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Elizabeth Kolbert mentioned the idea and evidence that a “sixth extinction” is at its beginning phase. In the last half-billion years, life on Earth has been nearly wiped out five times, these events are known as the Big Five mass extinctions, and all signs suggest we are now on the brink of a sixth. Except this time, we have no one but ourselves to blame. Us as humans are causing another mass extinction. Elizabeth Kolbert, throughout her book, The Sixth Extinction, has proven with sufficient evidence that we are causing the beginning of a new sixth extinction.
Scientists say that the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century should have taken between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. Why is this occurring? Because of us humans and Kolbert provides multiple species in her book to explain it. One of these species is the Great Auk ( Pinguinus Impennis), They were numbered in millions, from Norway to Florida to Italy. They were like penguins however, they lived in a different family than them. Very quickly did they go extinct due to the way humans used them.
The Great Auk were hunted and killed with clubs. As stated by Kolbert they were “salted, plucked, and fried into oblivion” (Kolbert 62). This is just a small description of what they actually endured.  They were eaten, used for fish bait, and  even more morbidly they were used for fire kindling because the oil in their feathers kept a fire going for long periods of time.  They even had their feathers plucked to stuff mattresses. The fall of the Great Auk was only due in major part because of humans. This is exactly the point that Kolbert was trying to get across. Humans hurt species because of survival and need to make a living. 
Another species that has also gone extinct due to humans is the Mammut Americanum, which is the Woolly Mammoth. Kolbert stated that in the time of the Mammoth, just like the Great Auk they were hunted. Again their meat, skin, and bones were all used to be traded or cooked to help humans survive, but another cause that let them go extinct is not solely based on humans. The biggest cause that caused their demise is climate change. 
The Woolly Mammoths went extinct because the Earth began to heat up, the world’s climate became too much for the mammoths to handle, who had evolved to live in conditions of a colder globe. Mammoths had lots of fur and hair that was made to keep them warm in the colder climate and when it got hot their bodies couldn’t handle it.
Climate change has been held widely responsible for this loss, as these large mammals struggled to adapt to changing conditions and environments. Mammoths were herbivores so were very dependent on gaining all the nutrients they needed to survive from the plants that they ate if climate change led to the dying out of some vital plants, the mammoths suffered horribly.  So although throughout The Sixth Extinction, Kolbert mentions humans are the downfall of most species a majority of the time, there are more issues rotted deeper than humans like climate change.
Another issue that takes place in this book caused by humans is ocean acidification on coral reefs. In this book it examined this issue through a long term study of the waters surrounding the Castello Aragonese, where a natural vent continually releases CO2. The study began in 2004, when Dr. Justin Spencer-Hall started surveying  water samples, initially without any funding whatsoever. He and his colleague, Dr. Maria Cristina Buia, have now been able to show that acidification has devastating biological consequences, wiping out all but a few of the hardiest species. 
It is unclear just how long CO2 has been bubbling into the sea there, but it is likely more than long enough that biological adaption would have occurred by now if it were possible. The world’s coral reefs are home to an incredible variety of creatures, and create the paradox of great biological richness in relatively nutrient-poor waters. But acidification, together with a whole list of other human impacts, is putting the world’s coral at existential risk. 
Coral reefs are so essential to the ocean and “species have evolved to rely on coral reef, either directly for protection or food, or indirectly, to prey on those species that come seeking protection or for.” (Kolbert 130) Coral reefs are so important in the development of other species that if they die, the other species go down with them and it all goes back to humans and how they  create ocean acidification through releasing too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere especially through fossil fuel emissions.
This book has such a an impact anthropologically through the talk of extinctions. Culturally, it was approved to kill and hurt species. We live in an era marked by an increase of species death, but since the early days of the discipline, anthropology has contemplated the death of languages, cultural groups, and ways of life. As said in the book the reason that most of these species are extinct or on the brink of extinction is due to humans. Through the different cultures in the different areas of the world it is easy to see why hunting has become such an important part in most cultures. It shows survival, how you rank in society, how to make a living. In conclusion Elizabeth Kolbert is right, us as humans are causing another mass extinction. Throughout her book, The Sixth Extinction, she has proven with sufficient evidence that we are causing the beginning of a new sixth extinction.

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