Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book: Elizabeth Kolbert's "The Sixth Extinction"

I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately.  My latest read, Elizabeth Kilbert's "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" was an interesting read.

The book covers, briefly, the five mass extinctions that have occurred over the last 500 million years or so.  The title refers to the current uptick of extinctions that may be part of a sixth mass extinction, this one caused by human activities.

The book chapters each cover one species of animal currently living or long extinct and shows how human activity, such as inadvertently or purposefully moving species around the world, has contributed to the problem.  These transplanted species, such as the fungus that is killing off frogs or the one killing off bat populations, transported around the world hitchhiking on our global trade, cause havoc in a places where there is no natural immunity or predator.

Humanity has reached a point in its evolution where we are making global changes to our only home.  If we are not careful we could become one more victim of our own creation: the sixth mass extinction.

I gave this book four stars on Goodreads because of its thought provoking topic.

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