NATIONAL BESTSELLER â€˘ The Pulitzer Prizeâ€“winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanityâ€™s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it?
5 ideas for summer readingâ€”Bill Gates, GatesNotes â€˘ â€śImportant, necessary, urgent and phenomenally interesting.â€ťâ€”Helen Macdonald, The New York Times
That man should have dominion â€śover all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earthâ€ť is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that itâ€™s said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.
In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the worldâ€™s rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a â€śsuper coralâ€ť that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth.
One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. In The Sixth Extinction, she explored the ways in which our capacity for destruction has reshaped the natural world. Now she examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.