Monday, April 24, 2023

Books (Mike, Ava and C.I.)



We're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community.  Mike's "THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY" covers Elizabeth Kolbert's THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY.  So give us an overview.

Mike: The book notes the five previous extinction events in history.  A species can go extent and it generally would take around 1,000 years.  You couldn't chart it in a lifetime.  But there are also extinction level events where it happens much faster.  And we weren't aware of that for centuries.  The realization of these events?  It's relatively new.  We may be living in the sixth extinction event currently.

What stood out most?

Mike: I liked the way she pulls the reader in.  The chapter on frogs?  I dare you to start it and then stop reading it.  You won't be able to stop.  You care about the frogs and you wonder what's going to become of them.

Talk about that a little more, what's happening to frogs in the Americas?

Mike: A number of then are dying out.  In Panama, for example, they started noticing the frogs were dying and they decided to try to create some safe space for them.  They succeeded there.  But those that were saved?  What happens to them?  There's a fungus now and if they're out in the natural habitats, they're doing to die.  Bleach will kill the fungus but you can't bleach the rain forest.  So they've managed to save a few frogs but what happens to them?  They live in captivity for the rest of their lives?  I really recommend this book, I highly recommend it.  You don't have to be a science expert so no one should be intimidated about picking up this book.  The author explains things so that you can follow along.  And it really has real life implications.  If you care about our world, our environment, make a point to read it.

And there was something you wanted to save for our conversation, right?

Mike: Right.  There's a thread going through the conversations where we try to tie it into the LGBTQ+ community.  THE NEW YORK TIMES sold the Iraq War so I don't pretend that it's my friend.  It's lying -- and has been for several years -- about transgender persons.  It's taken every right-wing smear and treated it as fact which is why GLAAD and others have protested.  This is not new, as we know.  The same 'paper of record' also trashed gay people and lied about them -- especially during the AIDS panic.  Well guess what?  As extinction events became known and accepted by the science community, guess who attacked the science?  THE NEW YORK TIMES.   They have this image of being pro-science but, time and again, THE NEW YORK TIMES has been on the wrong side of science.






Previous book discussions this year:


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