Elizabeth Kolbert, the staff writer for the New Yorker and author of the book “The Sixth Extinction,” which won the Pulitzer Prize, warns that the planet is “on the verge of another mass extinction” in large part due to climate change.
There have been five major mass extinctions in the last 500 million years, Kolbert explained in an interview for this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast. The world is currently in a “moment of very elevated extinction rate,” and if rates continue at this high level, the planet could face an event comparable to the extinction of the dinosaurs in the near future.
“We are on the verge of another major mass extinction unless we change course dramatically,” Kolbert said. “The question of how much we’re responsible for it is pretty much 100%. We have no reason to believe we would be seeing these elevated extinction rates were it not for all the ways we are changing the planet faster than other species can evolve, to adapt to.”