18 November 2009

18 Days - This is Really Going to Hurt a Lot of People

Not sure why I didn't think of this sooner (perhaps because I drink neither wine nor coffee), but global climate change is really going to "hurt" a lot of the people who are currently totally oblivious to the emergency.

That's because it's already impacting coffee growers and wine producers. (My compassion today is towards these growers and producers, not, I must admit, towards the coffee and wine drinkers.)

According to an August 2009 article in
SciDev (the Science and Development Network website), coffee is the most valuable tropical agricultural export in the world — and it's already impacted because of rising temperatures, and droughts interspersed with heavy rain.

This is bad news because coffee grows well "within a limited climatic range."
"As temperatures rise, so will coffee — to higher altitudes and latitudes. But space is limited and there will be competition with other crops. Coffee farmers will experience climate change through greater unpredictability, with more droughts and floods — the last thing any farmer wants."
The article (please read it) is fascinating in its breadth and its understanding of the interconnectedness of all things climatic and agricultural and economic:
"As the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman put it, globalisation is where everything is connected and nobody is in charge. And that highlights the weakness in the neoliberal agenda — global problems such as climate change cannot be solved by the invisible hand of the market."
So, adults around the world will have to pay more — and then perhaps give up completely — their morning drug of choice [I will leave out my editorial comment on the hypocrisy of a generation that talks of needing their morning fix while telling kids to just say no to drugs]. And, it turns out, they're might be losing out on their evening drug of choice, as well.

Wine growers from around the world met in Spain recently and global warming emerged as the industry's top concern on their agenda. Check out Winemakers Face Climate Change with Dread at Grist.

Yikes, imagine what a grouchy world this will be with no coffee and no wine. That's got to be reason enough for laggards to get on board and start demanding urgent action on the climate change emergency from their governments and other leaders.

Yo, you beer drinkers, don't get smug. The price of your beer is going to rise while its quality falls because rising temperatures and other climate changes are impacting the quality of hops. With global climate change, fun just ain't going to be as much fun as it used to be.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?