Climate change is affecting the world in many ways, including what we eat and drink.
Photo Credit: Olga Rosi/Shutterstock
Climate change is making the world a different place. There are more floods, droughts, wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Animal species around the world are either shifting habitat locations or simply dying off. Even humans are migrating due to a warmer world.
But there is one effect that will hit many of us right in the gut: Certain foods could disappear thanks to our changing climate. Brace yourself: here are 10 foods you ll probably be sad to see go.
Around 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed during the Super Bowl, but football fans might soon have to find something else to dip their tortilla chips into. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predict as much as a 40 percent decrease in avocado production over the next 30 years due to increasing temperatures brought on by climate change. As a result, the fast food chain Chipotle, which goes through 97,000 pounds of avocados a day 35 million pounds every year has warned that if climate change worsens, it may be forced to stop serving guacamole. The company says it “may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.
(image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces,” the German theologian Martin Luther said, I would still plant my apple tree. He didn t figure that there might be a tomorrow in which apple trees can t properly grow. In 2011, an international team of scientists published a study which found just that: Temperate fruit and nut trees like the apple tree, which need a certain period of winter chill to produce economically practical yields, could be affected by global warming as winter temperatures rise. They said farmers should prepare for a warmer future by breeding cultivars with lower chilling requirements. Such apples will likely taste different from the ones we have today, according to a Japanese study which found that rising temperatures are causing apple trees to bear fruit sooner, making them softer and sweeter. If you could eat an average apple harvested 30 years before and an average apple harvested recently at the same time, you would really taste the difference, the study s lead author said.
(image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)
It s sad, but true. Beer is already a victim of a changing climate, with brewers increasingly finding it more difficult to secure stable water supplies. According to a 2010 report commissioned by the National Resources Defense Council, about a third of counties in the United States “will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming.” Between 2030 and 2050, the difficulty in accessing freshwater is anticipated to be significant in the major agricultural and urban areas throughout the nation. Some specialty hops used by craft brewers have already become harder to source, since warming winters are producing earlier and smaller yields. This is not a problem that s going to happen someday,” said Jenn Orgolini of Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery. If you drink beer now, the issue of climate change is impacting you right now. She said that in 2011, the hops her brewery normally uses weren t available due to Pacific Northwest weather conditions.
4. Rice and Beans
The late comedian/philosopher Bill Hicks once said, The American dream is a crock. Stop wanting everything. Everyone should wear jeans and have three T-shirts, eat rice and beans. He didn t live long enough to find out that climate change could threaten the ability to follow his wise suggestion. It s hard to overstate the importance of rice to world. It is a food staple for almost half of the world’s population. But climate change could significantly impact rice yields in this century. According to a 2005 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, temperature increases, rising seas and changes in rainfall patterns and distribution expected as a result of global climate change could lead to substantial modifications in land and water resources for rice production as well as in the productivity of rice crops grown in different parts of the world. A 2005 report by the United States Department of Agriculture found that the viability of rice-growing land in tropical areas could decline by more than 50 percent during the next century.
Beans feed the majority of the human population in Latin America and much of Africa and are a part of the daily diet of more than 400 million people across the developing world. But beans may also experience declines due to a warming world. According to a report the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), higher temperatures could reduce bean yields by as much as 25 percent. Beans are highly sensitive to heat, and the varieties that farmers currently grow do not yield well under night temperatures over 18 or 19 degrees Centigrade, writes Nathan Russell of CIAT. Higher temperatures drastically reduce seed fertility, leading to lower grain yields and quality. Thankfully, CIAT scientists have identified about 30 elite bean lines that have demonstrated tolerance to temperatures 4 C higher than the crop s normal comfort zone.
