WE ARE THE WEATHER by Jonathan Safran Foer

From the Jacket

Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity.  But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know.  Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response?

In WE ARE THE WEATHER, Jonathan Safran Foer explores the central global dilemma of our time in a surprising, deeply personal, and urgent new way.  The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves—with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future.  We have, he reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic.  Only collective action will save our home and way of life.  And it all starts with what we eat—and don’t eat—for breakfast.

My Thoughts

WE ARE THE WEATHER is not your typical environmental science read.  As a novelist, Foer writes with somewhat more flowery prose than you might expect out of a nonfiction book on climate change.  For me, it was the perfect mix between scientific fact and personal anecdote; using memoir-like techniques, Foer introduces topics through his personal experiences.

“Choosing to eat fewer animal products is probably the most important action an individual can take to reverse global warming—it has a known and significant effect on the environment, and, done collectively, would push the culture and the marketplace with more force than any march.”

The beginning of the book pulled me in completely; WE ARE THE WEATHER is not quite what I was expecting, so I was curious to see what path the book would take.  It is incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully written.  Foer’s honesty was a breath of fresh air; instead of preaching down to his audience, Foer was hard on himself and scrutinized his daily choices, which made it easier to read as a person facing the same tough choices.  I hate reading nonfiction in which the author looks down on his readers, but Foer writes like he is “one of us,” and his humility was ultimately refreshing.

“We believe that the environmental crisis is caused by large outside forces and therefore can be solved only by large outside forces. But recognizing that we are responsible for the problem is the beginning of taking responsibility for the solution.”

Rather than being an informational book meant to educate its audience on climate change, WE ARE THE WEATHER is a persuasive piece on decision making and animal agriculture’s effects on the planet.  Foer not only discusses mob mentality and the psychology behind making tough choices, but he also writes about his personal struggle with eating meat while convincing others (and himself) to avoid eating any animal products before dinner.  Written with stunning language and even more stunning facts, WE ARE THE WEATHER will (hopefully) change the way you approach climate change.

4 Comments

  1. Karissa

    I’m glad to hear he approaches it from a “one of us” perspective because that’s one thing that was holding me back. I know I can do better but I also don’t want to be lectured by a book, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

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