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Climate Change Threatens Coffee Production

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Risks and Impacts of Global Warming

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Okay, now they’ve gone too far, they really have! According to a story on NPR’s Morning Edition, the dramatic changes in weather are interfering with the growth of coffee beans. At the same time, the good citizens of China and India have, after centuries of tea-drinking, discovered the superior joys of coffee. I doubt coffee will entirely disappear–they’ll find ways to keep up production. Ah, but at what cost? You guessed it: Prices are rising even as I write this.

You’d think this would be the last straw, that it would get those people who don’t believe in climate change off their butts. I don’t understand how we—and I include myself–aren’t working ‘round the clock doing all we possibly can to save the planet  from disintegrating. At this very moment, uranium, and even plutonium, is oozing deep into the subterranean layers of the earth over in Japan, and dribbling into the ocean a few feet away.They say we’re not in danger, that it will all just “dissipate” in the vastness of the sea —  but back in the anti-nuke days, I learned this stuff never dissipates (Plutonium is Forever)!

Meanwhile, the medical establishment (whatever that might be) is finally admitting a link between the scourge of cancer and all the chemicals we eat, drink, breathe, touch, sit on, lie in, store our food in, etc etc ad nauseum. Most intelligent people figured this out a long time ago.

When I did temp work in New York decades ago, I put in a week at the law firm of a major clothing manufacturer. Their big issue at the time – mid-70s—was lawsuits because their kids’ pajamas sometimes caught fire; the company was now subjecting every scrap of flannel to heavy-duty flame retardants. I was always dragging these guys I worked for into debates – I fancied this as political work on my part – and so I asked if flame retardants caused cancer, something I had read about. His response was, “Well, we’ve never been sued for cancer.” Ah, and you probably never will be, either!

I imagine in 30 years or so they’ll confess that the rising incidence of autism has to do with some chemical or other. More new diseases will come along – if we’re around to get them. I don’t mean me personally, of course, but the human species. Which is why we ought to be doing something about it 24/7.

The first thing we should do is change that phrase global warming! It lets the naysayers point to snowstorms as proof of their argument it doesn’t exist. It ought to be called what it is: climate change – and it’s killing our coffee beans, friends, so you’d better re-evaluate that belief system.

If the coffee shortage doesn’t move you to action, try this on for size: gasoline at six bucks a gallon by summer. I’d get all superior about this, not having a car anymore myself  – except that I pay the equivalent for a pack of cigarettes, as deadly to people and other living creatures as gas fumes. Six bucks a gallon, six bucks a pack, and six bucks a cuppa: coming soon to a planet near you. If you’re lucky.


3 responses »

  1. Sorry, but your cigarette smoke is making it hard for me to believe you’re sincere about any of this.

    And thanks for confirming that it really is just a war of semantics (climate “change” vs. global warming), and not of scientific fact. IPCC’s data model was debunked in 2009. Try to keep up.

    Do you drive a car or do anything else that isn’t a hundred percent good for the environment? If so, does that mean your opinions should not be taken seriously? Are you saying I have no right to support or even talk about planetary survival? My smoking has nothing to do with my knowledge, feelings and desires concerning the fate of the Earth. Smoking is an addiction, one I have struggled with all my life and which is most likely going to kill me, not an environmental incorrectness. Your attitude strikes me as narrow and cruel.–MS

  2. You’re right. I shouldn’t have said that. I apologize.

    I’m just really tired and angry about subsidizing with tax dollars and at the gas pump a form of environmentalism that is actually just a new religion. I’m a conservationist at heart, but I just get sick and tired of all the schemes to take money from me to pump into so-called “green energy”. I work in New York City and I find the condescension of environmental progressives to be rather brazen in light of their hypocrisy in so many other aspects of their not walking the walk right in their own city. But they certainly talk the talk and have all kinds of huge $10,000/plate dinner events, where food is wasted in piles, out of their supposed concern for all things environmental.

    From a scientific and practical standpoint, the technologies that Al Gore, Obama, and the rest are trumpeting just plain don’t make sense for the average person living in the third world, let alone a European or American lifestyle. I’m constantly being told to use public transportation when I live on the border of suburbia and rural land. The notion of buses coming out this far is less energy efficient than driving my own car (studies show that buses running even downtown are also costing more against the environment than they save). Then I’m told to ride a bike. Ok, but how does that help me get groceries when the nearest store is 5 miles away? When we have a blizzard like we did last winter, or heavy rainstorms like we tend to have where I live, do I just not eat while I wait for the weather to cooperate so I can ride my bike to the store? Not every trip to the store is for groceries. Sometimes it’s for home improvement, to fix stuff. How do I get home on a bike or in a taxi or on a bus with three ten foot lengths of pipe and 10 2×4 timbers?

    These and many others I could mention are calculations that never cross the minds of elites who like to centrally plan our lives around their favorite thing of the decade. They all live in little bubbles that provide their needs at the snap of a finger (don’t get me started on Al Gore’s seaside mansion in California) and they don’t question how those needs are met, where or how their food is grown, how their heat is generated, where the energy comes from that powers their electric cars (coal) and most importantly how real people live. People have a right to live their lives and make their own decisions about how they’ll participate…or not…in protecting their immediate environment without being told which lightbulbs they can use. Mercury-laden CFLs are about to become the only bulb you’ll be allowed to buy or sell by law. Are you ready for a hazmat team to cordon off your house and clean up after you when you accidentally drop a bulb? I’m not. I’m stockpiling incandecents until all this nonsense blows over.

    While I’m deciding whether to allow such a long rant on my blog–my policy is usually to tell people to post long rants on their own–IJWTS the problem is not Al Gore or elitist enviornmentalists, the problem, IMO is lousy planning and a world created to accommodate the mighty automobile. Some environmentalists are working on city planning, on changing neighborhoods so we CAN shop and ride public transit and get out of the damn cars. Until the day that happens, we’re really on our own to do the best we can.–MS

  3. Fair enough. Thanks for allowing me to post my apology and my rant. Lousy planning, I’ll grant that. But it’s the world we live in now. The damn cars aren’t going away at the snap of a finger. I don’t like paying for gas or polluting the air either, but until we allow nuclear again, we’re just trading one fossil fuel for another. Windmills aren’t capable of generating that much power. Neither is solar. And both still have adverse environmental impacts. We have to allow tradeoffs. No such thing as a free lunch.

    You lost me there–how anyone can say nuclear power is a simple tradeoff considering the goings-on in Japan is beyond my comprehension.–MS

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