The Green Pasture
Some paintings become famous because, being durable, they are viewed by successive generations, in each of which are likely to be found a few appreciative eyes.
I know a painting so evanescent that it is seldom viewed at all, except by some wandering deer. It is a river who wields the brush, and it is the same river who, before I can bring my friends to view his work, erases it forever from human view. After that it exists only in my mind’s eye.
Like other artists, my river is temperamental; there is no predicting when the mood to paint will come upon him, or how long it will last. But in midsummer, when the great white fleets cruise the sky for day after flawless day, it is worth strolling down to the sandbars just to see whether he has been at work.
The work begins with a broad ribbon of silt brushed thinly on the sand of a receding shore. As this dries slowly in the sun, goldfinches bathe in its pools, and deer, herons, killdeers, raccoons, and turtles cover it with a lacework of tracks. There is no telling, at this stage, whether anything further will happen.
But when I see the silt ribbon turning green with Eleocharis, I watch closely thereafter, for this is the sign that the river is in a painting mood. Almost overnight the Eleocharis becomes a thick turf, so lush and dense that the meadow mice from the adjoining upland cannot resist the temptation. They move en masse to the green pasture, and apparently spend the nights rubbing their ribs in its velvety depths. A maze of neatly tended mouse-trails bespeaks their enthusiasm. The deer walk up and down in it, apparently just for the pleasure of feeling it underfoot. Even a stay-at-home mole has tunneled his way across the dry bar to the Eleocharis ribbon, where he can heave and hump the verdant sod to his heart’s content.
At this stage the seedlings of plants too numerous to count and too young to recognize spring to life from the damp warm sand under the green ribbon.
To view the painting, give the river three more weeks of solitude, and then visit the bar on some bright morning just after the sun has melted the daybreak fog. The artist has now laid his colors, and sprayed them with dew. The Eleocharis sod, greener than ever, is now spangled with blue mimulus, pink dragon-head, and the milk-white blooms of Sagittaria. Here and there a cardinal flower thrusts a red spear skyward. At the head of the bar, purple ironweeds and pale pink joe-pyes stand tall against the wall of willows. And if you have come quietly and humbly, as you should to any spot that can be beautiful only once, you may surprise a fox-red deer, standing knee-high in the garden of his delight.
Do not return for a second view of the green pasture, for there is none. Either falling water has dried it out, or rising water has scoured the bar to its original austerity of clean sand. But in your mind you may hang up your picture, and hope that in some other summer the mood to paint may come upon the river.
On March 13th, 2020, Chinese Ambassador to India H.E. Sun Weidong published an article entitled “Fighting COVID-19 together for a shared future” in The Hindu. The full text is as follows:
Fighting COVID-19 Together for a Shared Future
The COVID-19 outbreak is a major public health emergency that is most difficult to contain for China since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. It is also a formidable challenge to global public health security. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China adopted unprecedented, most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough prevention and control measures, which not only protected the health and the security of the Chinese people, but also gained time for global response.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, President Xi Jinping has personally taken charge of the nationwide response. He has chaired a series of important meetings, passed instructions every day, clearly guided and ensured the scientific deployment of epidemic prevention and control, and enabled the resumption of work and production. On March 10, President Xi went to Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province and the epicentre of the epidemic, to inspect prevention and control work there. He paid respects to the front-line workers and local residents. This has greatly encouraged and inspired the people of Wuhan and the whole nation.
The Chinese government has mobilised the whole nation with confidence, unity, a science-based approach and a targeted response. We focused on the following aspects: first, formulated timely strategies for epidemic prevention and control; second, strengthened a unified command and response in Wuhan and Hubei; third, coordinated the prevention and control work in other regions; fourth, strengthened scientific research, emergency medical and daily necessity supplies; fifth, effectively maintained social stability; sixth, strengthened public education; and seventh, actively engaged in international cooperation.
We are consolidating the positive momentum in outbreak control across the country. In general, this round of the epidemic peak is over in China. The progress once again demonstrates the great strengths of the CPC’s leadership and the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. As President Xi pointed out, China is a resilient nation that has emerged stronger from numerous trials and tribulations. The bigger the difficulties and challenges China faces, the more cohesion and fighting spirit the Chinese nation demonstrates. We have all the confidence, capacity and determination to triumph over the epidemic.
Guided by the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China is fulfilling its responsibility for the life and health of its own people and for global public health. With an open, transparent and responsible attitude, we have actively engaged in international cooperation against the outbreak, and our efforts have been highly recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, described China’s sacrifice in fighting and containing the spread of COVID-19 as a great contribution to all mankind. At this critical moment, many countries embodied the spirit of standing together with mutual assistance amid difficulties. Leaders of over 170 countries and the heads of more than 40 international organizations expressed sympathy and support for China. Also, 71 countries and nine international organisations announced the donation of epidemic prevention and control materials to China.
