Jonathan Safran Foer explains the impact of diet on the environment.
Changes in diet may well be one of the most difficult requirements for reducing our carbon footprint. As novelist Jonathan Safran Foer discusses in his new book, We Are the Weather, emissions from livestock pose an enormous danger to the planet. Not only does livestock create methane and other emissions, but land cleared for grazing removes trees and foliage that would usually sequester carbon. A double hit to the environment. Some researchers even suggest that if the world went on a plant-based diet this would quickly and dramatically reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
No doubt this is all daunting to consider. Foer doesn't preach or thunder from on high about the need to eat more plants, and confesses to his lapses as a vegetarian. Indeed, for the most part, We Are the Weather addresses the psychology of inaction and draws parallels with historical examples of looming catastrophes that were ignored.
We Are the Weather is a book of ethical conundrums, a personal quest to find the right way to live. Melancholy reading for sure, sometimes confronting, yet searingly honest about our collective failure to act and what needs to be done.
We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, by Jonathan Safran Foer. Published by Hamish Hamilton. $35
Review by Chris Saliba
North Melbourne Books