The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert
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Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

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Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species“ including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
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🎯Vredna čitanja

Right now, in the amazing moment that to us counts as the present, 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. The Sixth Extinction will continue to determine the course of life long after everything people have written and painted and built has been ground into dust and giant rats have—or have not—inherited the earth.
It occurred to me that the frogs and their progeny, if they had any, and their progeny’s progeny, if they had any, would never again touch the floor of the rainforest but would live out their days in disinfected glass tanks.
One weedy species,” the pair observed, “has unwittingly achieved the ability to directly affect its own fate and that of most of the other species on this planet.”
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