15 Okt We are the Weather
Jonathan Safran Foer
“Saving the planet begins at breakfast” states the subtitle of “We are the Weather”, the latest book of Jonathan Safran Foer. And while we chew on our Sunday brunch, we might initially take a defensive state – Really? Now Foer tells us that even our most favorite Sunday habit is a threat to life? – But stay calm, this book is not about food and eating habits. On the other hand it is also not meant to calm you. So we take that back. In the first part of the book, titled “The Unbelievable”, Foer tells shortly historical turning points and personal stories, which all lead to the suspicion that the human mind is unable to emotionally engage with something that is terrifying by the facts but invisible in every day life and therefor not shaking our emotions. Like the climate crisis. “Our alarm systems are not built for conceptual threats.” Which seems one of the reasons why we know about climate change and the threat it is to human life but are unable to take actions. And even though Foer just concluded that we are somehow immune to the devastating facts, he presents us with them nonetheless – through bullet-point lists. Arranged in small size bites and still far from being easily digestible.
But instead of now presenting us with tools or action plans, what one might expect, to overcome our paralysis, we will read impressions and anecdotes of what means “Home” followed by a inner monologue titled “Dispute with the soul”. And latest now it dawns us. What the hard facts are unable to do, Foer is trying (and succeeds at) – he emotionally shake us.
May that be the wake up call we all needed to finally take the steps necessary to safe our biotope, our home.