Feb 11, 2014 (All Things Considered) — There have been five major mass extinctions over the last half-billion years, when the diversity of life on Earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists are currently monitoring an era of mass extinction predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. But this time around, says Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction, it's humans that are causing it.
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