Elizabeth Kolbert Famous Quotes & Sayings

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100 Elizabeth Kolbert Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Centuries of centuries and only in the present do things happen. - JORGE LUIS BORGES Centuries of centuries and only in the present do things happen. - JORGE LUIS BORGES
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Most of us live in parts of the world where we don't expect to see Most of us live in parts of the world where we don't expect to see much, and we wouldn't necessarily notice things that are crashing.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Since the Antarctic palms of the Eocene, some fifty million years ago. Since the Antarctic palms of the Eocene, some fifty million years ago.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: When you drive to the grocery store, your intention is not to change the world, When you drive to the grocery store, your intention is not to change the world, it just happens to have that impact. So we've done a lot of things without even realizing it, and yes, just being unusual, as you say, does not put you above, in a sense, any of the other organisms with whom we share this planet.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: To argue that the current extinction event could be averted if people just cared more To argue that the current extinction event could be averted if people just cared more and were willing to make more sacrifices is not wrong, exactly; still, it misses the point. It doesn't much matter whether people care or don't care. What matters is that people change the world. This capacity predates modernity,
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The current extinction has its own novel cause: not an asteroid or a massive volcanic The current extinction has its own novel cause: not an asteroid or a massive volcanic eruption but one weedy species.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: is "the denial of humanity's special status. is "the denial of humanity's special status.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Most of the world's major waterways have been diverted or dammed or otherwise manipulated - Most of the world's major waterways have been diverted or dammed or otherwise manipulated - in the United States, only two per cent of rivers run unimpeded - and people now use half the world's readily accessible freshwater runoff.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Well in the scientific there is virtually no debate over certain things. For example, that Well in the scientific there is virtually no debate over certain things. For example, that we are changing the world. Humans are changing the world very radically, very dramatically. Climate change, which I assume is one of the points you're alluding to, is at the heart of this.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The record from the Vostok core shows that CO2 levels and temperatures have varied in The record from the Vostok core shows that CO2 levels and temperatures have varied in tandem. Current CO2 levels are unprecedented in the last 420,000 years. Credit: J.R. Petit et al, Nature, vol. 399 (1999).
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: have become even more sought-after as a high-end party "drug"; at clubs in southeast Asia, have become even more sought-after as a high-end party "drug"; at clubs in southeast Asia,
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The center of the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of Biodiversity, there's an exhibit The center of the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of Biodiversity, there's an exhibit embedded in the floor. The exhibit is arranged around a central plaque that notes there have been five major extinction events since complex animals evolved, over five hundred million years ago. According to the plaque, "Global climate change and other causes, probably including collisions between earth and extraterrestrial objects," were responsible for these events. It goes on to observe: "Right now we are in the midst of the Sixth Extinction, this time caused solely by humanity's transformation of the ecological landscape.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: As soon as you acknowledge that we're changing the planet on this scale, that it As soon as you acknowledge that we're changing the planet on this scale, that it has very potentially massive repercussions and very damaging repercussions, then the next question is okay, what are we going to do about it?
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: No matter what Donald Trump says, it's clear that global warming is rapidly changing conditions No matter what Donald Trump says, it's clear that global warming is rapidly changing conditions on our planet.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: This is the Mona Lisa of paleontology. This is the Mona Lisa of paleontology.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: powdered horn is snorted like cocaine.) powdered horn is snorted like cocaine.)
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The first view I got of Suci was her prodigious backside. The first view I got of Suci was her prodigious backside.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: As Rachel Carson once observed, referring to a very different but at the same time As Rachel Carson once observed, referring to a very different but at the same time profoundly similar problem: "Time is the essential ingredient, but in the modern world there is no time.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Today, amphibians enjoy the dubious distinction of being the world's most endangered class of animals; Today, amphibians enjoy the dubious distinction of being the world's most endangered class of animals; it's been calculated that the group's extinction rate could be as much as forty-five thousand times higher than the background rate.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: By burning through coal and oil deposits, humans are putting carbon back into the air By burning through coal and oil deposits, humans are putting carbon back into the air that has been sequestered for tens - in most cases hundreds - of millions of years. In the process, we are running geologic history not only in reverse but at warp speed.
