Chocolate: A report out last month from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) found that just a 2 degree Celsius increase in temperature could significantly reduce land suitable for growing cocoa in the regions of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire where about half of the world’s cocoa is produced. The impacts could be devastating for local farmers and the $9 billion chocolate industry.Peter Gleick wrote an elegant appeal to climate skeptics on behalf of chocolate lovers. Definitely worth a read.
Peanut butter: The drought and heat that the South experienced this summer have contributed to a 13 percent decline in the peanut harvest. Price jumps of 20-30 percent are expected for peanut butter in the coming weeks! Thanks to my colleague Miles Grant for flagging the climate-change-extreme-weather-peanut-butter connection.
Bread: During the last 18 months, we saw the consequences of bread shortages play out on the world stage. Christian Parenti shows how the record-setting heat, drought, and wildfires in Russia and the record-setting floods in Australia conspired to cause wheat shortages, that in turn led to the unrest in the Middle East.
Wine: Grapes require specific climate conditions to ripen in ways best suitable for fine wine. As these microclimates shift, places that known for excellent grapes may no longer have the right conditions. This issue is of such importance to the wine industry that they hold entire conferences on it!
Coffee: Like chocolate, coffee plants prefer a narrow range of climate conditions. Starbucks and the Union for Concerned Scientists have been raising the alarm bells that climate change is threatening coffee crops. Extremely heavy rainfall events and warming conditions have already affected coffee yields in several nations.
Before the rest of the world freaks out I should admit outright that I hate coffee. It’s bitter and caffeine makes me shake and not sleep. I hate the stuff, except when it is smothered in sugar, whipped cream, and carmel (and it’s decaf). The only coffee I will even get…
It’s an age old question, when it comes time to check out when grocery shopping: paper bag or plastic bag? It seems like it should be an easy choice, but there’s an incredible number of details and inputs hidden in each bag. From durability and reusability to life cycle costs, there’s a lot more to each bag than meet the eye. Let’s take a look behind the bags.