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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History…
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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014)

by Elizabeth Kolbert

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,739976,124 (4.16)207
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English (95)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Fascinating book positing that we are in the midst of another mass extinction by focusing on the causes and evidence of the extinctions of several species both recent and ancient. ( )
  pdill8 | Mar 12, 2019 |
It's a sad must read. ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
I found this book very understandable for a lay person. Any uncommon terms were explained. I wish our President would read it.

The chapter about coral reefs just about broke my heart. ( )
  mamzel | Dec 7, 2018 |
The central theme and argument of this book is that we are in the middle of an extinction and may soon be forcing mass extinction. The author debuts this extinction as the ‘sixth extinction’ and contends that this is due to change in our environment and is primarily caused by humans.
The author briefly discusses the causes and affects of the last mass extinctions and provides various kinds of evidence of extinct species in order to convince readers of the future extinction.
Although I am convinced of the author’s arguments, I am still left unsatisfied about the history of previous mass extinctions. I also think the author could have avoided irrelevant details about her “adventures” to tighten up the narrative. ( )
  artvandley | Sep 30, 2018 |
Well written vignettes that explain the Sixth Extinction better than a single narrative, in my opinion. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Kolbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
Twomey, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
If there is danger in the human trajectory, it is not so much in the survival of our own species as in the fulfillment of the ultimate irony of organic evolution: that in the instant of achieving self-understanding through the mind of man, life has doomed its most beautiful creations. - E.O. Wilson
Centuries of centuries and only in the present do things happen. - Jorge Luis Borges
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The town of El Valle de Antón, in Central Panama, sits in the middle of a volcanic crater formed about a million years ago.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805092994, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:32 -0400)

Over the last half billion years, there have been five major mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on Earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around the cataclysm is us. In this book the author tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. She provides a moving account of the disappearances of various species occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up to Lyell and Darwin, and through the present day. 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.… (more)

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