Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert grabbed my attention from the first page. Kolbert illustrates the future of extinction by illuminating the history of extinction. She tells a story of the Earth we inhabit in both scientific and historical terms related to the myriad species of animals that have and do inhabit the Earth. She travels to myriad places on the Earth to talk to scientists and historians. I felt like she took me along on her journey to places I would never go on my own. She discussed the effects of natural processes as well as unnatural processes affecting the extinction of species and how those extinctions lead to other extinctions. Her references to previous mass extinctions were always linked to the story of our Earth and present-day extinctions. She talked about frogs, bats, auks, coral, and trees among other things. The Sixth Extinction doesn't shy away from pointing out how each species is a part of an ecosystem and how all our ecosystems are both independent and interconnected. The Sixth Extinction makes the research of extinction including its causes and effects accessible through great storytelling and relateable moments.

This book was part of Cory Booker's Book Club, and he interviewed the author during a Facebook live video for those who might be interested in the conversation.


 

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