Elizabeth Kolbert Visits Larchmont to Discuss Effects of Global Warming

New York Times Best-Selling author Elizabeth Kolbert visited the Larchmont Public Library on May 3rd to read from her newest book, “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” as well as talk about the devastating effects of global warming.

Elizabeth Kolbert, a Larchmont native is both an author and a staff writer for The New Yorker as an observer and commentator on environmentalism. Her newest book, “The Sixth Extinction” covers past extinctions while demonstrating that the earth is now in the midst of a “sixth extinction” due to harmful environmental issues.

Before the reading, refreshments were served while Kolbert signed and handed copies of her new book to eager readers. The line quickly circled around the room as many waited to greet Kolbert. Numerous attendees shared stories with Kolbert, some dating back to her days while living in Larchmont.

“I always appreciate when she’s in town,"Dave Thomas said. “It’s great to hear her drop some knowledge on such a speculative situation – especially on a local level.”

The event began with Kolbert presenting a brief slideshow to the audience regarding the origin of speculation concerning global warming. Her slideshow then continued on to discuss previous extinctions and their causes – linking the environmental behavior of today as the tentative cause of the newest or “sixth” extinction.

“This may be the last century we see large animals in the wild,” Kolbert said. “When you take any creature out of the ecosystem, there is some harm that isn’t called attention to.”

Following the slideshow presentation, Kolbert read brief passages from several chapters of the book. In between reads, she expanded on various topics with evidence from various ecologists as well as sharing some experiences she’s witnessed herself.

Following the reading, Kolbert welcomed questions regarding the topic of global warming from the audience. Many questioned the divide amongst individuals on whether the issue of global warming is in fact an issue that requires attention.

“We’re not the worst part of the problem," Kolbert said. “It’s increasingly clear that people are living in their own world – it’s sort of split in half.”

A young member of the audience presented an interesting yet alarming question regarding this generation of young adults and their lack of interest – or knowledge, of global warming. Along with the young girl, Kolbert is indeed worried as well.

“I only worry because not only will younger generations inherit this problem, but what is it exactly are they paying attention to?” Kolbert said. “Maybe one day this book will reach college campuses so students can be informed of this problem.”

Kolbert was welcomed with open arms by all that attended. Many celebrated her visit back to Larchmont with friendly conversation and numerous warm hugs. Kolbert needed no thanks for shedding some light on this stark issue, praise from the audience was simply enough.

“There was no turning point for me in terms of my interest in this problem,” Kolbert said. “I started reporting on it to someday settle this issue and tell that story.”


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