On December 10, 1997, Julia Butterfly Hill climbed into a tree. She did not come down for two years. She ate in the tree. She slept in the tree. She became the tree's protector. But why would Hill do this? And what made her finally come down? Today’s Spotlight is on Julia Butterfly Hill and her work for the environment.
一九九七年十二月十日，Julia Hill （文内简称 茱利亚） 爬上了一棵树。从此，在树上生活了两年没下来过。她在树上吃饭睡觉，成了那棵树的保护者。她为什么要这么做？最后又怎么下来的？今天我们聚焦来看这位女士和她从事的环保工作。
"I never thought that I was going to live in a tree. If I had seen what was coming, I would have gone screaming in the other direction. But life does not give it to us that way. Life just gives it to us moment by moment, day by day. We show up and live it the best that we can."
Julia Butterfly Hill said these words during a conference in Washington. She told a large group of people about how she became an environmental activist. Environmental activists work to protect the earth. They believe that people should protect all plants and animals. But Hill did not always care about these things.
At the age of 16 Hill quit school and worked at a restaurant. For many years, she was only interested in making money and material things. Then one day she had a serious car accident. It changed her life. Hill told the magazine Grist what happened:
“I had a car wreck in August of 1996. I was driving my friend’s car. We were hit from behind by a drunk driver. It took 10 months of physical and brain therapy to recover from the wreck. During that time, I realized I wanted to find a more powerful purpose for being here on this planet.”
As soon as her body healed, Hill travelled to the west of the United States. There she saw an amazing sight - the ancient redwood trees of California. These trees are reddish brown in colour. Many of them are thousands of years old. But what is most amazing is their size; redwood trees can grow up to 120 metres high. And they can be up to 8 metres across. These giant redwoods are the largest trees in the whole world.
The wood from redwood trunks is very hard. This wood makes strong building structures such as parts of railroads and buildings. So logging companies cut down many of the giant redwoods to use for construction. There are not many forests of these trees left. Many environmental activists want to protect the remaining trees. The redwoods are very important to the environment.
In 1997 a group called Earth First was working to protect a particular group of trees. They were negotiating with the logging company but they needed more time. They decided to send someone up into a redwood tree. They hoped this would stop the company from cutting the trees down. Julia Butterfly Hill volunteered. She wanted to go up in the tree. She tells reporter Judith Fertig about the day she went up into the tree. She named it ‘Luna’.
一九九七年，一群叫 地球在先 的环保人士致力要保护某个特定的树林区。他们当时正和伐木公司做协调沟通，但因时间迫近，需要有更多时间交涉，于是决定派个人爬上一棵红木树。茱莉亚主动请缨爬上树。她对采访记者Fertig提到那天上树的光景。她给了那棵树一个名字：露娜。
“On December 10, 1997, I put on the belt and ropes and went up into Luna. It was 55 metres up. I thought it would be three or four weeks in the tree. But it turned into two years and eight days. I returned to the ground only after the company agreed to protect Luna and the surrounding wooded area.”
Julia Hill lived in the tree for over two years without ever coming down. She learned to survive in this difficult environment. She walked barefoot on the tree branches. She never washed the sticky sap from the tree off of her feet. It helped her to walk on the tree branches. Hill built two small platforms to live on. She had a large piece of plastic material to protect her. But she was never comfortable. It is always cold and wet in a redwood tree. There were even very serious winter storms while Hill was in the tree. The wind and cold almost knocked Hill out of the tree. But she did not fall - she survived.
Hill cooked her food with a small stove. Her friends visited her two times every week. They sent what Hill needed up through a pulley system of ropes. Once, they even sent her a chocolate birthday cake! But most of the time, it was very difficult and lonely to live in a tree.
Finally, after years of arguing, the logging company decided to protect Luna. They signed an agreement to never cut down this giant redwood tree or the trees around it. When Hill put her feet on the earth, she began to cry. But from that moment Hill has continued her work to protect the environment. People around the world want to meet her and hear her story. Hill uses her fame to encourage people to work for the environment in their own communities. She told the San Francisco Chronicle:
终于，经过几年的争论后，伐木公司决定要保护 露娜。他们签署了一个协议，注明不会砍掉这棵巨大的红木，和其周围的树木。当茱利亚的双足踏在地上时，她哭了。那时之后，她就不间断持续环保的工作。世界各地的人想和她见面，听她的经历。茱利亚用她的名气鼓励人们，要在自己社区做维护环境的工作。她告诉 旧金山纪事报 的记者说：
“Everywhere I go to talk about my experiences, I relate it with what is happening locally. I hope to get the general public listening, the ones who want to see the woman who sat in the tree for two years."
Since her time in the redwood tree, Hill has done other kinds of environmental activism. She even had to leave the country of Ecuador. She was supporting indigenous people in their protests against mining companies. Hill works with many different groups. But she still lives a very simple life. She does not eat any products made from animals. She does not use things that create waste when they are thrown away. And Hill encourages other people to do these things also. She told the conference in Washington:
“We live in a world that is full of problems. And we are the solutions to those problems. After I came down from living in that tree, I started realizing how every moment we make choices. Every single choice changes the world - every single one of them. Every moment of every day we are looking for ways to be living examples of all that is beautiful and humble and just and amazing about our world."
(本文经Sportlightradio同意做转载和翻译，你能上网 听这篇文章 http://spotlightenglish.com/listen/julia-hill-lives-in-a-tree )
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