The Sixth Extinction

By Elizabeth Kolbert. Read about it on Amazon.

3 thoughts on “The Sixth Extinction

  1. This was a sobering and powerful book. Having finished it in four chunks (so it’s highly readable, even with my kids underfoot), I feel safe in suggesting that everyone should read this book. It’s acclaimed (having won the Pulitzer Prize), it’s engaging (not too technical, author voice is personable and relatable), and it gives a comprehensive sense of the impact humans are having on very specific groups of flora and fauna (from frogs to trees to bats to bacteria). This reading would complement curricular and co-curricular offerings across all disciplines.

  2. I agree that this book is incredibly powerful and timely, especially given the immediacy of climate change today and its inherent link to most (if not all) current social environmental justice issues. As a scientist in some of the fields discussed in the book, I can also say that the research was well-represented. This book may be further relatable for students, given that a lot of the research discussed was conducted by local Bay Area scientists. Along those lines, I think this book would lend itself really well campus-wide events, as that many of the scientists discussed in the book and non-profits that work on these issues are located in the Bay Area and California.

  3. Kathleen McSharry

    I’m posting another comment from Maya:

    The book that I think would be so timely is the Sixth Extinction. This book is so well-written and describes the immediacy of climate change today in a relatable way. Given the current political climate surrounding climate change and its inherent link to most (if not all) current social environmental justice issues, it just seems so important for college students to have a good working knowledge of climate change, regardless of their discipline. As a scientist in some of the fields discussed in the book, I can also say that the research was well-represented. (For example, a large part of my research program concerns the effects of ocean acidification on crustaceans and food webs. I have co-authored work on the chytrid fungus in the Panamanian frog described, and I have colleagues in the rhino conservation world.) This book may be further relatable for students, given that a lot of the research discussed was conducted by local Bay Area scientists. Along those lines, I think this book would lend itself really well to campus-wide events, as many of the scientists discussed in the book and nonprofits that work on these issues are located in the Bay Area and California. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen some of them speak and they are great public speakers that can discuss the science in a broad sense and connect the work to relevant social issues.

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