LOS ANGELES, CA - Will the threat of losing our morning cups of coffee finally be enough to motivate us to stop climate change?
Good coffee beans, which are tricky to grow, do best in tropical climates. But experts say those areas will be hit first and hit the hardest by extreme temperature changes, which can create unpredictable conditions from heavy rains to droughts.
According to a report from The Climate Institute, commissioned by Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, by the year 2050, climate change could cut the areas suitable for growing coffee by 50%. Worldwide, we drink 2.5 billion cups a day and, as it is, production can barely keep up. With increasing demand and the coffee supply cut in half, we'll all be paying big bucks for worse coffee.
What can be done to save the crops? Farmers can plant trees to protect their crops from storms. They can also use varieties of beans that are resistant to a fungus which thrives in warm weather. And of course governments and companies will have to commit to stopping climate change.
If we can finally get the Giant Panda off the endangered species list, surely we can still save coffee. Yes, videos of Pandas help fuel our workdays, but there's really no substitute for coffee.