Kolbert writes about the Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Australia, and how the increased acidity of the water has been destroying it for the last few decades. In this way, the Great Barrier Reef is a synecdoche (symbol where a part of something represents the whole) for the planet itself, and a symbol for the way that human behavior is destroying the planet’s beauty and complexity.
Great Barrier Reef Quotes in The Sixth Extinction
Thousands—perhaps millions—of species have evolved to rely on coral reefs, either directly for protection or food, or indirectly, to prey on those species that come seeking protection or food. This coevolutionary venture has been under way for many geologic epochs. Researchers now believe it won't last out the Anthropocene.