Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, one of the New York Times Book Review's 10 best books of the year, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and shortlisted for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.
She is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. Her series on global warming, The Climate of Man, from which the book was adapted, won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine writing award and a National Academies communications award. She is a two-time National Magazine Award winner. She is also a recipient of a Heinz Award and Guggenheim Fellowship. Kolbert lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Reading Elizabeth Kolbert's haunting The Sixth Extinction was difficult but enlightening. She presents what most people fear facing but is happening around us. We are causing the loss of almost unbelievably large parts of the natural world on which we rely without realizing it---sleepwalking, I would say.
Her writing in the New Yorker covers more issues most people are too uncomfortable to learn about: overpopulation, the limits of technology to solve the problems most people think technology will solve, and the like.
She presents the issues simply and directly, forcing you to draw your conclusions.
I considered it critical to bring a guest so thoughtful and knowledgeable about relevant issues she saw firsthand. Her perspective is difficult to face, but the alternative of putting your head in the sand prevents you from solving the problems.