The Sixth Extinction

Editorial reviews

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction, which is filled with alarming projections, offers no solutions. Instead, it impresses upon the reader the enormity of the problem.

Kolbert is a witty, deft writer with an eye for vivid colour.

“The Sixth Extinction” is a bold and at times desperate attempt to awaken us to this responsibility.

The Earth will continue, even if it ends up populated by giant rats rather than humans. But the sixth great extinction will alter it for millions of years.

We need new big stories. Is it too much to ask that we should alter Earth with compassion for the other creatures with whom we share it, and in celebration of their endless forms?

Taking readers on a whirlwind tour across continents and eons, Kolbert’s destination is the front line of biological upheaval.

The anomalies Kolbert identifies are too glaring to ignore. She makes an irrefutable case that what we are doing to cause a sixth mass extinction is clearly wrong.

With any hope, Kolbert's readers will not be able to sleep until we all do our part to protect habitat for our co-travelers through what Darwin rightly called Earth's grandeur.

Ms. Kolbert shows in these pages that she can write with elegiac poetry about the vanishing creatures of this planet, but the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.