A major book about the future of the world, blending natural history, field reporting and the history of ideas and into a powerful account of the mass extinction happening today
Long known for her insightful and thought-provoking political journalism, author Elizabeth Kolbert now tackles the controversial and increasingly urgent subject of global warming. In what began as groundbreaking three-part series in the New Yorker, for which she won a National Magazine Award in 2006, Kolbert cuts through the competing rhetoric and political agendas to elucidate for Americans what is really going on with the global environment and asks what, if anything, can be done to save our planet. Now updated and with a new afterword, Field Notes from a Catastrophe is the book to read on the defining issue and greatest challenge of our times. Elizabeth Kolbert was a reporter for the New York Times for fourteen years before becoming a staff writer covering politics for the New Yorker. She and her husband, John Kleiner, have three sons. They live in Williamstown, MA. Praise for Field Notes from a Catastrophe: "[A] small miracle of concision, gaining by its brevity and its plan of attack a rhetorical power that elucidates, rises to meet and deftly answers the historic crisis in which we find ourselves." -Los Angeles Times "Important...Precise and measured. Visiting an Inupiat community in Alaska, a butterfly expert in England, or a midlevel Bush administration official in Washington, D.C., [Kolbert] lets readers connect the dots to form a frightening (and still avoidable) vision of our future...[Grade:] A." -Entertainment Weekly "If you have time this year for just one book on science, nature or the environment, this should be it."-San Diego Union-Tribune "Passionate...well-researched."-New York Times Book Review
PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. The Sixth Extinction: by Elizabeth Kolbert | Key Takeaways, Analysis & Review Preview: The Sixth Extinction is a book by award winning journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert. In this book, the author demonstrates that species are dying out at a rate comparable to the previous mass extinctions, and if the trend of global warming, deforestation, and pollution continues in its present course, the numbers of extinct species will meet or exceed that rate of destruction. This event will include the extinction of humanity. What this means is that the current loss of life today will soon justify the term "The Sixth Extinction," a mass extinction like the one that destroyed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago When humans originated about 100,000 years ago, they began to hunt some species into extinction. Their ability to outcompete other early hominids for food led to the extinction of those species, including Neanderthals. The extinction of species picked up steam when humans began transforming great swaths of forest and plains into farmland about 10,000 years ago... Inside this Instaread of The Sixth Extinction: Overview of the book Important People Key Takeaways Analysis of Key Takeaways About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience.
Why have island ecosystems always suffered such high rates of extinction? In our age, with all the world's landscapes, from Tasmania to the Amazon to Yellowstone, now being carved into island-like fragments by human activity, the implications of this question are more urgent than ever. Over the past eight years, David Quammen has followed the threads of island biogeography on a globe-encircling journey of discovery.
Bob Howard's career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from the supernatural, has involved brilliant hacking, ancient magic and combat with creatures of pure evil. Now the Laundry's existence has become public, and Bob is being trotted out on TV to answer pointed questions about elven asylum seekers. What neither Bob nor his managers have foreseen is that their organisation has earned the attention of a horror far more terrifying than any demon: a government looking for public services to privatise. There are things in the Laundry's assets that big business would simply love to get its hands on . . . Inch by inch, Bob Howard and his managers are forced to consider the truly unthinkable: a coup against the British government itself.
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2011
From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change. A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.
The tragic recognition of the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin or baiji in 2007 became a major news story and sent shockwaves around the world. It made a romantic story, for the baiji was a unique and beautiful creature that features in many Chinese legends and folk tales. The Goddess of the Yangtze, as it was known, was also the lone representative of an entire and ancient branch of the Tree of Life. But perhaps the greater tragedy is that its status as one of the world's most threatened mammals had been widely recognized, yet despite wide publicity virtually no international funds became available. A compelling read by a young naturalist, Samuel Turvey tells the story of the plight of the Yangtze River Dolphin from his unique perspective as a conservation biologist deeply involved in the struggle to save the dolphin. This is both a celebration of a beautiful and remarkable animal that once graced one of China's greatest rivers, its natural history and its role as a cultural symbol; and also a personal, eyewitness account of the failures of policy and the struggle to get funds that led to its tragic demise. It is a true cautionary tale that we must learn from, for there are countless other threatened species that will suffer from the same human mistakes, and whose loss we shall not know until it is too late.
