Books

Book Review: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

I had a rocky start with this book (audiobook.) The quality was poor at the beginning, the voice and the reader’s tone seemed to fluctuate. I had to force myself to continue on as I knew I wanted to read this book. I’m glad I got past that as the quality got better and the peculiar problem at the beginning seemed to be a minor incident towards bliss if you can say that with this book’s topic.

To think back at the book, that might have been the only issue I had with it. Otherwise, the whole reading experience was smooth sailing towards anxiety and horror. It would be easy to mistake that humans have only recently started this massive extinction project towards our fellow creatures because of greed and ignorance, but unfortunately the book and our history show that it has been going on for a long time. That Anthropocene is real, and huge rats might inherit the Earth. The book dwells not only in the history of extinctions (human and the other kind, the first five), it goes over the scientific breakthroughs how and when we discovered mass extinctions had happened, the current understanding of them, outcomes of the sixth extinction, the reasons we are traveling down that road, what are the alarming signs showing there might not be a come back (even for us, our birthrate is kind of low if you consider the evolutionary adaptability and the speed changes happen in our environment… thanks to us,) a few speculations what might happen, and at last a sprinkle of hope with things like vaccinated vultures some scientist and conservationist want to believe in to make a difference, but signed with a pessimistic signature (especially if you take into count the human nature and need the to alter our environment.)

My take on the book is that. I think I better start either breeding cats to get a mastery over the coming rat revolution or serve the little vermin. (I have seen the lovely viral videos of rats, it might not be the worst fate.) But on a more serious note, this book is eye-opening, packed full of information both of the past, the current, and the future, it is something I wish more people would read especially those in power and I don’t mean only the politicians, but the CEOs and others who peddle with commodities, oil, land, plastic toys, and our minds.

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