We Are The Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer
Okay, I’m just going to say it: the way Jonathan Safran Foer writes has always done something to me. It’s as if the way he structures sentences and phrases his ideas somehow unlocks my brain and takes it in a different direction. I suppose what I’m trying to say, albeit rather ineloquently, is that he takes me on a journey and helps me to understand — but somehow makes me feel like I’m doing it myself.
We Are The Weather is no exception. In this short but gut-wrenchingly punchy piece of non-fiction, Safran Foer is at his absolute best. This time, he’s taking on the rather large matter of climate change. He plays with structure and form, weaving in deeply personal narratives including the last days of his grandmother’s life and his own hypocrisy as someone who espouses the importance of giving up meat (read his previous book Eating Animals) yet who couldn’t stop himself from scoffing down a burger at times, with the bigger picture: the story of our planet and how what we are doing to it will lead to its end.
Most of us know, Safran Foer tells us, but we don’t believe. We understand, but we don’t act. The crisis we are facing is too large to comprehend — and so we take it no further, largely carrying on as we are. The solutions seem too mammoth to be in our control. But we are wrong. And, he tells us, we need to start by looking at what we eat — and changing it. Because, ‘if we don’t demonstrate solidarity through small collective sacrifices, we will not win the war and if we do not win the war, we will lost the childhood home of every human who has ever existed.’ Make one small change — one that starts at breakfast — and we can all help make a sustained impact.
This book is abound with hard hitting evidence and detailed research, though it’s not overwhelming. What it is, above all, is powerful. Indeed, it has been described as life changing and I have absolutely no doubt that what it will do, is make you think. What Safran Foer, amongst many, many others will hope that it will also do, is make you act. Starting with your breakfast.
P.S. Bought this one myself after it was recommended by a much trusted friend @adambenj