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Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: 9Among the many lessons that merge from the geologic record, perhaps the most sobering is 9Among the many lessons that merge from the geologic record, perhaps the most sobering is that in life, as in mutual funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: We can't say that when x happens we get a mass extinction. To the extent We can't say that when x happens we get a mass extinction. To the extent we understand mass extinction, one has been caused by glaciation event, one has been caused by a massive climate change, and one has been caused by an asteroid. These events turn out to have no precedent.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The birds do not like this camera," Sveinsson said. "So they fly over it and The birds do not like this camera," Sveinsson said. "So they fly over it and shit on it.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: At the Biesbosch nature center, I met up with a water-ministry official named Eelke Turkstra. At the Biesbosch nature center, I met up with a water-ministry official named Eelke Turkstra. Turkstra runs a program called Ruimte voor de Rivier (Room for the River), and these days his job consists not in building dikes, but in dismantling them. He explained to me that the Dutch were already seeing more rainfall than they used to. Where once the water ministry had planned on peak flows in the Rhine of no more than fifteen thousand cubic meters per second, recently it had been forced to raise that to sixteen thousand cubic meters per second and was already anticipating having to deal with eighteen thousand cubic meters per second. Rising sea levels, meanwhile, were likely to further compound the problem by impeding the flow of the river to the ocean.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: This thing of venturing out on the ocean where you don't see land. This thing of venturing out on the ocean where you don't see land.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Creep, clobber, squawk. Repeat. Creep, clobber, squawk. Repeat.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the processnof doing.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Number of chimpanzees in the wild has dropped to perhaps half of what it was Number of chimpanzees in the wild has dropped to perhaps half of what it was fifty years ago,
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The Earth is big. There are huge natural forces that have worked over geological time. The Earth is big. There are huge natural forces that have worked over geological time. But it turns out, when you look carefully at the geological time, you can't find anything like us.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Any event that has occurred just five times since the first animal with a backbone Any event that has occurred just five times since the first animal with a backbone appeared, some five hundred million years ago, must qualify as exceedingly rare.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Though it might be nice to imagine there once was a time when man lived Though it might be nice to imagine there once was a time when man lived in harmony with nature, it's not clear that he ever really did.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The 'incredible frog hotel' - really a local bed and breakfast - ... the frogs The 'incredible frog hotel' - really a local bed and breakfast - ... the frogs stay (in their tanks) in a block of rented rooms.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: stored inside of them, in frigid clouds of nitrogen, are cell lines representing nearly a stored inside of them, in frigid clouds of nitrogen, are cell lines representing nearly a thousand species.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: One of the defining features of the Anthropocene is that the world is changing in One of the defining features of the Anthropocene is that the world is changing in ways that compel species to move, and another is that it's changing in ways that create barriers - roads, clear-cuts, cities - that prevent them from doing so.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: According to Lamarck, there was a force - the 'power of life' - that pushed According to Lamarck, there was a force - the 'power of life' - that pushed organisms to become increasingly complex.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: and handjobs on crows. and handjobs on crows.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: It doesn't much matter whether people care or don't care. What matters is that people It doesn't much matter whether people care or don't care. What matters is that people change the world.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Letting things slide is always the easiest thing to do, in parenting no less than Letting things slide is always the easiest thing to do, in parenting no less than in banking, public education, and environmental protection. A lack of discipline is apparent these days in just about every aspect of American society. Why? This should be is a much larger question, one to ponder as we take out the garbage and tie our kids' shoes.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: On our way over to see the bird, On our way over to see the bird,
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Where the kids routinely outscored the apes was in tasks that involved reading social cues. Where the kids routinely outscored the apes was in tasks that involved reading social cues.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Given a shave and a new suit, the pair wrote, a Neanderthal probably would attract Given a shave and a new suit, the pair wrote, a Neanderthal probably would attract no more attention on a New York City subway than some of its other denizens.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: There's this idea of shifting baselines. It was coined by a guy named Jeremy Jackson. There's this idea of shifting baselines. It was coined by a guy named Jeremy Jackson. It's the idea that every generation takes what it sees, and says, "Okay, well, that's the norm."
