On the heels of new reports uncovering our short time window to prevent the most extreme impacts of climate change, we at Climate Dads are publishing a series of articles reviewing the basics of climate change. This post, republished from our friends at Crowdsourcing Sustainability, reminds us that the impacts will be real and personal.
Climate change does, in fact, matter to you even if you haven’t realized it up until now.
As shown in "Climate Change Will Affect Your Finances" climate change will drastically affect the economy in the United States and across the world..
In the following series of articles, I don’t include the potential personal impacts from geopolitical tensions, conflict, or climate refugees. I don’t spell out the possibility of being directly impacted by food or water shortages – which is already affecting millions. Nor do I include the increasing chances of directly experiencing extreme climate events.
Instead let's just focus on the most basic of needs...
I’m sorry. I don’t want to be the one to break it to you: there will be less of some of the awesome stuff we know and love… But perhaps knowing this we’ll begin appreciating it more? Plus, I’m sure the future will bring a lot of cool stuff to make up for it!
Travel and Activities
With current trends, you won’t be able to travel to as many places in the world in the future. Some places will simply be uninhabitable. Others will be dangerous due to a lack of resources and potential for conflict. There will be fewer beautiful things to see such as coral reefs, glaciers, beaches, and possibly rainforests. Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding will be available in fewer places and for less time during the year. These activities may also be more expensive and probably more crowded.
The good stuff
Climate change affects how we source coffee, chocolate, beer, and wine. It will be more expensive and sometimes just... different.
- Coffee: According to Australia’s Climate Institute, “Hotter weather and changes in rainfall patterns are projected to cut the area suitable for coffee in half by 2050.” NPR interviewed farmers in Brazil, which produces the most coffee in the world – many are already moving out of the coffee business for good because crops are failing and they need a reliable source of income.
- Chocolate: “Climate change and unsustainable farming techniques have decreased the land used for cacao crops by 40% in the last four decades.” NOAA says the temperature is projected to rise 2.1℃ in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire by 2050, making it harder for cacao to grow. They produce 60% of the world’s chocolate.
- Beer and wine: Like these other plants, barley, hops, and grapes will have a harder time growing in the future as well. New varieties of crops will need to be used. Regions that are known for certain wines will eventually have to change. Drought is making yields increasingly difficult not only for growing the plants but also for making the beer. Breweries are forced to use groundwater rather than river water at times now due to water shortages. As a local Californian brewer put it, “it’s like brewing with Alka-Seltzer”.
Stay tuned for Part 3: Climate Change Will Affect Your Identity
Crowdsourcing Sustainability, founded by Ryan Hagen, is a community of people from around the world united by the need for climate action. Whether you want to learn about climate change and sustainability, share your knowledge and stories with others, get inspired, or connect with people who share your vision of a better world, get started by connecting with Crowdsourcing Sustainability.