China and India have maintained close communication and cooperation on epidemic prevention and control. In a letter to President Xi, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed support for China. We appreciate the medical supplies provided by India and have helped facilitate the safe return of Indian nationals in Hubei. I am also deeply touched by the understanding and support in various ways from all sectors of the Indian society.
We have been closely following the global footprint of COVID-19. President Xi Jinping has said China will stay in close communication with WHO, share its epidemic control experience with other countries, seek closer international cooperation on medicine and vaccine development, and provide assistance to the best of its capabilities to countries and regions that are affected by the spread of the virus in keeping with its role as a responsible major country.
China has provided various kinds of assistance including testing reagents, remote assistance and medical supplies to countries with a severe outbreak such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and Iran and countries with fragile health systems in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. We have shared diagnosis and treatment experience and protocols with many countries including India. Recently, the number of confirmed cases in India is increasing. I sincerely wish the patients an early recovery. We are ready to maintain communication with India, share experience in a timely manner, render assistance and make joint efforts to overcome the epidemic.
The impact on the Chinese economy will be short-lived and generally manageable. China has a resilient economy with robust domestic demand and a strong industrial base. We will definitely sustain the good momentum of economic and social development and meet the goal of achieving moderate prosperity in our society and eradicating extreme poverty in China. We will also strengthen coordination and communication with economic and trading partners and give priority to the resumption of production and supply of leading enterprises and key sectors that have a major impact on the stability of global supply chains. The fundamentals of China’s economy will remain strong in the long run, and China will remain an important engine for global economic growth.
The history of civilization is also one of a history of fighting diseases and a great journey of ceaseless global integration. President Xi Jinping has said that to prevail over a disease that threatens all, unity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon. In the process of fighting the epidemic, China is fulfilling its solemn commitment to build a community with a shared future for mankind with its own actions. The world is facing a real threat as WHO characterises COVID-19 as a pandemic. In the face of an increasingly severe situation, China will strengthen international coordination and cooperation, and jointly safeguard our only home, the blue planet, together with the world.
“I think mining will be the future, but this is a difficult phase,” said Jens B. Frederiksen, Greenland’s housing and infrastructure minister and a deputy premier. “It’s a plan that not everyone wants. It’s about traditions, the freedom of a boat, family professions.”
“我认为采矿就是我们的未来，不过现在是一个艰难的阶段，”格陵兰住房与基础设施部长、副总理延斯•B•佛雷德利克森(Jens B. Frederiksen)说，“不是每个人都赞同该计划，因为它会影响当地的传统、驾船的自由以及代代相传的职业。”
The Arctic is warming even faster than other parts of the planet, and the rapidly melting ice is causing alarm among scientists about sea-level rise. In northeastern Greenland, average yearly temperature have risen 4.5 degrees in the past 15 years, and scientists predict the area could warm by 14 to 21 degrees by the end of the century.
Already, winter pack ice that covers the fjords is no longer stable enough for dog sledding and snowmobile traffic in many areas. Winter fishing, essential to feeding families, is becoming hazardous or impossible.
It has long been known that Greenland sat upon vast mineral lodes, and the Danish government has mapped them intermittently for decades. Niels Bohr, Denmark’s Nobel Prize-winning nuclear physicist and a member of the Manhattan Project, visited Narsaq in 1957 because of its uranium deposits.
格陵兰岛地下蕴藏着巨大的矿藏这一点久为人知。几十年来，丹麦政府已经断断续续地绘制了这些矿藏的分布图。参与过曼哈顿计划(Manhattan Project)的丹麦核物理学家、诺贝尔奖得主尼尔斯•玻尔(Niels Bohr)在1957年造访纳萨克正是因为这里的铀矿藏。
But previous attempts at mining mostly failed, proving too expensive in the inclement conditions. Now, warming has altered the equation.
As icebergs in the Kayak Harbor pop and hiss while melting away, this remote Arctic town and its culture are also disappearing in a changing climate.
Narsaq’s largest employer, a shrimp factory, closed a few years ago after the crustaceans fled north to cooler water. Where once there were eight commercial fishing vessels, there is now one.
As a result, the population here, one of southern Greenland’s major towns, has been halved to 1,500 in just a decade. Suicides are up.
“Fishing is the heart of this town,” said Hans Kaspersen, 63, a fisherman. “Lots of people have lost their livelihoods.”
But even as warming temperatures are upending traditional Greenlandic life, they are also offering up intriguing new opportunities for this state of 57,000 — perhaps nowhere more so than here in Narsaq.