The Sixth Extinction
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ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR 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.
"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". -- Back cover.
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species – including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino – some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Elaborate pop-ups feature some wonderfully creepy creatures that just might dominate the ecosystem and be essential to our planet's survival in an eerily realistic future world. Whether or not we know it, the sixth global extinction is already under way, propelled not by a meteor but by human activity on Earth. Take a long step forward into the year 4847 with the help of stunning pop-ups portraying eight fantastical creatures, along with spreads and flaps presenting details about each one. Paper engineer Shawn Sheehy envisions the aftermath of extinction as a flourishing ecosystem centered around fictional creatures that could evolve from existing organisms. Promising high appeal for science-fiction fans of all ages -- and plenty of food for discussion -- this evolutionary extravaganza offers a time line of the six extinction events in Earth's history, a "field guide" to each creature, a diagram of species relationships, a habitat map of the (imagined) ruins of Chicago, and an illuminating author's note.
A new edition of the book that launched Elizabeth Kolbert's career as an environmental writer-updated with three new chapters, making it, yet again, "irreplaceable" (Boston Globe). Elizabeth Kolbert's environmental classic Field Notes from a Catastrophe first developed out of a groundbreaking, National Magazine Award-winning three-part series in The New Yorker. She expanded it into a still-concise yet richly researched and damning book about climate change: a primer on the greatest challenge facing the world today. But in the years since, the story has continued to develop; the situation has become more dire, even as our understanding grows. Now, Kolbert returns to the defining book of her career. She has added a chapter bringing things up-to-date on the existing text, plus three new chapters--on ocean acidification, the tar sands, and a Danish town that's gone carbon neutral--making it, again, a must-read for our moment.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A GUIDE TO THE ORIGINAL BOOK. Guide to Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction Preview: The Sixth Extinction is a book by award winning journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert. In this book, the author demonstrates that species are dying out at a rate comparable to the previous mass extinctions, and if the trend of global warming, deforestation, and pollution continues in its present course, the numbers of extinct species will meet or exceed that rate of destruction. This event will include the extinction of humanity. What this means is that the current loss of life today will soon justify the term -The Sixth Extinction, - a mass extinction like the one that destroyed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago... Inside this companion: -Overview of the book -Important People -Key Insights -Analysis of Key Insights
Chronicling five times in the history of the earth in which more than half of all living species disappeared in a geological instant, a geological study states that we are on the brink of a sixth mass extinction and presents supporting evidence. Reprint.
Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet. Bill McKibben is not a person you'd expect to find hand - cuffed in the city jail in Washington, D.C. But that's where he spent three days in the summer of 2011, after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. A few months later the protesters would see their efforts rewarded when President Obama agreed to put the project on hold. And yet McKibben realized that this small and temporary victory was at best a stepping - stone. With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Hurricane Sandy scouring the Atlantic, the need for much deeper solutions was obvious. Some of those would come at the local level, and McKibben recounts a year he spends in the company of a beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil - fuel industry as a whole. Oil and Honey is McKibben's account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight - from the absolute centre of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small - scale local answers to the climate crisis. With characteristic empathy and passion, he reveals the imperative to work on both levels, telling the story of raising one year's honey crop and building a social movement that's still cresting.
A remote military research station in Utah sends out a frantic distress call, ending with a chilling final command: Kill us all! Personnel from the neighbouring base rush in to discover everyone already dead - and not just the scientists, but every living thing for fifty square miles has been annihilated. The land is entirely sterile-and the blight is spreading. To halt the inevitable, Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma must unravel a threat that rises out of the distant past, to a time when Antarctica was green and all life on Earth balanced upon the blade of a knife. Following clues from an ancient map rescued from the lost Library of Alexandria, Sigma will discover the truth about an ancient continent, about a new form of death buried under miles of ice.
The Sixth Extinction is a haunting account of the age in which we live. Ecologists are calling it the Sixth Great Extinction, and the world isn't losing just its ecological legacy; also vanishing is a vast human legacy of languages and our ways of living, seeing, and knowing. Terry Glavin confirms that we are in the midst of a nearly unprecedented, catastrophic vanishing of animals, plants, and human cultures. He argues that the language of environmentalism is inadequate in describing the unraveling of the vast system in which all these extinctions are actually related. And he writes that we're no longer gaining knowledge with every generation. We're losing it. In the face of what he describes as a dark and gathering sameness upon the Earth, Glavin embarks on a global journey to meet the very things we're losing (a distinct species every ten minutes, a unique vegetable variety every six hours, an entire language every two weeks) and on the way encounters some of the world's wonderful, rare things: a human-sized salmon in Russia; a mysterious Sino-Tibetan song-language; a Malayan tiger, the last of its kind; and a strange tomato that tastes just like black cherry ice cream. And he finds hope in the most unlikely places---a macaw roost in Costa Rica; a small village in Ireland; a relic community of Norse whalers in the North Atlantic; the vault beneath the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew; and the throne room of the Angh of Longwa in the eastern Himalayas. A fresh narrative take on the usual doom and gloom environmentalism, The Sixth Extinction draws upon zoology, biology, ecology, anthropology, and mythology to share the joys hidden within the long human struggle to conserve the world's living things. Here, we find hope in what's left: the absolute and stunning beauty in the Earth's last cultures and creatures.