It took some serious provocation, but global warming has finally found a way to get our attention: COFFEE! That’s right, caffeine addicts, it’s time to panic! Forget your sex drive, forget these heart-breaking polar bears, your beans are at risk!
At least, according to the MIT Technology Review, they are. The article states that if temperatures continue to increase at projected rates, 80 percent of the land in parts of Brazil and Central America currently used to grow arabica (the most popular and Homecoming Queeniest) beans will become unsuitable by 2050. Not only would this have a complex and expensive impact on coffee buyers, but it would also be devastating for coffee farming communities
So who’s going to fix this problem? Not Bill Nye, probably not Jimmy Kimmel, although we can certainly appreciate his efforts, and DEFINITELY not Sarah Palin. No, the answer to all our problems lies with those who have the most to lose: Starbucks.
As the largest seller of coffee in the world, Starbucks has decided to evaluate their impact on the environment and try to reverse a little bit of the damage we’ve all done. They’ve offered financial support and advice to farmers in the most vulnerable areas that will hopefully help them succeed in a more challenging environment. Starbucks has also invested in research to combat climate-change-induced threats like leaf rust.
Earlier attempts to reduce Starbucks’ carbon emissions were somewhat unsuccessful thanks to the introduction of heated menu items. We’re kind of hopeful that the amount of money at risk and possibility of pitchfork-wielding, caffeine addicted mobs (but mostly the money) might lead to a more sustainable environment.