We Are the Weather - Jonathan Safran Foer

Staff Pick

“It is … tragically difficult to talk about the planetary crisis in a way that is believed,” Foer states. His own effort ranges from a blunt catalog of statistics and a confession of his own failures to act, to a dramatic debate with his soul and a recontextualizing of the crisis as a post-Biblical event, one in which “we are the flood and we are the ark.” His most powerful move is to compare the climate crisis to World War II. He reminds us that during that conflict civilians at home hung blackout curtains, ate less meat, and drove slower. They made these “sacrifices” willingly: it was part of the collective effort in a time of crisis. But also during that period, when the first stories of the Holocaust surfaced, they were so horrific that they were simply unbelievable. No one acted right away. How many lives did that delay cost? Today, though we watch glaciers melting and experience extreme storms, we don’t really believe that it’s a crisis. What will it take to get us to act? While we need to do a lot to keep the planet habitable, Foer makes a compelling case for diet as the first, relatively “easy” place to start. Because animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation and contributes an outsize amount to greenhouse gas emissions, if every American cut back on meat by 90% and dairy by 60%, we could begin to get things under control. Foer, a repeatedly lapsing vegan, admits how difficult this is. He also reminds us that it’s one of the easier of the many sacrifices we will all be making soon, voluntarily or not.

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374280000
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 17th, 2019

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