Book reports from planet Earth
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 4:39 AM
We are in the midst of the Sixth Extinction, but many people prefer to ignore the evidence. I, personally, am in the midst of reading about it, especially two books by Elizabeth Kolbert: "The Sixth Extinction," which came out in February of this year and "Field Notes from a Catastrophe," copyright 2006.
In the preface of FNC, Kolbert writes: "Humans aren't the first species to alter the atmosphere....early bacteria, some two billion years ago, invented photosynthesis. BUT WE ARE THE FIRST SPECIES TO BE IN A POSITION TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE ARE DOING."
Items: p.181 1769: Atmospheric CO2 levels are 280 parts per million
p.191 2003: CO2 levels reach 375 parts per million
p. 183 1980's a "hole" had opened up in the ozone layer over Antarctica
p. 185 Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans - Hurricanes all draw their energy from the same source: THE WARM SURFACE WATERS OF THE OCEAN (emphasis mine.) This is why they form only in the tropics, and during the season when sea surface temperatures are highest. Climbing CO2 levels will lead to an increase in the intensity of hurricanes.....
p. 187 Just a few degrees more and the earth will be hotter than it has been at any time since our species evolved... Will we retreat into ever narrower and more destructive forms of self-interest? It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.
The book cover of "The Sixth Extinction" shows a mastodon skeleton, complete with huge tusks and a set of TEETH very much like those of the specie Homo sapiens. SAPIENS, in Latin, means WISE, INTELLIGENT.....