One of the most dramatic effects of climate change is ocean acidification, a decrease in the pH, or the hydrogen ion concentration, of the Earth s oceans, making the water more acidic. This is caused by the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere carbon we are spewing by burning fossil fuel and mowing down forests. This decrease in pH makes it harder for organisms like corals, crustaceans like lobsters, crabs and shrimp, and molluscs like clams, oysters, snails, mussels and scallops to form the calcium-based shells and exoskeletons they need to survive. Scientists at the Ocean Acidification Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks have warned that shellfish farmers off the Alaska coast may need to start modifying the sea water in their hatcheries as they expect significant effects from acidification by 2040. Scientists also believe that pink salmon, the most abundant of the Pacific salmon species, will be one of the primary victims of climate change, since the fish cannot survive the increasingly acidic waters. In a recent study, scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and MacEwan University in Edmonton reared pink salmon in the lab under water acidity levels expected at the end of this century. They found that when the fish reached the age at which they would migrate to the sea, their ability to use oxygen in their muscles was significantly decreased. This means their future wild brethren will face difficulties locating food and evading predators. Ocean acidification isn t the only climate-related threat to fish. According to a study conducted by a team of Australian scientists, higher temperatures will increase the toxicity of common pesticides and industrial contaminants such as endosulfan, an insecticide, and phenol, an organic compound used to produce plastics and a variety of pharmaceuticals, which threatens the survival of a wide array of freshwater species such as trout, perch and carp.
Everywhere in the world there are tensions economic, political, religious, said French chef Alain Ducasse in a 2013 interview with the Wall Street Journal. So we need chocolate. Who among us can disagree? An estimated one billion people around the world eat chocolate every day. The average American consumes 12 pounds of the sweet stuff every year. But the topography of Ghana, Ivory Coast, and C te d Ivoire, where more than half of the world s chocolate is sourced in the form of the cocoa bean, will be so different by 2050 that production will be seriously impacted.
The current optimum altitude for cocoa production is 100 to 250 meters above sea level (MASL). But according to a worrisome 2011 CIAT study, that figure will increase to between 450 and 500 MASL by 2050. The report s authors warn that farmers might begin to see declines in cocoa production by 2030. Beyond impacting our chocolate consumption is the effect that this will have on cocoa farmers, many of whom rely on cocoa for their livelihoods. “Many of these farmers use their cocoa trees like ATM machines,” said Dr. Peter Laderach, the report’s lead author. “They pick some pods and sell them to quickly raise cash for school fees or medical expenses. The trees play an absolutely critical role in rural life.”
Coffee is ubiquitous. Around 8.5 million metric tons of coffee are grown in 60 countries on nearly every continent. Half a trillion tons of java are consumed every year. But people around the globe may have to find another stimulating beverage to start their day. In recent years, a deadly plant fungus called coffee rust has swept across Central America, cutting coffee production and seriously impacting local economies. Experts believe that the spread of the disease has been driven by higher temperatures brought on by climate change. Coffee plantations around the world are dealing with increased incidences of fungi and invasive species due to higher temperatures. Coffee bean farms on the Kona coast of the Big Island in Hawaii are being ravaged by an insect called the coffee berry borer, which scientists say is expected to become an even greater threat due to climate change. And in Africa, scientists predict that the number of coffee-growing regions will decrease between 65 to 100 percent as the surface temperature increases. Actor Jim Carrey once said, I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, ‘Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.’ He probably wasn t referring to climate change, but he might as well have been.
8. Peanut Butter
Billy Joel once quipped, A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex. Indeed, there are few things as immediately satisfying as a good PB&J. If you grew up in the U.S., you probably ate your share as a kid. But this simple and classic sammy could become a museum piece with climate change on track to push a number of wild relatives of plants, including the peanut, to extinction, according to a 2007 study. Andy Jarvis, an agricultural geographer who led the study, said that flora like the peanut are more threatened by global warming since they grow mainly in flat areas; farmers would need to migrate significant distances to find cooler climates and that is not always possible. He points out the importance of maintaining seed banks to guard against the effects of climate change. There is an urgent need to collect and store the seeds of wild relatives in crop diversity collections before they disappear, he said. His call to action could be summed up neatly: Save the PB&J!
(image: Markus Mainka/Shutterstock.com)
If we don t keep the increase of the global surface temperature to a maximum of 2 C (some say 1.5 C) to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, fermented grape juice from traditional winemaking regions could one day become a thing of the past. Grapevines are extremely sensitive to their surrounding environment: The variation in yield from season to season is more than 32 percent. And with temperatures steadily increasing, viniculture around the world is changing. Changes are already afoot in France, one of the largest wine producers in the world.
