A major audiobook about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes.
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.
©2013 Elizabeth Kolbert (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I'm a son, brother, husband and father. I design software and consider myself a free-thinker.
I found out about this book from a public radio station interview with the author. The concept sounded interesting but was unsure from the interview what to expect. This book was superb from start to finish, it was well laid out and extremely interesting to listen to. I was expecting another typical presentation of the global warming and the gloom and doom that usually goes with it. I have always believed that global warming was over hyped as a human cause and more of a just a cycle of the earth and the solar system going through its cycles. This book is more about the disruption that humans cause in the natural cycle of the earth eco systems and how those changes effect the possible future of the earth and it inhabitance. The author takes you on trip around the world to different place and provides evidence to support the title of her book. I think what made this book so good for me was that it written like a story being told by this person that took a journey and came back to share what they experience. There were not a bunch of scientific terms to wade through or uncommon words that authors sometimes used to make themselves seem more intelligent. This author get's her message across and when you finished you go...WOW! I also enjoyed the narrator as well, her voice was very pleasant and allowed you to enjoy the story!
I'm just commenting on the narration here, because it seems the consensus is that this is a great book and I agree. All aspects of it . Some listeners seem to have let the narrator's delivery ruin their experience with this title though. She's soft-spoken, and maybe from the influence of other listeners' reviews, I was thinking at first that I didn't like it either, that the effect was more suited to a storybook. But I kept listening, and after a while I realized it was fine. Really, just let it go, let the woman speak. She enunciates clearly and on an even keel, and I ended up appreciating everything about the book (well, considering the subject matter, almost everything). I just finished a book where the narrator kept saying "climactic" when they meant "climatic," and vice versa. Now *that* was annoying. If you make up your mind her delivery is going to bother you, then it will, but it doesn't have to. Try to just enjoy this book and I think you will.
This is a popular science book that expertly combines research with anecdote. I thought I wouldn't mind the narrator but after an hour, couldn't stand any more of her. She reads in a hushed, whispery voice (reverence for the death of species?) with little change in intonation, expertly combining boredom with irritation.
The reviews of the written version of this book are great, and I had hoped that the audible version would be great as well. But it was not. If it had been read by the author, as the Prologue was, then it would have been easier for me to listen to. The reader of the rest of it has a very pretty voice, but I think it is better suited to dramatic fiction rather than science or journalism.
This book is very enlightening.
In "The Sixth Extinction" Kolbert quotes the ecologist Paul Ehrlich: "In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches."
Kolbert explores this quotation by taking you on a journey around the world; discovering different ecosystems and showing the impact humans have on the biodiversity of the planet and the evolution of our fellow species.
I enjoyed the performance of Anne Twomey. I have no complaints.
This was a book I wanted to listen to in one sitting. The information collected by the author is very eye-opening so I wanted to listen on....
Elizabeth Kolbert moves us skillfully through key points of the impermanence of life forms on earth. Twomey drives Kolbert"s journalistic acumen home.
I know it's science fiction and that it's about dead species, but this is a popular science book that was severely detracted from by the reader who spoke as if she was just learning to read English and in a dead monotone that made me want to claw my own skin off.
First off, the woman doing the speaking might as well be on NPR as she whispers through the entire book. Secondly, the book attempts to point out the fact that we're warming the planet with our cars but constantly lists examples of the same things happening years ago. We obviously didn't cause it then, so how do we know we're doing it now?
It jumps from topic to topic that seem scattered and disconnected...
Terrible left wing agenda book with nothing new. I'm not arguing that mankind as a whole sucks and kills off other species, but to take that as an example of how we're destroying the planet here and now is ridiculous.
Temperatures are not rising!!! So we don't call it Global Warming anymore, now lets call it Climate Change... Uhh, Thats what it does morons!!! It Changes!!
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content