Your Daily Cup of Joe at Risk due to Climate Change
Could climate change take this away?
By Elli Bell, Michigan Energy Program Intern
Like me, millions of Americans enjoy a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, but climate change is putting this comforting daily ritual at risk. Clean Water Action celebrated National Coffee Day on September 28, to raise awareness in Lansing about the very real impact of climate change on coffee production.
Premium coffee crops in places all over the world like Ethiopia, India, and Costa Rica are threatened by abnormal weather patterns associated with global warming. To produce the best beans, coffee plants need a climate with a narrow temperature range; the extremes in temperatures associated with climate change are putting these crops in jeopardy. Further, climate shifts are causing heavier rains, longer periods of drought, and higher rates of insect infestation where coffee is grown — factors that could have a devastating effect on future coffee production. Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of sustainability, went so far as to say that increasingly hostile conditions for coffee beans, like their mainstay Arabica bean, are pushing coffee to the point of extinction.
This comes in the midst of one of Michigan’s worst fruit harvests since the dustbowl. Ninety percent of Michigan’s apple and cherry crops this year were lost due to unusually warm temperatures in early March, followed by a frost and summer drought. The effects of climate change are already interrupting Michiganders favorite fall rituals and now they are discovering coffee is at risk as well.
So, if you are looking for a way that climate change affects every day Americans like you, and why our leaders need to address it, look no further than the cup of coffee you’re sipping as you read this.
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Posted on October 15, 2012 | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy | 1 Comment