And now, put down your coffee and brace yourselves. Your thirst for caffeine will now suffer from, you guessed it, global warming.
Profits of high-end coffee chains like Starbucks and Green Mountain have been eroded. Coffee futures of Arabica, the high-end bean that comes predominantly from Latin America, have risen more than 85 percent since last June, to $2.95 a pound, partly over concerns about supply, extreme weather and future quality, said George Kopp, an analyst at the International Futures Group in Chicago.By the way, if you're not buying this global warming nonsense, it's because your brain is functioning irrationally.
Yet as stockpiles of some of the best coffee beans shrink, global demand is soaring as the rising middle classes of emerging economies like Brazil, India and China develop the coffee habit.
“Coffee production is under threat from global warming, and the outlook for Arabica in particular is not good,” said Peter Baker, a coffee specialist with CABI, a research group in Britain that focuses on agriculture and the environment, noting that climate changes, including heavy rains and droughts, have harmed crops across many parts of Central and South America.
A top coffee scientist, he has rattled trade forums by warning, Cassandra-like, of the possibility of “peak coffee,” meaning that, like oil supplies, coffee supplies might be headed for an inexorable decline unless growers make more concerted efforts to expand production globally.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America warned this year, “It is not too far-fetched to begin questioning the very existence of specialty coffee.”
What's the answer for environmentalists? Change the message and frame the issue in a way that doesn't trigger unconscious opposition among so many Americans. That can be a simple as using the right labels: a recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan found that Republicans are less skeptical of "climate change" than "global warming," possibly because climate change sounds less specific. Possibly too because so broad a term includes the severe snowfalls of the past winter that can be a paradoxical result of a generally warmer world. Greens should also pin their message on subjects that are less controversial, like public health or national security. Instead of issuing dire warnings about an apocalyptic future — which seems to make many Americans stop listening — better to talk about the present generation's responsibility to the future, to bequeath their children and grandchildren a safer and healthy planet.Gee, the nonstop gloom and doom scenarios have people tuning out? Crazy how that is. Maybe if even a single dire prediction had ever come true people might listen to the scaremongers.