Coffee Extinction

Dec 012011
Authors: Amy McDaniel

Can you imagine the world without coffee?

According to an October report on Good Morning America, we just might live to see the day our beloved java no longer exists.

The threat of global warming has now reached a new peak for those of us who look forward to our daily coffee and depend on its natural stimulus to power us through early mornings and late nights.

“Heavy rain, long droughts and insect infestations linked to climate change threaten the future of your morning Joe,” the Good Morning America reporter said.

Starbucks and other coffee merchants are fully aware of the possibility of coffee extinction and political figures and citizens alike are being urged to do what they can to save coffee before it is too late.

Policy changes and decreasing carbon footprints to hinder global warming are essential to maintaining coffee bean growth. Coffee grows in distinct climate zones and as the Union of Concerned Scientists explains, “A temperature rise of even half a degree can make a big difference.”

It looks as though in as little as a few decades we may be saying sayonara to the Arabica beans used to brew the morning drink of choice for over 150 million Americans each day*. The loss of this commodity would not only be a blow to coffee addicts in countries like the U.S., Canada and Brazil but also to the developing countries in which coffee production is a huge industry and essential source of income.

What can be done about this issue? More than half the world population enjoys the benefits of the coffee industry, so surely there should be enough people willing to learn about climate change prevention to prolong the growth of coffee beans, if not to protect the earth as a whole. The issue is a serious one and can serve as a warning to everyone about the dangers of climate change.

All too often we seem to take for granted the things we enjoy in life. Many coffee drinkers claim they “can’t function” until they’ve had their first cup of the day. So what’s going to happen when they are suddenly forced to either switch to tea or endure caffeine withdrawals?

Some people told Good Morning America that should coffee disappear in the near future, it would mean a world they don’t want to live in. To these individuals, the value of every sip has skyrocketed.

If a precious commodity like coffee that many of us “can’t live without” is in danger of extinction due to climate change, I shudder to think what could be next.

*National Coffee Association survey

 Posted by at 4:21 am

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