Monday, November 16, 2015

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History ~ Elizabeth Kolbert

A Review

A thought-provoking book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize winner, shows how human have major influence in extinction of any kind of species. There were five mass extinctions which led to reduction in diversity of life over time. We are here in the period of Anthropocene, where thousands of species are disappearing before our eyes.

Kolbert, as a reporter tells us how species are being led to extinction through history and science which date back before the era of dinosaurs. Also describes how fossils tells us story and chronology of extinct species and the drivers for extinctions. Extinction history brings to light the major concept, what lies ahead in the face of human destruction. Book takes us back to the very ancient era of evolution and describes the wonders of species. She shows how scientists are risking and devoting their lives to trace back and document the lost species and conserve the present day endangered and critically endangered species. She also shows that humans are the one endangering the species around the world since thousands of year back and will continue to do so, eventually risking their own species. The lost species are gone forever, from giant dinosaurs, mammoths to great auks to micro bacterial, except for some of bones remaining in the museums, book tells many more species are in queue.

Kolbert explains very well with hard science, history and at times with humors. She managed to extract as many as information from numerous scientists around the world and delivers as an entertaining and engrossing legend. This fact-based book is an eye opener to the general public at large and contributes toward immense understandings of sixth extinction. It also reminds us the sense of urgency to contribute towards conservation of diversity of life directly or indirectly.

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