The Sixth Extinction

An Unnatural History

Ranked #1 in Wildlife, Ranked #1 in Climate Changesee more rankings.

Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.

In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before....

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Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Sixth Extinction from the world's leading experts.

Barack Obama Former USA PresidentThe president also released a list of his summer favorites back in 2015: All That Is, James Salter The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (Source)

Bill Gates CEO/MicrosoftThe Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Climate change is a big problem—one of the biggest we’ll face this century—but it’s not the only environmental concern on the horizon. Humans are putting down massive amounts of pavement, moving species around the planet, over-fishing and acidifying the oceans, changing the chemical composition of rivers, and more. Natural scientists posit that there have been five extinction events in the Earth’s history (think of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs), and Kolbert makes a compelling case that human activity is leading to... (Source)

Jeff Bezos Founder/Amazon"In his autobiography, Walmart's founder expounds on the principles of discount retailing and discusses his core values of frugality and a bias for action — a willingness to try a lot of things and make many mistakes. Bezos included both in Amazon's corporate values," Brad Stone writes. (Source)

Doug McMillon CEO/WalmartHere's a list of the top books that taught and inspired me this year. I go back to Sam Walton's book frequently and was struck, this year, by some common principles between Sam and General McChrystal. It seems they learned some similar things about what works when it comes to leading teams. For example, fostering a shared consciousness and empowering execution delivers results. (Source)

Beth Shapiro The sixth extinction is significant because we are causing it. That is scary to us. We’re driving species extinct in every habitat across the planet, particularly oceans. We have not slowed down the rate of population growth and spread and use of habitat and resources and it’s a frightening thought: perhaps we are on the verge of another one of these events where we lose most of the diversity of life on Earth. Earth will recover, it might take ten to a hundred million years to do so – as E. O. Wilson points out in his books – and perhaps we will go extinct as well. I think that that is one... (Source)

Peter Reinhardt It gives you a sense of the Walmart founder's unceasing quest to learn and improve customer experience. (Source)

Gunhee Park The Sixth Extinction helps you understand the scope of the impact mankind has had on this planet and makes you think more critically about climate change. (Source)

Ola Olusoga Like Charlie Munger once said: “I’ve long believed that a certain system - which almost any intelligent person can learn - works way better than the systems most people use [to understand the world]”. What you need is a latticework of mental models in your head. And, with that system, things gradually fit together in a way that enhances cognition. Just as multiple factors shape every system, multiple mental models from a variety of disciplines are necessary to understand that system". You can read this book to start building a "latticework of mental models in your head". (Source)

Daylon Soh If I read a biography by a business titan or prime mover and he/she recommends a particular title, I would read it next. For example, I found out about Sam Walton's biography from Jeff Bezos quotes in The Everything Store by Brad Stone. They're both great books to read if you're in eCommerce or Retail, answering your earlier question. (Source)

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