Elizabeth Kolbert Anne Twomey
- Title: The Sixth Extinction
- Author: Elizabeth Kolbert Anne Twomey
- ISBN: 9781442369450
- Page: 184
- Format: Audio CD
Over the last half 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 pOver the last half 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 prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Recent Comments "The Sixth Extinction"
Seemed a good time to float this bad mama-jama (spoiler alert: we're screwed):Looking for a good horror novel that will keep you up late at night? One that features the most remorseless, inventive, and successful serial killer to ever stumble into the written word? One whose body count grows exponentially as his appetite becomes more ravenous, never sated? One who is so adept at killing that he does so without even seeming to try? Well, I have just the ticket: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth K [...]
Dial M for MurderThis is a dark and deeply depressing book, trying hard to be hopeful — on the lines of Douglas Adams' Last Chance to See.Kolbert's book reminds us that we could be the last couple of generations to witness true diversity, maybe the last to see such magnificent and delicate creatures as the amphibians.The story of the Sixth Extinction, at least as Kolbert has chosen to tell it, comes in thirteen chapters. Each tracks a species that’s in some way emblematic — the American ma [...]
This book is a very engaging examination of extinctions of animal species through the ages. Elizabeth Kolbert adds a wonderfully personal touch to many of the chapters, as she describes her visits to the habitats where various species are dying out. She accompanies scientists and ecologists as they delve into extinctions, past and present. Some biologists are gathering up endangered species, putting them into special reserves and zoo-like habitats where they might be able to survive.There is no [...]
*hides in apocalypse-safe bunker and cries*A goosebump-inducing nonfiction read! The Sixth Extinction is told in a part textbook, part narrative style; the author gives readers hard facts mixed into detailed personal accounts of her research trips. In 13 chapters, she tells the stories of several species, some long extinct, some still teetering on the brink of extinction, all with one common enemy - us. The best part of the book is that Kolbert isn't trying to blame the human race or make her re [...]
A well balanced tour of apparent causes for five past massive extinctions and for the current epoch of the human-caused “Sixth Extinction”. The relatively sudden acceleration of extinctions has a lot of consensus among scientists as defining a new age, the “Anthropocene”.The author is a journalist who demonstrates a sound knowledge about how science works and its slow and contentious process of reaching consensus conclusions. She travels around the world to visit scientists and sites tha [...]
This book both awed and depressed me. From page one, Kolbert writes an impressive survey of how destructive mankind has been to the planet. She gives a brief history of the five mass extinctions that have happened, and travels around the world to report on species that are currently going extinct. But the big problem now isn't a giant asteroid -- it's humans. We are such a lethal force that we can unwittingly (or just greedily) wipe out entire species at alarming rates.There are a lot of good st [...]
“When I hear of the destruction of a species I feel just as if all the works of some great writer had perished.” ~ Theodore RooseveltI don't recall ever reading a book that SO made me want to curl up in a ball on the floor and just SOB.The book ends with a chapter entitled The Thing With Feathers, which is hope, according to Emily Dickinson. (Or Woody Allen's nephew, if you know that joke.) Yet this chapter contains some of the more dire information, not to mention the most tear-inducing quo [...]
Kolbert’s premise, that we are likely in the midst of the Sixth Period of a great extinction in the world’s history, is “a most awful yet interesting” idea, to quote Darwin out of context. Kolbert shares recent (in the past forty years) scientific discoveries, theories, and test results which many of us may not have had a chance to follow with the diligence of a scientist. She is not a scientist but a journalist who has interviewed scientists, and her wonderful easy style makes it simple [...]
on the dedication page of her landmark 1962 book, silent spring, rachel carson quoted humanitarian, biocentrist, and nobel peace prize winner albert schweitzer thus, “man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. he will end by destroying the earth.” in the ensuing half century since carson’s watershed work first saw print, evidence aplenty has proven the prescience of schweitzer’s sentiment with distressing rapidity. in a new book as incisive and imperative as the late ms. cars [...]
"no snow, now ice" by photographer Patty Waymire, National GeographicEvery part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people. ~~Chief SeattleWhen I was a child my favorite books were the Golden Nature Guides about insects, birds, sea shells, and so on. I learned many insect names, as well as those of the butterflies and other animals. I al [...]
Kolbert makes a compelling case that we are in the throes of a mass extinction citing example after example of our destruction of the environment and its inhabitants. Fortunately she is a gifted writer, so despite the bleak message we don’t just put down this important book in despair. Reporting on scientists investigating threatened species, she identifies the many ways that we are putting all life at risk. Sometimes our unrestrained native instincts are responsible, others the shortsighted a [...]
Most depressing book that I've ever read. The physical science of man's injury to Earth began since he emerged as a species, and now is at its zenith. In spite of the evidence, not much is being done to reduce the damage. I felt sicker and sicker as I read on, and I hated picking the book up once I'd put it down. As a species, humanity is self-serving and aggressive. I've watched Trump pooh-pooh climate change, knowing that our oceans are becoming acidic which is going to kill off microscope mar [...]
Wide ranging exploration of species extinction. The first half of the book covers how we came to understand the history of mass extinction. The second half probes the human role in the current sudden rise in animal and plant extinctions- especially through our role in driving global warming and ocean acidification. While Kolbert's information here is frightening, her presentation is understated and she studiously avoids politics. This is a work of science journalism, not environmental advocacy. [...]
This one should be required reading in highschool. It will teach one more about the world and humanity than The Scarlet Letter or its ilk ever could. It's a book about wonder at the natural world and evolution, and a walk through of why most humans suck at sharing the globe. My initial reaction:Then I had a good cry.