Extreme weather is becoming more common in all of France’s wine-growing regions, writes Ullrich Fichtner in Der Spiegel. Heavy rains and hailstorms frequently come on the heels of summer heat waves and dry periods. Winters and nighttime temperatures are so mild that the plants are never able to rest. Few winegrowers continue to deny these tangible phenomena.” The famous wine appellation Ch teauneuf-du-Pape is a striking example. As temperatures rise in the southern Rh ne region, the harvest dates for this heavy wine have moved from October to early September. Philippe Guigal, one of the leading winemakers in the Rh ne Valley, said that in the area where Ch teauneuf-du-Pape grapes are grown, “the problems are getting really serious. But as climate change disrupts traditional winemaking regions worldwide, it will also create new ones, like Montana and China.
(image: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)
10. French Fries
Who doesn t like french fries? Scratch that. Who doesn t love french fries? But we may need to think about a different side to go with basically everything. In January, Vice News published a story with a very disturbing headline: Climate Change Might Be the Greatest Threat to Potato Cultivation in 8,000 Years. In Peru, home to thousands of potato species as well as the International Potato Center (CIP), based in Lima, potato farmers are being forced to move to higher altitudes due to rising surface temperatures. But even the Andes don t rise forever. I estimate that in 40 years there will be nowhere left to plant potatoes [in Peru s highlands], said Rene G mez, curator of the CIP germplasm bank. Of course, french fries aren t the only thing the potato has given to the world. We could also lose such starchy staples as potato chips, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad, home fries and hash browns. Many cultures across the globe would lose popular potato-based regional dishes, such as aloo gobi (India), boxty (Ireland), cottage pie (United Kingdom), gamjajeon (South Korea), gnocchi (Italy), gratin (France), knishes (Eastern Europe), patatas bravas (Spain), kroppkaka (Sweden) and massaman curry (Thailand), to name a few. In terms of human consumption, the potato is the world s third most important food crop after rice and wheat. More than a billion people worldwide eat potato, and global total potato production exceeds 300 million metric tons.
Food may be one of the most apparent and immediate ways many of us will feel the impact of climate change. The general story is that agriculture is sensitive, said David Lobell, deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University. It s not the end of the world, but it will be a big enough deal to be worth our concern. We certainly don t need another reason to fight climate change. But a good one would be to save some of our favorite and the world’s most important foods from extinction. Reynard Loki is AlterNet’s environment and food editor. Follow him on Twitter @reynardloki. Email him at [email protected].
- ^ 8 million pounds (wpde.com)
- ^ 40 percent decrease (www.eurekalert.org)
- ^ stop serving guacamole (www.kesq.com)
- ^ temporarily suspend (ir.chipotle.com)
- ^ study (journals.plos.org)
- ^ study (www.nature.com)
- ^ report (www.nrdc.org)
- ^ right now (www.durangoherald.com)
- ^ almost half (irri.org)
- ^ report (www.fao.org)
- ^ more than 50 percent (www.ers.usda.gov)
- ^ 400 million people (www.ciatnews.cgiar.org)
- ^ ower grain yields (www.ciatnews.cgiar.org)
- ^ 30 elite bean lines (www.ciatnews.cgiar.org)
- ^ ocean acidification (www.pmel.noaa.gov)
- ^ significant effects (journals.plos.org)
- ^ study (www.nature.com)
- ^ study (onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
- ^ interview (www.wsj.com)
- ^ one billion people (gourmethealthychocolates.com)
- ^ 12 pounds (gourmethealthychocolates.com)
- ^ study (www.eenews.net)
- ^ 8.5 million metric tons (www.pewresearch.org)
- ^ 60 countries (books.google.com)
- ^ Half a trillion (books.google.com)
- ^ higher temperatures (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ coffee berry borer (www.npr.org)
- ^ even greater threat (www.scaa.org)
- ^ 65 to 100 percent (journals.plos.org)
- ^ before they disappear (usatoday30.usatoday.com)
- ^ tangible phenomena (www.spiegel.de)
- ^ early September (www.thewinecellarinsider.com)
- ^ really serious (www.spiegel.de)
- ^ Montana and China (www.slate.com)
- ^ Climate Change Might Be the Greatest Threat to Potato Cultivation in 8,000 Years (news.vice.com)
- ^ higher altitudes (www.ipsnews.net)
- ^ nowhere left (www.ipsnews.net)
- ^ 300 million metric tons (cipotato.org)
- ^ worth our concern (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ @reynardloki (twitter.com)
- ^ [email protected] (www.alternet.org)
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Prescott running back Christian Setter is this year s All-Courier Co-Offensive Player of the Year, leading the Badgers to a 7-3 overall record.
