week 2: recap of research topic

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The Sixth Extinction is a feature of the Anthropocene, and has the potential to be the most devastating mass extinction in the history of the planet. Elizabeth Kolbert describes the mechanisms of extinction in her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Kolbert uses examples from past extinctions and the present day to demonstrate the following mechanisms of extinction: invasive species, catastrophe, glaciation, ocean acidification, patch dynamic, habit fragmentation. From Kolbert and other sources, there is much debate on how to think about the sixth extinction and what the implications are. Some focus on a class divide and the greed of the 1%, while others embrace the notion that we are being faced with an existential, philosophical questions of what it means to be a human in the face of global collapse. These views focus more on the anthropocene as a whole, and there is a sense of glazing over the sixth extinction as a separate, relevant and vital topic in political, journalistic and non-environmental discourse. The following are a list of narratives, thoughts and concepts I have come across in my brief research of the Sixth Extinction:

  • Biodiversity hot spots, Golden spikes
  • Tourism
  • Cloning
  • GMO crops/animals
  • Biodiversity – connected web of the world
  • Diet
  • Man + Climate
  • Common theme for extinction: massive increase in CO2
  • Reversing geological history
  • Time
  • Land – Ocean relationship
  • Priorities – cant single out one to fix planet – fight on all fronts
  • Livestock
  • Folk medicine
  • Humanity – in DNA to take care of future generations
  • CO2, methane camera filter – can you get goggles for CO2?
  • Generations
  • Micro/macro perspectives – scale – phytoplankton to apex predators
  • Mechanisms of extinction
  • Mechanism of extinction : biodiversity of planet
  • How are we doing?
  • How much do people understand what is happening?
  • Humanity view of part of nature vs separate from nature
  • Runaway affect – methane
  • Economic
  • Mass extinction – life everywhere fails
  • Context of mass extinction: planet history, human history, recent history
  • Why people continue – way of life, denial, situational
  • World is losing its magic
  • Hope vs apathy
  • Phase out – small species that become lost efforts of saving from extinction
  • Role of saving species from extinction? Supporting species while we get our act together?
  • Role of conservation
  • Purpose of lessening/preventing 6th extinction?
  • Move environment w/bottom line
  • Art – conveying message – obscura digital
  • Reaching people outside of environmentalist community –
  • Politics
  • Social acceptability
  • Visual world
  • Obscura digital
  • We can adapt faster than animals as omnivores with our super predator status
  • Urbanization
  • “better to light one candle than curse the darkness”
  • Natural backround rate of extinction vs Mass extinction rate
  • Extinct species role in ecosystem
  • Loss of environmental services
  • Rebirth following extinction
  • War : Climate Change
  • Anthropogenic soil
  • Science Fiction
week 2: recap of research topic

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