“Though it might be nice to imagine there once was a time when man lived in harmony with nature, it's not clear that he ever really did.” (p235)I got The Sixth Extinction through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. It was a lucky pick because I hadn’t heard of the book or the author before that, but the subject matter was right up my alley.This book is about the extinction crisis that’s currently ongoing and that is caused by humans. In Earth’s history, there have been five major [...]
(3.5) Feeling smugly secure about how much you care for animals and the environment, or how low your personal impact is? You won’t be after you read this.Warming today is taking place at least ten times faster than it did at the end of the last glaciation, and at the end of all those glaciations that preceded it. To keep up, organisms will have to migrate, or otherwise adapt, at least ten times more quickly.Though it might be nice to imagine there once was a time when man lived in harmony with [...]
theguardian/books/2016Description: Over the last half-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 prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizab [...]
I was introduced to this author and book on a television show. I bought the book to my Kindle right then. I have not been this disappointed in a book in a long while. More than a quarter of the length of the book was dedicated to notes. She touched on history as archeology has helped define it with reference to the past extinctions. I think, because she was being a writer, she needed to tell me things I didn't care to know, like what she and her research mates had for breakfast before they set o [...]
Very good read. Depressing as heck, but if you want a good overview of the challenges facing our planet in regards to humans and how we are changing the earth and its ecosystems I recommend this. There is no doubt in my mind that we have started a cascade of environmental collapses that is going to be hard to curtail. We have to try and minimize the damage, the challenge will be beyond difficult, but it is a noble goal.
I'm glad this book was published, and glad it got so much attention. On the other hand, I wish it had been much better. The first half is solid, inasmuch as it has some information about the history, and historiography, of extinction. The second half gets a little head-banging-against-a-wall, with example after example of currently endangered or recently extinct species, all told in the same palatable way. So, beware reader, that if you are like me, you might want to skip this book. It goes to g [...]
Интересна книга. Отдавна не бях чел научно-популярна литература и тази ми дойде много добре. Научих доста неща и не ми е толкова спокойно, както до преди това.Подробно е разгледано влиянието на човека върху околната среда, унищожаването и преместването на видове и често кат [...]
In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches. - Stanford ecologist Paul EhrlichAs far as science has been able to determine, there have been five mass extinctions of life on Earth in the history of our planet. The first of these occurred at the end of the Ordovician period of the Paleozoic era about 450 million years ago. The second occurred less than 100 million years later in the late Devonian period. There followed the End-Permian extinction [...]
I learned many new things and I laughed a few times as well. That's pretty much a win for non-fiction. Humanity's impact on the environment tends to either be presented in a deliberately polarizing manner for political reasons or presented with assumptions of scientific knowledge which most lack. The author did an amazing job of explaining the science behind the impact in layman's terms without omitting details that frequently don't make "news" stories on the topic. She even took the time to exp [...]
It's absolutely, extremely, utterly, incredibly important for the general reader to remember that the real story of science is written in the language of mathematics. When authors put the story of scientific disciplines like physics, or chemistry or even biology into words and stories, they are translating something hard and complex and precise into a soft, fuzzy medium.It's analogous to knitting a replica of Michelangelo's David. Even if you are a genius knitter, the end result will only be (at [...]
I read this all in one go because I knew multiple pauses would likely just extend the misery. It’s particularly hard to read a book such as this knowing things will likely only get worse with the donkey that is our President leading one of the world’s most powerful nations. We’re talking billions of lives. And millions of species. Including us.
In this well-researched book, science writer Elizabeth Kolbert casts a strong light on the damage humans are doing to planet Earth. In one example Kolbert describes declining populations of the golden frog, which is rapidly disappearing from all its native habitats. Turns out humans have inadvertently spread a type of fungus that infects the skin of amphibians and kills them. In another example, almost six million North American bats have (so far) died from a skin infection caused by a different [...]
Elizabeth Kolbert knows how to put things together. She managed to create a very thoroughly documented book and to raise awareness about the extinction of species.The five extinctions known in the history of Earth decimated the species up to 96% (a brief summary can be read here: cosmosmagazine/palaeontol)The sixth extinction here in question is named so because of the rate at which species are disappearing now:“Calculating the background extinction rate is a laborious task that entails combin [...]
Christ. I just finished this book and I immediately want to start it again. I want to learn its lessons. I want to help. I want to not feel that the earth is so doomed by our simply negligent hand. I want to write a series of children’s stories teaching them about the Frozen Zoo, and the drones that leads new flocks of birds in the wild to repopulate and make sure they land on safe ground, and apes that are domesticating dogs, that make tools, that every day we learn they are just a bit smarte [...]
It sounds strange to say I enjoyed reading this book about the increasingly profound and potentially devastating impact humans are having on our home planet, with an especial focus on the animals and plants who share Earth with us, but enjoy it I did. It’s a riveting topic, the history of our world and our species, and Elizabeth Kolbert has the knack of writing about science so it retains all its natural fascination while still being accessible to laypeople. She takes the reader with her back [...]
Doesn't the title say it all? It's quite a topic - what we are doing to the world, and what we have done and what we are likely going to do. This mostly wasn't new information to me - but the acidification of the oceans was new. I mean I see the headlines and I know it's a issue, but I didn't understand the nature of it, or make the connection to shells and reefs.What I like about the book is, first of all, that it's getting read. The more people who read this the better. It's good information. [...]
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