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Notes on Sixth Extinction

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Breana Genaro

Professor Jody Cohen


14 Nov 2014

The Sixth Extinction Notes

Connection to All Over Creation: Although these two novels are completely different in the sense of their genre, one is fiction and the other is nonfiction, they both tackle interrelated issues. The Sixth Exctinction tackles issues revolving around the human degredation of the Earth, and you can argue that All Over Creation tackles some of the same issues. Kolbert reports on issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, rapid extinction caused by fungi, and human evolution; whereas, Ozeki focuses on issues such as the quality and content of food, which can connect to the degredation and pollution of the earth. She also touches upon individual degredation, which can be related to any of the topics that Kolbert reports on. Since we are innately connected to the Earth, despite the fact that many of us do not feel that way in modern times, whatever happens to the Earth affects us, as humans, on a personal level.

Global Climate change can relate to Yumi’s personal change of climate moving form Idaho to California to Hawaii and back to Idaho.

Human evolution can relate to Yumi and Lloyd’s growth throughout the novel.

Rapid extinction can relate to the potatoes with the use of GMOs. Real potatoes become more and more rare.

Ocean acidification destroys coral reefs in oceans. This is related to the destruction of the environment due to the use of GMOs

Connection to Arts of a Contact Zone: Kolbert’s book describes a big contact zone between humans, the environment and everything else living in the environment. Humans have created a negative contact zone for the environment. Ever since humans evolved, we have encountered many contact zones. Most importantly is the contact zone we created with the Neanderthal. Humans have an advantage over other creatures. That advantage is language. With language, humans were able to outsmart and conquer other species within the contact zone. In modern times, humans created a contact zone with the environment. Since the industrial revolution, humans have been emitted enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, creating a conflict between human aspirations and the stability of the environment. In the one hundred thousand years that the Neanderthal has lived on this earth, it never made a footprint on the environment. However, just since the industrial revolution, humans have sped up almost every natural process on earth, including but not limited to: natural disasters, global warming, melting of the ice caps, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and mass extinction.