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: at the time of my visit he still had failed to at the time of my visit he still had failed to
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Other calculations of his show that to keep pace with the present rate of temperature Other calculations of his show that to keep pace with the present rate of temperature change, plants and animals would have to migrate poleward by thirty feet a day, and that a molecule of CO2 generated by burning fossil fuels will, in the course of its lifetime in the atmosphere, trap a hundred thousand times more heat
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: If EVACC is a sort of ark, Griffith becomes its Noah, though one on extended If EVACC is a sort of ark, Griffith becomes its Noah, though one on extended duty, since already he's been at things a good deal longer than forty days.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Then he took me to look at the Maastricht animal, still today one of the Then he took me to look at the Maastricht animal, still today one of the world's most famous fossils. (Though the Netherlands has repeatedly asked for it back, the French have held on to it for more than two hundred years.)
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: It is expected that such an increase will produce an eventual average global temperature rise It is expected that such an increase will produce an eventual average global temperature rise of between three and a half and seven degrees Fahrenheit,
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Useful mnemonic for remembering the geologic periods of the last half-billion years is: Camels Often Useful mnemonic for remembering the geologic periods of the last half-billion years is: Camels Often Sit Down Carefully, Perhaps Their Joints Creak (Cambrian-Ordovician-Silurian-Devonian-Carboniferous-Permian-Triassic-Jurassic-Cretaceous). The mnemonic unfortunately runs out before the most recent periods: the Paleogene, the Neogene, and the current Quaternary.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Assuming that humans continue to burn fossil fuels, the oceans will continue to absorb carbon Assuming that humans continue to burn fossil fuels, the oceans will continue to absorb carbon dioxide and will become increasingly acidified.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: What are the Chinese doing, what are we doing, what are - so we need, What are the Chinese doing, what are we doing, what are - so we need, both the developed world and the developing world, really need to be moving, once again, getting all your arrows in the same direction if you want to have any impact.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: By a pair of herpetologists. It was titled Are We in the Midst of the By a pair of herpetologists. It was titled Are We in the Midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction?
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Parents want their kids' approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for Parents want their kids' approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for their parents' approval.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: We're seeing right now that a mass extinction can be caused by human beings. We're seeing right now that a mass extinction can be caused by human beings.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Basically, if you were a triceratops in Alberta, you had about two minutes before you Basically, if you were a triceratops in Alberta, you had about two minutes before you got vaporized is how one geologist put it to me.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Another expert, David Jablonski, characterizes mass extinctions as "substantial biodiversity losses" that occur rapidly and Another expert, David Jablonski, characterizes mass extinctions as "substantial biodiversity losses" that occur rapidly and are "global in extent.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: With the exception of humans, all the great apes today are facing oblivion. With the exception of humans, all the great apes today are facing oblivion.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: we're willing to perform ultrasounds on rhinos we're willing to perform ultrasounds on rhinos
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Ninety percent of all species on earth had been eliminated. Ninety percent of all species on earth had been eliminated.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Ocean acidification played a role in at least two of the Big Five extinctions (the Ocean acidification played a role in at least two of the Big Five extinctions (the end-Permian and the end-Triassic) and quite possibly it was a major factor in a third (the end-Cretaceous). There
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Neanderthals were pretty smart, and if we actively killed them off, then probably we did Neanderthals were pretty smart, and if we actively killed them off, then probably we did so in the same way that humans kill each other.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Once unloaded, everything has to be lugged through Once unloaded, everything has to be lugged through
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The planet has undergone change so wrenching that the diversity of life has plummeted. Five The planet has undergone change so wrenching that the diversity of life has plummeted. Five of these ancient events were catastrophic enough that they're put in their own category: the so-called Big Five. In what seems like a fantastic coincidence, but is probably no coincidence at all, the history of these events is recovered just as people come to realize that they are causing another one.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Under business as usual, by mid-century things are looking rather grim," he told me a Under business as usual, by mid-century things are looking rather grim," he told me a few hours after I had arrived at One Tree. We were sitting at a beat-up picnic table, looking out over the heartbreaking blue of the Coral Sea. The island's large and boisterous population of terns was screaming in the background. Caldeira paused: "I mean, they're looking grim already.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Several decades ago, a detachment of the American right cut itself loose from reason, and Several decades ago, a detachment of the American right cut itself loose from reason, and it has been drifting along happily ever since. If the birthers are more evidently kooky than the global-warming 'skeptics' or the death-panellers or the supply-siders or the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, they are, in their fundamental disregard for the facts, actually mainstream.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: It was titled "Helping a Species Go Extinct. It was titled "Helping a Species Go Extinct.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: For a long time, science has gone in the direction of sort of putting people For a long time, science has gone in the direction of sort of putting people in their place. We learned that the sun doesn't revolve around the Earth, the Earth revolves around the sun; we learned that we're just another species, evolved, like all other species, so we're just another animal, really.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: T. Rex and the Crater of Doom, shows an angry-looking tyrannosaurus reacting with horror to T. Rex and the Crater of Doom, shows an angry-looking tyrannosaurus reacting with horror to the impact.)
