natural crises.


Although people could resort to wiser measures by checking such outbreaks, it is too early to say the virus can be rooted out. Where or when it might break out again remains unclear.


Bird flu, in the wake of the SARS crisis, may once again rouse people's respect for nature. People should rethink their excessive dependence on and belief in modern technology, with which they think they can conquer nature.


It is urgent for human beings to take a more responsible attitude in co-existing with the environment.


(China Daily February 12, 2004)

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