The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth... show more
A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Publish date: February 11th 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages no: 336
Edition language: English
This book does a great job showing how mankind has effected the Earth and it’s environmental ecosystems, not just in the modern era but for thousands of years. Everything the author discusses is well documented or shown to be very well researched hypotheses.There have been five mass extinction event...
Each chapter was interesting enough and would have made a nice magazine article. As a book, it didn't work to well. The book was rather superficial and lacked detail. I get the impression that the author thinks humans are evil and responsible for every extinction since humans became a species. A...
What I thought:The Sixth ExtinctionThe Panamanian Golden Frogs are the focus of the chapter. However, the chapter is about the extinction of a large number of amphibians. Just made me sad as reading about extinctions always does.The Mastodon's MolarsFascinating story about an anatomist drawing concl...
In many ways, this book is preaching to the choir. Those of us who would pick it up to read already know a fair bit about the subject of extinction. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of dinosaurs (my father claimed that I knew all their names by the time I was two). They are usually how...
Okay, so that title doesn't sound super positive. But let's not sugar coat it, humans are a disease on this planet. As much as we are a natural product of biology and evolved like every other living thing on the planet, we are one of the most destructive things to have ever existed. For being the "m...