Decorated Journalist, Author to Speak at Skidmore

Decorated Journalist, Author to Speak at Skidmore

Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

Skidmore will host American journalist and author Elizabeth Kolbert on Tuesday, November 3rd, in Gannett Auditorium, at 7pm. Her lecture, titled We Are the Astroid, will address the ways in which humanity is the catalyst of the next great extinction. The event has been organized by The Center for Leadership, Teaching, & Learning and the Office of the Dean of Special Programs.

Currently a staff writer for The New Yorker, Kolbert has previously written for the New York Times. Kolbert has authored The Prophet of Love, The Arctic, and Field Notes from a Catastrophe. Her most recent work, The Sixth Extinction, has been proclaimed as “an invaluable contribution to our understanding of present circumstances,” by none other than Al Gore, and also received a 2015 Pulitzer Prize. Kolbert’s repertoire is vast and unique; she has interviewed political magnates such as Michael Bloomberg and Hilary Clinton. She has also appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and NPR’s All Things Considered. 

Kolbert writes a quasi-disclaimer in the prologue of The Sixth Extinction, explaining that her goal is “to convey both sides: the excitement of what’s being learned as well as the horror of it. My hope is that readers of this book will come away with an appreciation of the truly extraordinary moment in which we live.” Yet, seeing the excitement of the horrific event that is climate change may be hard for most of us. Even Jon Stewart grappled with this while reading. “Was there a hopeful note? I did not see a hopeful note in the book!”

This lecture greets Skidmore at a pivotal time, as the administration sets out to put into effect “aggressive” sustainability efforts laid out in the Campus Sustainability Plan. The college is on the heels of a lengthy investigation regarding divestment on campus that ultimately was deemed cost ineffective and logistically challenging. Yet progress has been made in recent years- a greenhouse gas emission reduction of over 50% in the last 15 years alone, the instillation of the solar array last fall, and the infusing of sustainability topics in curriculum- to speak to the amount of will within the community to become more sustainable.

Copies of The Sixth Extinction will be offered for purchase after the event, and attendees will have the opportunity to have their books signed by Kolbert.

 

Click here to read an excerpt from The Sixth Extinction. 

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