The history of life on Earth has been described as long periods of boredom interrupted occasionally by panic. In her talk, “The Fate of the Earth,” Elizabeth Kolbert discussed the current biodiversity crisis in the context of the great mass extinctions of the past. Why do humans pose such a threat to the other species on the planet and what can be done to contain this threat? Elizabeth Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History,” is a book about mass extinctions that weaves intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field began as an article in The New Yorker. It was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year, is number one on the Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of all time, and won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in the General Nonfiction category. A 10th Anniversary Edition with a new epilogue will be published in spring, 2024. Her most recent book, “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future,” is about humanity’s harmful impact on the environment and ideas to rectify that harm. This national bestseller was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, Time, Esquire, Smithsonian Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal, and recommended by Barack Obama and Bill Gates. Kolbert has received numerous awards and honors and has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Mother Jones, and have been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Political Writing.