How Climate Change Is Threatening Your Daily Cup of Coffee

Perhaps this will finally get your attention. In Ethiopia, global warming is putting the cultivation of coffee at risk, to the point where the indigenous Ethiopian coffee plant, Coffea arabica, could go extinct within 70 years. That’s no laughing matter, especially if you consider that coffee originated in Ethiopia, and the country remains an epicenter of coffee production today. That’s the depressing … and perhaps motivating … upshot of an otherwise artfully-produced film by The Royal Botanic Gardens (aka Kew Gardens) in England.  If you want to dig into the research showing the impact of climate change on coffee, see the report published in November, 2012 called: The Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Arabica Coffee (Coffea arabica): Predicting Future Trends and Identifying Priorities.

Related Content:

Global Warming: A Free Course from UChicago Explains Climate Change

132 Years of Global Warming Visualized in 26 Dramatically Animated Seconds

Black Coffee: Documentary Covers the History, Politics & Economics of the “Most Widely Taken Legal Drug”

The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World

This is Coffee!: A 1961 Tribute to Our Favorite Stimulant

Newly added to our list of 750 Free Online Courses:

Introduction to Literature and the Environment – YouTube – iTunes Video – Ken Hiltner, Princeton

How Climate Works – YouTube – iTunes Video – Multiple Profs, Princeton


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Comments (7)
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  • vanderleun says:

    I’m confused. Are you letting the interns or the kindergarteners post “science” items on weekends? Either way, take the keys back.

  • eric oberle says:

    Instead of just handing out insults, perhaps you could explain what you think is unscientific about the piece. Or is it that you just don’t like discussions about environmental issues for some ideological reason? I see no harm in encouraging people to relate to these scientific issues in ways that touch their lives. But if you see a harm, please, enlighten us.

  • Philip Jackson says:

    “Perhaps this will finally get your attention.”

    You sound like a broken record.


  • craig smith says:

    Yeah, and the Sahara was green once.

  • Margaret Rose STRINGER says:

    I am vindicated in my anxiety about climate change! – no more COFFEE?! Still, seeing as how I’m such an old fart, I’ll be gone before this happens.
    OK: I do comprehend that there’s far more hanging on this issue than my daily enjoyment of the world’s most marvellous brew. In fact it’s so huge an issue that I can only be superficial about it; because otherwise I’d be terrified.
    How anyone in his right mind could criticise this article beggars belief.

  • Ak says:

    The 2nd biggest commodity in the world? I’d say thats an epic Holy Shit Storm of an issue!

  • Alflea says:

    The title of this short kew promotion should be “How your daily cup of coffe is causing climate change.” It takes roughly 1oo litres of water to produce one cup of coffee due to transport,agriculture, those 32 pairs of hands mentioned and thats before the water is added to the coffee. For such a response from the coffee community to stave off the idea of not drinking it and constantly consuming, so much as to relocate the production of such a product shows just how f*cked our human race and planet is.
    Advice. Consume less coffee!!!

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