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: (The desolate post-impact sea has been dubbed the "Strangelove ocean.") (The desolate post-impact sea has been dubbed the "Strangelove ocean.")
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: An amount that's been increasing by as much as six percent annually. An amount that's been increasing by as much as six percent annually.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Erwin estimated that the tropics were home to as many as thirty million species of Erwin estimated that the tropics were home to as many as thirty million species of arthropods.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: By transporting Asian species to North America, and North American species to Australia, and Australian By transporting Asian species to North America, and North American species to Australia, and Australian species to Africa, and European species to Antarctica, we are, in effect, reassembling the world into one enormous supercontinent - what biologists sometimes refer to as the New Pangaea.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: As best as can be determined, the world is now warmer than it has been As best as can be determined, the world is now warmer than it has been at any point in the last two millennia, and, if current trends continue, by the end of the century it will likely be hotter than at any point in the last two million years.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: If in your lifetime you watch a species go extinct, or plummet almost to the If in your lifetime you watch a species go extinct, or plummet almost to the point of extinction, that is a sign that something really serious is going on.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: If there's been epidemic extinction and ecospace opens up, rats may be best placed to If there's been epidemic extinction and ecospace opens up, rats may be best placed to take advantage of that.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Somewhere in our DNA must lie the key mutation (or, more probably, mutations) that set Somewhere in our DNA must lie the key mutation (or, more probably, mutations) that set us apart - the mutations that make us the sort of creature that could wipe out its nearest relative, then dig up its bones and reassemble its genome.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: One of the many unintended consequences of the Anthropocene has been the pruning of our One of the many unintended consequences of the Anthropocene has been the pruning of our own family tree. Having cut down our sister species - the Neanderthals and the Denisovans - many generations ago, we're now working on our first and second cousins. By the time we're done, it's quite possible that there will be among the great apes not a single representative left, except, that is, for us.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The retreat of the Arctic sea ice, the warming of the oceans, the rapid shrinking The retreat of the Arctic sea ice, the warming of the oceans, the rapid shrinking of the glaciers, the redistribution of species, the thawing of the permafrost - these are all new phenomena. It is only in the last five or ten years that global warming has finally emerged from the background "noise" of climate variability. And even so, the changes that can be seen lag behind the changes that have been set in motion. The warming that has been observed so far is probably only about half the amount required to bring the planet back into energy balance. This means that even if carbon dioxide were to remain stable at today's levels, temperatures would still continue to rise, glaciers to melt, and weather patterns to change for decades to come.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Lyell became something of a celebrity - the Steven Pinker of his generation - and Lyell became something of a celebrity - the Steven Pinker of his generation - and
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Durrant stopped off at a commissary of sorts to pick up a selection of his Durrant stopped off at a commissary of sorts to pick up a selection of his favorite snacks.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: How to perform an ultrasound with one arm up a rhino's rectum. How to perform an ultrasound with one arm up a rhino's rectum.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: If climate change drove the megafauna extinct, then this presents yet another reason to worry If climate change drove the megafauna extinct, then this presents yet another reason to worry about what we are doing to global temperatures. If, on the other hand, people were to blame - and it seems increasingly likely that they were - then the import is almost more disturbing. It would mean that the current extinction event began all the way back in the middle of the last ice age. It would mean that man was a killer - to use the term of art an "overkiller" - pretty much right from the start.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Marine ecosystems effectively collapsed, Marine ecosystems effectively collapsed,
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: (Female African clawed frogs, when injected with the urine of a pregnant woman, lay eggs (Female African clawed frogs, when injected with the urine of a pregnant woman, lay eggs within a few hours.)
