演讲稿：THERE IS A PLACE NAMED PURELAND
Ladies and gentlemen. As we gather here today, discussing man's relationship with nature, let me tell you a fable my roommate wrote for the wall newspaper in our class. There is a place named Pureland. Among its inhabitants is a species called Men. They out-mind the smartest apes and out-strength the bravest lions. But due to greed and shortsightedness, men make inroads into the other species, squander their shared resources, and pollute their common surroundings. By and by the other species die out. The last groan of a tiger is "All these things are to be answered for". Sure enough, a deteriorating environment and population explosion make it increasingly difficult for Men to wring a living out of this land. A panic sets in. The fable stops here, leaving its ending to the readers' own imagination.
Nowadays, leaders the world over are busy mapping out blueprints for a new age with environmental protection high on their agenda. Sustainable development hits headlines almost every day. My roommate's fable fits this pre-millennial climate perfectly. It warns us that if we human beings disrupt the order of the natural world, we'll be the ultimate victims. So it is of utmost importance to restore the harmonious balance between human and nature, given the damage we've already done to it.
First of all, we must realize that man and nature are interactive. To begin with, we derive everything from nature. That's why going natural, or as we Chinese in the habit of saying, returning to the root, is the order of the day. Among other things, I'm sure you've all tasted natural produce that is otherwise known as green food. And you must have noticed that nearly all beautifying products boast of being natural creams, natural lotions or natural gels. For man, nature has an irresistible appeal.
But on the other hand we must also realize that nature can be unruly. True, man has the power to change nature. We affect the world around us by burning, cutting, digging, moving, and transforming the physical matter that makes up the earth. We have science and technology as powerful tools. But as far as they are concerned, at the end of every trail always lies mystery. Shakespeare once wrote with due modesty "In nature's infinite book of secrecy, a little I can read." To maintain a balance, therefore, we need to know our own limitations as well as our potential.
Nature is indeed like a riddle, some areas of which are beyond the reach of science and technology, at least in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the advancement of science and technology will still characterize the next millennium. The coming new age will abound in opportunities, but it wi1l be likewise full of challenges. For instance, United Nations' demographers predict that global population could soar from its current 5.9 billion to as many as 11.2 billion by 2050. This will aggravate the current scarcity of natural resources caused by environmental degradation. More conflicts over this scarcity may occur with the specter of nuclear wars always lurking in the background. To prevent this nightmare from coming true, governments need to work closely with each other and back up their verbal commitment by actions. However, it is not enough only to ask what governments can do to achieve the harmony between man and nature. We must ask ourselves what we as individuals can do.
Can we all be economical with food, water, electricity or other resources? Our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are starving and even fighting with each other over the use of water and the tapping of oil. Can we, or rather, some voracious ones among us, stop making rare plants and animals into palatable dishes? For everything in the life circle deserves its place in this world. Can we stop using the unrecyclable style of lunch boxes? If not, one day they may bury us in an ocean of white rubbish. After all, the earth is not a dustbin; it's our common home. So let's work in common to make it clean so that the fabled Pureland in its unravished state can refer to our own beloved China, and to the whole world. Thank you.