“Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today’s extinction, humans are the culprit. [In this podcast] our guest is Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the book The Sixth Extinction. The book begins with a history of the big five extinctions of the past and goes on to explain how human behavior is creating this sixth, including our use of fossil fuels which has led to climate change.”
As stated in a JSTOR daily article, “New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.
This new research clarifies the rate of ‘background extinction’ (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th.”