the next good book

The Sixth Extinction

By Elizabeth Kolbert


304 pages

What’s it about? This book explores the past extinctions that have occurred on Earth.  Elizabeth Kolbert uses her journalistic skills to highlight different species through time that have become extinct.  She then discusses the very real possibility that we are in the middle of the next (sixth) extinction. What did I think? I thought Elizabeth Kolbert made this subject very easy to understand.  She helped me see how what is happening on our planet fits into a historical perspective.   She also won the Pulitzer prize for her efforts! Should you read it? It is certainly pertinent and informative.  You should read this book if you have any interest in global warming, the acidification of our oceans, or how what is happening with the earth’s climate now fits into the history of the planet.   We see that throughout history, scientists have taken the same data and come to very different conclusions.  It is certainly happening today in regards to climate change. Quote- “In times of panic, whole groups of once dominant organisms can disappear or be relegated to secondary roles, almost as if the globe has undergone a cast change.  Such wholesale losses have led paleontologists to surmise that during mass extinction events- in addition to the so-called Big Five, there have been many lesser such events- the usual rules of survival are suspended.  Conditions change so drastically or so suddenly (or so drasticallyandso suddenly) that evolutionary history counts for little.  Indeed, the very traits that have been most useful for dealing with ordinary threats may turn out, under such extraordinary circumstances, to be fatal.”

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