The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert

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.

Articles, reviews, interviews, etc. related to the book The Sixth Extinction:

1. Reason to Read (The New York Times): President Trump’s War on Science
The Editorial Board
Sept. 9, 2017

2. Review (The New York Times): Without a Trace: ‘The Sixth Extinction,’ by Elizabeth Kolbert
Al Gore
Feb. 10, 2014

3. Review (The Guardian): The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert review- ‘kill half of what you see’
Tim Adams
Dec. 11, 2016

4. Review (Scientific America): The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Lee Billings
Feb. 1, 2014

5. Review (The Boston Globe): ‘The Sixth Extinction’ by Elizabeth Kolbert
Wen Stephenson
Feb. 22, 2014

6. Review (NPR Radio- All Things Considered): The Earth’s ‘Sixth Extinction’ May Be One Of Our Own Making
Robert Siegel, Melissa Block
Feb. 11, 2014 (08:50 mins.)

7. Interview (NPR Radio- Fresh Air): In The World’s ‘Sixth Extinction,’ Are Humans The Asteroid?
Terry Gross
Feb. 12, 2014 (39:37 mins.)

8. Interview (Lafayette College):An interview with “Sixth Extinction” Author Elizabeth Kolbert
Dec. 6, 2016 (08:33 mins.)

9. Lecture(Oregon State University): The Sixth Extinction: Elizabeth Kolbert
Feb. 2, 2015 (53:44 mins)

10. Panel (Festival of Dangerous Thinkers): Festival of Dangerous Ideas: The End of The World As We Know It
Natasha Mitchell, Tim Flannery, Elizabeth Kolbert, Steven Pinker, Jaan Tallinn
Aug. 30-31, 2014 (1:00:45 hours)