The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Paperback)
Extinction isn’t scary or unusual: it’s happening slowly all the time. Well, normally it is. We are today in the midst of the sixth mass extinction on Earth, and the cause is us. Extinction rates are thousands of times higher than average, and the prognosis isn’t good. In her award-winning book, Kolbert explores the causes and effects of this profound loss of biodiversity across the unique biomes of Earth. With writing that is fluid, accessible, and surprisingly funny, Kolbert shows us the beauty of the biological world, and the peril in which it now finds itself. Available as both ebook and audiobook.
-Recommended by Will— From July 2017 Staff Picks
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-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, 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.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.