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We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast    by Jonathan Safran Foer order for
We Are the Weather
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals, now searches his own soul and encourages the rest of us to do the same in We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast. In this thought provoking volume, he takes issue with those of us who accept the reality of a human-caused climate calamity, but do little about it.

Foer tells us that there have been five previous mass extinctions on Earth, all but that of the dinosaurs caused by climate change. We are in the sixth. He provides detailed statistics to make the point that fossil fuels are not the greatest contributor to the problem; rather animal agriculture is. Foer encourages simply cutting animal products out for breakfast and lunch - not a big sacrifice at all. 'We must let some eating habits go, or let the planet go.'

He makes clear analogies with the challenges faced in mobilizing the U.S. population to make sacrifices during World War II, for something happening 'over there'. He also emphasizes the fact that nations that have contributed least to the rapidly escalating problems facing us, are the ones that suffer first, and are already feeling the impacts. He explores how to move past 'climate apathy' and emphasizes our responsibility to make changes in our daily lives.

Foer analyses how norms (like that of smoking) change, and the critical mass of social acceptance and advocacy needed for it to happen. He also recalls his own family members who refused to believe the Nazis would be so bad, and stayed to face the Holocaust, rather than taking action that might have saved them.

Anyone concerned with the fate of the planet and future generations should read (or listen to) We Are the Weather, start reducing their consumption of animal products, and prepare for stormy weather ahead.

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