PRESCOTT – Prescott High junior running back Christian Setter doesn’t possess imposing size. But whatever he lacks in height and weight, he compensates for in speed and agility. At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Setter rushed for 1,237 yards on 159 carries and 21 touchdowns, earning him The Daily Courier’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors with Bagdad sophomore quarterback Israel Loveall. Setter is gifted, and yet he puts in as much time on the field as anyone. That hard work paid off, as Setter registered seven 100-plus-yard rushing games for the 7-3 Badgers.
“It just really helped consistently going over the same things every day – ball security, footwork, all that stuff,” Setter said of the keys to his success from the PHS Dome gym Dec. 9. “Practice makes everything; at least to me it was.”
The soft-spoken Setter, who was born in Phoenix but moved to Prescott with his family shortly thereafter, is the oldest of four children. With two brothers and a sister at home, Setter’s used to carrying extra responsibility on his shoulders. However, when Christian’s on the football field, he leans much more on those around him for support, he said.
“I would definitely not be as good of a running back as I am without my line, without my team, without my coaches – the everyday work we did on the field, just consistently,” Setter said. Prescott junior left guard/left tackle Kaiser Anderson, who also garnered All-Courier honors, said it was “a really humbling experience” blocking for Setter in 2015.
“I knew that with every block that we do he was going to get a substantial amount of yards,” Anderson said. “And for the long yards that he was gone for a touchdown, the entire line looked at each other and we’re just like, ‘We did that. We helped him succeed to get that six points for the entire team.’ “
Anderson added that Setter matured into a special all-around student-athlete this fall.
“It was another amazing thing to see him develop as a person of character, a leader, and also as a football player,” Anderson said. “He just got a whole lot better as the season went on.”
But just how did Setter fool opposing defenses? Anderson said Setter’s fleet feet are only one aspect to a more complicated equation.
“His speed’s really good, but his agility is the tricky part,” Anderson said. “He can out-juke me and anyone on the team. That’s what made him special, along with his stamina, and his ability to rush for days on end.”
Prescott senior defensive end and All-Courier selection Wyatt Blair agreed.
“He’s a special player,” Blair said. “He’s shifty, and it’s ridiculous how fast he can get away from you.”
To which PHS star senior linebacker and All-Courier pick Luke Roberts added, “He makes guys miss.”
Setter still believes that his motor is his strong suit.
“I’ve always been told to constantly keep moving my feet,” Setter said. “I would say that helps me more than anything.”
Prescott senior right guard and All-Courier selection Carl Wilson noted another dimension to Setter’s impressive repertoire – an intangible great backs need.
“Every time he ran, he ran with passion,” Wilson said. “He always ran hard; no matter what play we would do, anything to get him in the end zone.”
Wilson added that he and Setter grew close over the past two years, adding that Setter led by example.
“He showed up ready to work,” Wilson said. “He was always the scout (team) running back, working on his skills. He got faster, more agile.”
Prescott senior defensive back and All-Courier pick Kyle Peach described Setter as a “playmaker all together.”
“He can make plays out of nothing, and he’s an overall great guy,” Peach said. “I’ve gotten a chance to know him for the past three years. Great person, great guy, great football player.”
Setter talks calmly and eloquently, but he’s tough as nails on the inside. One of the highlights of his 2015 season came Oct. 23 versus archrival Bradshaw Mountain at Bill Shepard Field in Prescott. Setter ran for 187 yards on 20 carries and three TDs, including a 78-yard scamper that sealed a 30-13 victory.
“The two touchdowns in the end – that’s what helped us win the game,” Anderson said of Setter’s performance against the Bears. “It was his agility in the end that got him around the defensive players so he could make the long yards.”
