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The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction

2014 . Nature, Ecology, Endangered Species, Science, Environmental Science . Elizabeth Kolbert

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The Sixth Extinction

About the book


WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST 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.










0805092994 (ISBN13: 9780805092998)

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Elliot C image

1 year ago


Well-researched and a compelling reminder of our role in the global ecosystem. But it does get a bit tedious and numbs you with the same reminder that we’re really great at destroying other species and the environment. If there was an abridged version, I’d recommend it.


Annie Spencer image

1 year ago


An important book, that everyone should understand the premise of - in that we are living through one of these unique periods of extinction, and it’s happening at a far great rate than we’ve ever seen before. Can be a little dry at times, and you probably get most of the gist by watching the Vox interview with the author.


Nicklas Kongsgaard

3 years ago


Loved this book!

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