We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Written by Jonathan Safran Foer

OPL BOOK SUMMARY:  We Are the Weather comes at you like crashing waves of tough facts. At the same time, it is deeply personal. This powerful combination lingers with you and changes you – for the better. Jonathan explores in a personal manner the climate crisis as a crisis of belief — a crisis to believe enough to act. As Jonathan points out, “We are disproportionately drawn to immediate and local needs – we crave fats and sugars (which are bad for people…); we hyper-vigilantly watch our children in jungle gyms (despite the many greater risks to either health that we ignore like overfeeding them fats and sugars).” Jonathan asks himself and us:  When will you make the turn?  When will you say, “ I have to do something?”

Jonathan’s book is “an argument for a collective act to eat differently – specifically, no animal products before dinner.” That is a difficult argument to make, both because the topic is fraught and because of the sacrifice involved. Jonathan keeps it real. He spent three years researching factory farming, wrote a book called Eating Animals, and toured making the case that factory-farmed meat should not be eaten. Jonathan was not perfect during these couple of years. He had a burger from time to time for comfort. Anyone growing up on meat can understand the challenge.

We all need to acknowledge the challenges if we are to move forward. Jonathan confronts himself in a soulful chapter. He banters with his soul in a humbling and insightful manner. None of us is perfect, but we can make a difference.

It is a way that individuals collectively can make a difference. “Changing the way we eat is simple compared to converting the world’s power grid, overcoming the influence of powerful lobbyists to pass carbon-tax legislation, or ratifying a significant international treaty on greenhouse gas emissions – but it isn’t simple.”

He shares how he has difficulty squaring his gratitude for living with behavior that suggests indifference. Let us all look forward to the day when facing ourselves in the mirror; we can say that is when I decided to make changes.

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