We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Jonathan Safran Foer. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-374-28000-0

In an unconventional but persuasive manner, novelist Foer (Here I Am) explains why taking meaningful action to mitigate climate change is both incredibly simple and terribly difficult. Writing from an intensely personal perspective, he describes the difference between understanding and believing, making clear that only the latter can motivate meaningful action. He argues that the dichotomy between those who accept the science of climate change and those who don’t is “trivial,” because “the only dichotomy that matters is between those who act and those who don’t.” Foer makes the case that animal agriculture is the dominant cause of climate change, concluding that “we must either let some eating habits go or let the planet go. It is as straightforward and as fraught as that.” While he calls for everyone not to eat animal products before dinner (at the very least), he is not shy about discussing his own hypocrisy, disclosing his lapses back into meat-eating after writing a book-length treatise against it (2009’s Eating Animals). Foer’s message is both moving and painful, depressing and optimistic, and it will force readers to rethink their commitment to combating “the greatest crisis humankind has ever faced.” (Sept.)
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