Calling all readers! Get your One Book Villanova 2016 selection, The Sixth Extinction: an Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert today. Kolbert expertly traces the “twisting” intellectual history of how we’ve come to understand the concept of extinction, and more recently, how we’ve come to recognize our role in it. Since the origin of life on earth 3.8 billion years ago, our planet has experienced five mass extinction events. The last of these events occurred some 66 million years ago when a six-mile-wide asteroid is thought to have collided with earth, wiping out the dinosaurs. Today, Kolbert writes, we are witnessing a similar mass extinction event happening in the geologic blink of an eye. This time, however, a giant asteroid isn’t to blame — we are, by altering environmental conditions on our planet so swiftly and dramatically that a large proportion of other species cannot adapt. And we are risking our own future as well, by fundamentally altering the integrity of the climate balance that has persisted in more or less the same configuration since the end of the last ice age, and which has fostered the flourishing of human civilization.
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One Book Villanova Committee