Essay The Sixth Extinction By Elizabeth Kolbert

Essay The Sixth Extinction By Elizabeth Kolbert

Length: 1206 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Sixth Extinction, a novel written by Elizabeth Kolbert, describes that the planet has been through five major extinctions. The book also makes the argument that it is currently in the midst of a sixth. The cause of this most recent extinction, according to the author and her findings in this book, is humans. Though she does not come right out and say that mankind is responsible for this phenomenon, the point becomes clear as you read along chapter to chapter. Kolbert proves this point by writing about a specific instance in each chapter in which a species is going extinct or is already extinct due to human impact. She also elaborates on how, whether directly or indirectly, the humans have done detrimental damage to the planet. To me, this all seemed quite depressing and embarrassing for the human race. The purpose of the novel was also unclear, due to the majority of the book being about how horrible people are to the planet. However, despite the doom and gloom described in the first twelve chapters, Kolbert ends the novel by saying how humans can help reverse their negative effects on Earth. In addition, she also gives examples of how this is currently happening. The ending, in my opinion, ended the book on a more positive note and does not make humans out to be such the bad guys after all.
In the particular chapter I chose to analyze, Chapter Six: “The Sea Among Us”, the author explains how the oceans are absorbing growing levels of carbon dioxide in the air. As a result, this occurrence creates carbonic acid in the sea. This acid is lowering the pH levels in the oceans and effectively killing off a large number of our marine life. The rising amounts of carbon dioxide in the air is due to humans emitting mo...


... middle of paper ...


... As a result, she wants everyone else to feel the same. By giving the readers a specific example of how their actions directly affect other species, she hopes to convince them to change their ways, or at least be conscious of their impact on the world.
In closing, the pentad identified and analyzed supports the author’s reason for writing this novel. The pentad focuses on the main point of the chapter, therefore choosing it for my analysis was obvious. The fact that humans are producing more and more fossil fuels all the time, therefore killing off marine life, is just one out of the many instances of how humankind is harmfully affecting the planet. By describing humans as the reason for the destruction to marine life, Kolbert is able to effectively and easily back up her overall claim that we are to blame when it comes to the sixth extinction of species.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Sixth Extinction By Elizabeth Kolbert Essay

- I came into this class under the impression that I already wrote well enough and wouldn’t need to improve. However, as I progressed through the semester I learned that there is always room to grow. The first paper I produced was not at the level I was hoping but after I actively decided to improve my writing my papers became much better. Looking back on my work in the class I wonder how much my writing has changed and where I still have room to improve. Without evaluating my work I can’t hope to become any better....   [tags: Writing, Better, Improve, Paper]

Better Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

The Fourth Extinction By Elizabeth Kolbert Essay

- On a day to day basis, most people take for granted the lives we get to live, and put too much value on the extra things such as materialistic items. Also, the majority of humans are too invested in their personal lives or with themselves that they do not look at the big picture of how what we are doing now will effect us later. As humans, the routines in our lives can bring us harm, and within time a we may become the sixth extinction. In “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert, she gives many examples of animals that are or may become extinct....   [tags: Extinction, Human, Species, Megafauna]

Better Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)

An Analysis Of Elizabeth Kolbert 's ' Spoiled Rotten ' Essay

- Staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999, Elizabeth Kolbert, in her essay, “Spoiled Rotten”, distinguishes the differences between child behaviors of children of other cultures to children of America’s culture. She establishes a forthright tone in an attempt to educate and instruct the readers about how American children are more spoiled than those of other countries. Kolbert’s purpose is to further develop her idea, by using ethos, pathos, and logos, that modern and societal children have become spoiled through their adopted habits such as when their parents: raise them to be dependent rather than independent, strain from using restrictions, and worry more about their child having a strong...   [tags: Childhood, Developmental psychology, Rhetoric]

Better Essays
1736 words (5 pages)

Essay on Can We Fix It?

- Can We Fix it. Yes We Can. “Earth is losing mammal species 20 to 100 times the rate of the past. Extinctions are happening so fast, they could rival the event that killed the dinosaurs in as little as 250 years,” says sarah Kaplan of the Washington Post. Scientists are in agreement, we are teetering on the sixth mass extinction and humans are the cause of this round. Due to the destruction of forests, pollution of the ocean and freshwater sources alike, over hunting, over fishing, and mass amounts of CO2 produced by the human population we are destroying the earth that sustains us....   [tags: Extinction, Endangered species, Hunting]

Better Essays
1810 words (5.2 pages)

Sixth Mass Spieces Extinction Essay

- ... 70 million years later, we have more complex life, which has moved out of the ocean making use of the land. The Late Devonian extinction is not a single event but a myriad of smaller scale extinctions such as the Kellwasser event, and the Hangenberg event that are combined to create the entirety of the major extinction event. The third mass extinction happened approximately 245 mya and is referred to as the Permian–Triassic extinction event. “More than half of the families of living things died out, and as many as 90 to 96 percent of the planet's marine species were lost....   [tags: history and evolution of Earth]

Better Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

The Things People Say By Elizabeth Kolbert Essay

- The internet is a hub of information. It is easy to access this information and resources by simple looking up a simple topic. How much of this information is actually true. In The New Yorker article “The Things People Say” author Elizabeth Kolbert explains the dangers of believing wholeheartedly the information given to us online. She uses logos to prove that the internet can be biased with information through “group polarization” and a site’s inability to upload contradictory information....   [tags: Left-wing politics, Political spectrum]

Better Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

Field Notes From a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert Essay

- Part 1: Summary In this book, Kolbert travels to many places to find out what is happening with global warming. Quite often she ran into the same fear at the places she went, the fear for loss before the next generation. When she went to Alaska, many people were fleeing from their homes because the sea ice surrounding them, creating a buffer zone for storms, was melting and that was causing houses to just be swept away. A man in Iceland who has monitored glaciers predicted that by the end of the century, Iceland will be ice free....   [tags: Kolbert Field Notes Catastrophe Book Analysis]

Free Essays
1701 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Are We On The Cusp Of The Sixth Mass Extinction Event?

- We are on the cusp of the sixth mass extinction, as estimated the event to be occurring within 2200 years. Scientists have evidences supporting this statement with the extinction rates and magnitudes, and comparing the present conditions to the past “Big Five”—the previous five mass extinction events. Mass extinction is generally known as the forever disappearance of 75% of lives in the globe, therefore species lost is the main driver of such extinction events. With the current high extinction rates and increasing trend of extinction magnitudes, the sixth mass extinction is expected....   [tags: Volcanic Eruption, Climate Dynamics]

Better Essays
1636 words (4.7 pages)

Are We on the Cusp of the Sixth Mass Extinction Event? Essay

- As titled: Are We On The Cusp Of The Sixth Mass Extinction Event. Yes, we are indeed, as we, here defined as all the lives on the Earth at the moment. Mass extinction is times when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short interval (Barnosky et al., 2011). In addition, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Geology and Earth Sciences edited by Michael Allaby (2013), mass extinction is defined as the Earth has been taken place environmental catastrophe, removes many groups from environment from record and not replaced, and ecosystems collapse....   [tags: environmental catastrophe, Geology]

Better Essays
608 words (1.7 pages)

Earth Faces a Sixth Mass Extinction Essay

- Earth Faces a Sixth Mass Extinction Scientists in Great Britain have been studying the distribution of birds, butterflies and plants for the past 40 years and the results from these studies suggest that the Earth is heading towards another mass extinction, and this one may have its roots in human activity. Within the four billion years that Earth has been around, it has already experienced five mass extinctions. The most recent, and most well known occurred 65 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Better Essays
1252 words (3.6 pages)