The Sixth Extinction

An entertaining and informative look at diminishing species due to human involvement, written by Elizabeth Kolbert. She makes the case that as soon as we got onto the scene, hundreds of thousands of years ago, we wrought destruction. We wiped out large animals and Neanderthals. We helped things travel long distances. And now we’re wreaking havoc with climate change at a more rapid pace than has been seen in the past– it’s too fast for the flora and fauna to be able to travel to survive, although there was one type of ginseng tree that is racing for higher ground in Peru at a rate of 100 feet a year. I also didn’t know about the amphibian die-off that’s been happening as a result of a fungus growing on their skin. Very readable, although you wonder a tiny bit about how she felt gallivanting all over the world while railing against global warming (no mention of carbon offsets). She’s in the Great Barrier Reef, Peru, Germany, Italy, all over the U.S. and Mexico, and does a great job describing the scene and giving us the random details that make her story come alive, but still, all that travel… I suppose one more human won’t cause the collapse?