Over the last 530 million years there have been five mass extinctions of species-the last,65 million years ago,when the dinosaurs disappeared.The biodiversity of our planet may now be on the verge,Leakey and Lewin believe,of a sixth extinction,caused this time by the relentless expansion and limitless appetites of human beings. The new science of 'biodiversity',presented clearly and cogently by Leakey and Lewin,combines insights from palaeontology,biology,ecology and even economics.It integrates the role of Darwenian evolution with the increasingly recognised importance of external and unpredictable forces.
Sediments and sedimentary rocks are fundamental to our understanding of the Earth and the array of environments that characterize its surface. Since some 70% of the rocks on the Earth's surface are sedimentary in origin, and sediments are of great economic importance, there is a very good chance that we encounter a sedimentary rock or an associated sedimentary process at some point in our daily lives. This book covers all of the rudimentary aspects of sedimentology, including different types of sedimentary rocks, sedimentary structures, and environments of deposition of sediments. The application of sedimentology in the search for hydrocarbons and other valuable economic resources is explained. Written for students, amateur enthusiasts, and professional geologists, the book provides a succinct and accessible introduction to the science of sedimentology. It is generously illustrated with many explanatory line diagrams and color photographs. Technical terms are kept to a minimum throughout the book, but a glossary of terms is provided. [Subject: Sedimentology, Geology, Earth Science]
From the author of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, an examination of Hawaii, the place where Manifest Destiny got a sunburn. Many think of 1776 as the defining year of American history, when we became a nation devoted to the pursuit of happiness through self- government. In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as defining, when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded first Cuba, then the Philippines, becoming an international superpower practically overnight. Among the developments in these outposts of 1898, Vowell considers the Americanization of Hawaii the most intriguing. From the arrival of New England missionaries in 1820, their goal to Christianize the local heathen, to the coup d'état of the missionaries' sons in 1893, which overthrew the Hawaiian queen, the events leading up to American annexation feature a cast of beguiling, and often appealing or tragic, characters: whalers who fired cannons at the Bible-thumpers denying them their God-given right to whores, an incestuous princess pulled between her new god and her brother-husband, sugar barons, lepers, con men, Theodore Roosevelt, and the last Hawaiian queen, a songwriter whose sentimental ode "Aloha 'Oe" serenaded the first Hawaiian president of the United States during his 2009 inaugural parade. With her trademark smart-alecky insights and reporting, Vowell lights out to discover the off, emblematic, and exceptional history of the fiftieth state, and in so doing finds America, warts and all. From the Hardcover edition.
The epic story of why passenger pigeons became extinct and what that says about our current relationship with the natural world. When Europeans arrived in North America, 25 to 40 percent of the continent's birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The downbeats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest "passes like a thought.?? How prophetic-for although a billion pigeons crossed the skies 80 miles from Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons' propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national demand that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was too late. Greenberg's beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon paints a vivid picture of the passenger pigeon's place in literature, art, and the hearts and minds of those who witnessed this epic bird, while providing a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.
Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet Bill McKibben is not a person you'd expect to find handcuffed and behind bars, but that's where he found himself in the summer of 2011 after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House. With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Irene scouring the Atlantic, McKibben recognized that action was needed if solutions were to be found. Some of those would come at the local level, where McKibben joins forces with a Vermont beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole. Oil and Honey is McKibben's account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight—from the center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers to climate change. With empathy and passion he makes the case for a renewed commitment on both levels of the fight to stop global warming, telling the story of raising one year's honey crop and building a social movement that's still cresting.