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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