The 6th Extinction

Are humans truly at fault? Have we really destroyed our planet this much in such a short historical time frame? According to Elizabeth Kolbert, our planet has endured an ever growing list of change and loss ever since the evolution and expansion of human beings on earth.

Elizabeth Kolbert, an experienced writer who is a staff writer at The New Yorker, has previously worked and written for the New York Times, and contributed to Times Magazine. Her works range from political profiles, book reviews, and essays, to in-depth works and writings on climate change. She is the author of a number of books, and has won many prestigious awards for her writing. Her awards range from the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Magazine Award for Public Interest, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award. She has also received the Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a Heinz Award. She is distinguished in her field and well known for her work.

The book is an overall view of the current epoch we are in called the Anthropocene or the sixth extinction. From the destruction of habitats and ecosystems, loss of life, endangerment and extinction of certain species, and the conclusion that this is all due to one “weedy species” ; humans, is the overall view of the book. 

The book mainly grows on the idea of the spreading of invasive species, such as our selves, and that invasive species are a method of extinction. Humans as an invasive species have caused the most destruction and have impacted the world from the beginning of their existence. This is something in particular that I researched a but more into in order to find more data and found a study done about orangutans and our impact of them and their population and evolutionary future. It pretty much shows how once we humans came around the orangutans and their environment, their populations began to dwindle and continue to still today.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, was overall a great read, full of information and data that the general reader would not commonly stumble upon on a day to day basis. The Sixth Extinction raises the general public’s awareness of the situation we have at hand with the current conditions that our atmosphere and planet are in. This knowledge of the current state in which our planet is in, and how humans are the ones who caused all of this loss of life and destruction truly strikes the reader.


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