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: The whole new layer on top of what I was thinking about in the nineteen-seventies The whole new layer on top of what I was thinking about in the nineteen-seventies is climate change," Lovejoy told me. He has written that "in the face of climatic change, even natural climatic change, human activity has created an obstacle course for the dispersal of biodiversity," the result of which could be "one of the greatest biotic crises of all time.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: After the initial heat pulse, the world experienced a multiseason "impact winter. After the initial heat pulse, the world experienced a multiseason "impact winter.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Beginnings, it's said, are apt to be shadowy. So it is with this story, which Beginnings, it's said, are apt to be shadowy. So it is with this story, which starts with the emergence of a new species maybe two hundred thousand years ago.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Increasingly developing countries are asking for aid to help deal with the consequences of climate Increasingly developing countries are asking for aid to help deal with the consequences of climate change, which we don't want to give.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Eating Animals closes with a turkey-less Thanksgiving. As a holiday, it doesn't sound like a Eating Animals closes with a turkey-less Thanksgiving. As a holiday, it doesn't sound like a lot of fun. But this is Foer's point. We are, he suggests, defined not just by what we do; we are defined by what we are willing to do without. Vegetarianism requires the renunciation of real and irreplaceable pleasures. To Foer's credit, he is not embarrassed to ask this of us.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: vaccinated every single condor - today there about four hundred vaccinated every single condor - today there about four hundred
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: One of the reasons that people, many people, many environmentalists are critical of President [Barack] One of the reasons that people, many people, many environmentalists are critical of President [Barack] Obama's policies towards global warming is on the one hand he says the right things and he says he's committed to trying to reduce our current emissions.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: (One of Crutzen's fellow Nobelists reportedly came home from his lab one night and told (One of Crutzen's fellow Nobelists reportedly came home from his lab one night and told his wife,
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: By the end of this century, CO2 levels could reach a level not seen By the end of this century, CO2 levels could reach a level not seen
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: As with any young species, this one's position is precarious. As with any young species, this one's position is precarious.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: I traveled really to amazing places. I went to the Great Barrier Reef, I went I traveled really to amazing places. I went to the Great Barrier Reef, I went to the Amazon, I went to the Andes, to try to bring people stories of sort of what's going on out in the world and bring this issue alive, in a way, and put it out there.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: It seems that the Neanderthal DNA that modern Europeans and Asians (and also Native Americans It seems that the Neanderthal DNA that modern Europeans and Asians (and also Native Americans and basically all non-African people) are carrying around is random. This means there are different bits and pieces in different populations, but it doesn't seem to amount to much that's significant.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Some of these species that are now no longer with us were killed off by Some of these species that are now no longer with us were killed off by a fungal disease that was moved around the planet by people.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: There are a lot of things that we could do to minimize what we're doing, There are a lot of things that we could do to minimize what we're doing, but we're not getting back those frogs that I saw that no longer exist.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: Such is the economy of nature," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "that no instance can be produced, Such is the economy of nature," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "that no instance can be produced, of her having permitted any one race of her animals to become extinct; of her having formed any link in her great work so weak as to be broken." When, as President, he dispatched Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to the Northwest, Jefferson hoped that they would come upon live mastodons roaming the region.
Elizabeth Kolbert Sayings: You're an animal that needs to move across the landscape, you can't anymore, and that's You're an animal that needs to move across the landscape, you can't anymore, and that's another way we're just changing the surface of the Earth in very dramatic ways.