Book Review

The Sixth Extinction

By: Elizabeth Kolbert | Category: Self-Help | Nature | Year: 2014 ISBN: 9780805099799

In her timely, meticulously researched and well-written book, Kolbert combines scientific analysis and personal narratives to explain the world we’ve made to us. The result is a clear and comprehensive history of earth’s previous mass extinctions — and the species we’ve lost — and an engaging description of the extraordinarily complex nature of life. Most important, Kolbert delivers a compelling call to action.

“Right now,” she writes, “we are deciding, without quite meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will forever be closed. No other creature has ever managed this, and it will, unfortunately, be our most enduring legacy.” –from The New York Times

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Which story/chapter did you find most impactful?
  2. What are your thoughts on human-caused extinctions?
  3. What is Kolbert trying to say about “ocean acidification?”
  4. In chapter 8, the author brings up Emily Dickinson’s poem “Hope is the Thing with Feathers.” What are some hopeful avenues of action?
  5. Your general thoughts and reflections?



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