The drumbeat about climate change is growing louder. But humans are often slow to make changes, even when we know that they’re in our best interests. (Think about dieting, and your New Year’s resolutions). If you like coffee, chocolate and beer, this piece by Karl Mathiesen might inspire you to take concrete action. It appears in the Guardian. The author takes a humorous approach, but the article packs a big punch.


We’ve heard about the countless reports produced by scientists regarding the threat of climate change. Most of us aren’t reading them. But when 42 leading breweries across the globe sign on to a “Climate Declaration” and weigh in on how climate change will impact beer production (negatively), people start paying attention.


“Changes in climate caused by human activity have the potential to create unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges,” said a spokesman from Diageo, the company that owns Guinness.

There’s also the issue of some favorite foods being threatened by climate change, including chocolate. Rising temperatures in some areas will make it too hot and dry for cocoa trees to thrive. Demand is already on track to exceed supply.


In four decades, the amount of land available for growing cocoa has dropped 40%. In the next 40 years, the temperature in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, where 70% of cocoa is grown, is set to rise by 2C. That’s going to make it too hot and dry for cocoa trees.

We’re already on the way to peak chocolate. By 2020, world cocoa demand is set to outstrip supply by 1m tonnes. That’s 90,909,090,909 Lindt balls.


Coffee and wine producers are facing many of the same problems as cocoa producers. In the case of wine, production is already shifting north, to cooler climes.


Related Links:

Growing coffee (and avocados) in So Cal

Puerto Rico wants to grow specialty coffee

The future of cocoa may lie in England