I was rummaging through the stuff I've kept these many years when I ran across the October, 1998 issue of Harpers Magazine, which contains an article called Planet Of Weeds (pdf) by David Quammen. As I was re-reading it, I remembered how much Quammen's piece influenced me at the time. In the 1990's I was reading a lot of stuff on the history of life on Earth, including mass extinctions (paleontology).
There is a mass extinction under way, humans are causing it, it is centered in the oceans, and it is happening incredibly rapidly on the geological time-scale.
So long before Elizabeth Kolbert started working on her new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, I could have written it. Years ago I gave up on the idea that people (generally speaking) would pay any attention to the well-informed warnings I was issuing, but I also knew a few people would get the message. And a few people did. I don't expect Kolbert will fare any better than I have.
In the New Yorker podcast below Kolbert talks about her forthcoming book.
It's worth listening to, and I recommend that you listen all the way to the end. At the beginning, you will have to put up with a brief segment in which Calvin Trillin talks about preparing and eating hot tamales.
That's a nice summary of the Human Condition, isn't it?