ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half a 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 The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

★ 榮獲2015年普立茲獎非文學類大獎

★ 獲選《紐約時報》2014年100本值得關注的書

比爾‧蓋茲(Bill Gates)
2014年夏季六本推薦書單之一

亞馬遜暢銷書總榜第七名

亞馬遜「環境議題」排行榜第一名

亞馬遜「生物演化」排行榜第一名

亞馬遜「瀕危物種」排行榜第一名


王維賢  中山大學海洋生物科技暨資源學系教授、國立海洋生物博物館前任館長  

李家維  清華大學生命科學系特聘教授、《科學人》雜誌總編輯

程一駿  臺灣海洋大學海洋生物研究所教授、科學月刊理事長

蕭語富  石尚企業執行長、古生物化石修復專家

——具名推薦(依姓氏筆畫順序排列)

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我們之前的世界是什麼模樣?
我們未來又將留下什麼樣的世界?
本書作者寇柏特試圖追查的,是一場正在進行中的大滅絕事件,並將這事件放進更寬闊的生命史背景脈絡中。這脈絡所呈現的是,在跌宕起伏中,生命極為堅韌,卻非永遠如此。 

《第六次大滅絕》藉由五種已消失的物種(乳齒象、大海雀、菊石、筆石、尼安德塔人)以及七種瀕危生物(珊瑚蟲、顆石藻、巴拿馬金蛙、鬼針游蟻、雙翼果、避光鼠耳蝠、蘇門答臘犀牛)的故事,來探討地球環境的變遷與人類的處境。
當前的大滅絕事件,起因既不是天災(小行星撞擊地球)、也不是地變(龐大的火山爆發或冰河時期降臨),而是「一場可能由人類引起的大滅絕」!
「在迫使其他物種滅絕的舉動中,」我們是否無心或短視,也「正忙著鋸掉自己所棲息的枝幹」? 

寇柏特以很神奇的方式,將歷史和科學的線索編織在一起,她親臨現場(叢林、荒島、動物園)的報導,替科學研究成果與統計資料,賦予了活生生的意義。——《國際商業時報》 

文風可親,充滿睿智與科學精確度,一拿起來閱讀,就不可能放下。——《出版人週刊》 

就像瑞秋‧卡森的《寂靜的春天》,寇柏特的《第六次滅絕》
注定成為定義我們這個時代的最重要書籍之一。
—— 格雷恩(David Grann),《失落之城Z》作者 

雖然是討論物種的大滅絕,作者以縱古觀今的手法敘述物種如何利用適應及演化的方式存活下來,是一本保育生物學者必讀的科普刊物。—— 程一駿,臺灣海洋大學海洋生物研究所教授、科學月刊理事長 

地球史上的幾次大滅絕中,順勢由另一批強勢物種來主宰宇宙萬物。在最近的生態紀錄中,由人類所主導的生態環境裡,從破壞到保育,是維持生態中適者生存定律,還是過度掠奪資源的分配者所造成的,值得我們省思。—— 蕭語富,石尚企業執行長、古生物化石修復專家

 Ao longo dos últimos quinhentos milhões de anos, o mundo passou por cinco brutais extinções em massa, nas quais sua biodiversidade caiu de maneira abrupta. Dessas, a mais conhecida foi a que eliminou, entre outros seres vivos, os dinossauros, quando um asteroide colidiu com o planeta há 65 milhões de anos. Atualmente, vem sendo monitorada a sexta extinção, que tem potencial para ser a mais devastadora da história da Terra. Mas, dessa vez, a causa não é um asteroide ou algo semelhante. Nós somos a causa.

Em A sexta extinção, a jornalista Elizabeth Kolbert explica de que maneira e por que o ser humano alterou a vida no planeta como absolutamente nenhuma espécie o fizera até hoje. Para isso, a autora lança mão de trabalhos de dezenas de cientistas nas searas mais diversas e vai aos lugares mais remotos em busca de respostas: de ilhas quase inacessíveis na Islândia até a vastidão da cordilheira dos Andes.

Neste livro, Kolbert apresenta ao leitor doze espécies — algumas desaparecidas, outras em vias de extinção — e, partir daí, chega à conclusão assustadora de que uma quantidade inigualável de animais está desaparecendo bem diante de nossos olhos. Ao mesmo tempo, a jornalista traça um panorama de como a extinção tem sido entendida pelo homem nos últimos séculos, desde os primeiros artigos sobre o tema, do naturalista francês Georges Cuvier, passando por Charles Lyell e Charles Darwin, até os dias de hoje.

Kolbert mostra que a sexta extinção corre o risco de ser o legado final da humanidade e nos convida a repensar uma questão fundamental: o que significa ser humano? 

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe, a powerful and important work about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a compelling account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes.

Over the last half a 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.

The Sixth Extinction draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines–geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, and marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. Elizabeth Kolbert, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer, accompanies many of these researchers into the field, and introduces you to a dozen species–some already gone, others facing extinction–that are being affected by the sixth extinction.

Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
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