Elizabeth Kolbert

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Elizabeth Kolbert

Elizabeth Kolbert (born July 6, 1961) is an American journalist, author, and visiting fellow at Williams College.


  • The definition, I suppose, would be many, many organisms across many, many different groups. And that is, really, what we are seeing and that is what makes scientists fear ... that we're in a mass extinction. ... About a quarter of all mammals are considered endangered. ... About 40 percent of all amphibians are considered endangered. But we're also seeing organisms, invertebrates, for example, are endangered ... many species of reef-building corals are now considered very, very endangered…
  • Looking out your window today, the weather you see doesn’t really tell you what’s going on. The earth is big and complicated — and there’s a big time lag in the system. People need to understand that. You know, many people, many scientists, many journalists keep trying to impress that upon the public. It obviously isn’t working very well, but we keep trying.
  • I think what all nonfiction writers are aiming for is to make people think about things differently — to tell you a story from somewhere that, if you’re vaguely familiar with it, challenges what you think you know about it, or, if it’s a story you’ve never heard before, introduces you to a whole new place or a whole new idea. I’m basically trying to tilt your worldview a little bit.

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