As a freshman, Setter said he had a choice between attending Bradshaw Mountain or Prescott. He even pondered going to school in Phoenix and playing there. Despite that history, Setter said the Bradshaw game wasn’t any more important than Prescott’s other contests this fall. Above all, he says he’s thankful to be a Badger.
“I was probably a little bit more motivated, more pumped up than any other game, just because they’re our rivals,” Setter said of the Bradshaw showdown. “I definitely think for where I am, this is the best choice (being at Prescott).”
In Prescott’s season finale versus Mingus Union Oct. 30 at home, with a state playoff berth hanging in the balance, Setter suffered a torn left hamstring muscle – not a serious knee ligament injury, as initially feared – early in the second half. He finished with 16 yards on seven carries and no TDs.
“Thankfully (it wasn’t my knee) because that would’ve been a lot worse if it was a (torn) meniscus or ACL,” Setter said. “Thankfully I recovered really fast.”
Setter credited Prescott’s athletic training staff for helping him during rehab.
“I didn’t really do much (while I healed),” Setter said. “I just slowly recovered. I did some exercises and took it easy.”
To a degree, Setter was groomed to succeed his predecessor, standout tailback Skylor Clinton – a 1,000-yard rusher for Prescott in 2014 who signed with NCAA Division I University of Wyoming this fall. Neither Collett nor Setter will say that definitively, though. The coaching staff embraced Setter’s differing style. Clinton used his size as much as his feet to push through defenders, while Setter relied more on an ability to read holes and scoot through them.
“I know that they were definitely getting me ready so I could (step in this fall),” Setter said. Prescott senior tight end Derek Knotek, an All-Courier pick and an All-Division III selection, said Setter was “a huge asset” for the Badgers’ offense, particularly as a scorer, this fall.
“We kind of ran all of our plays centered around him in some way or another, whether it be doing a play-action or actually giving him the ball,” Knotek said. “He’ll be very good (as a senior) next year.”
Knotek added that Setter’s always been “very fast.” Setter has attended combines and camps, which have bolstered his progression.
“I think he’ll eventually be able to make it to (NCAA) Division I, FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision),” Knotek said. “He has the potential. He’s definitely talented.”
In February, Setter will suit up for a USA Football National Team in the 2016 International Bowl game along with 58 other top-flight peers. Setter was recently chosen to play for the USA Under-17 squad against Football Canada, the Canadian counterpart, at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Irvine, Texas. But only after making a name for himself.
“I went to a camp that they hold – processes that you have to go through and stuff,” Setter described about the USA Football bowl experience. “I had to get placed in the Top 5 out of the camp. And then I got asked after the camp to go to California to play in the intermediate game. I think I had to get placed in the Top 25 in that.
“So then, finally, they picked me. I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to get to go do that.”
To reach Doug, email him at [email protected] or call him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2039. Follow him on Twitter: @dougout_dc
In familiar fashion, law enforcement officials insist that the victim of this police shooting at least the 960th to occur in 2015 was to blame.
Just seconds later, Bobby Daniels was fatally shot not by his mentally ill son, but by the sheriff s deputies who had arrived on the scene. Douglas County, GA Bobby Daniels was a peace officer by trade a private security guard employed at CNN s headquarters in Atlanta. When he learned that his emotionally troubled 25-year-old son Bias had suffered a breakdown and was holding a fellow security guard at gunpoint in a mobile home part in Douglasville, Bobby raced to the scene. Using the skills of persuasion and patient de-escalation upon which a private peace officer must rely, Bobby persuaded his son to relinquish his handgun and place it on the hood of a car.
Just seconds later, Daniels was fatally shot not by his mentally ill son, but by the sheriff s deputies who had arrived on the scene. In familiar fashion, law enforcement officials insist that the victim of this police shooting at least the 960th to occur in 2015 was to blame, and they have provided contradictory accounts as to how it happened.
I think that he could have been trying to help the situation instead of hurting it, but when he pointed the gun at the officers, he was shot, asserted Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller in remarks to reports at the scene shortly after the December 21 incident.
A different official account provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation claims that as Bobby and Bias struggled over control of the gun, deputies attempted to incapacitate the younger man with a taser.
As the fight continued between Bias and Bobby, the handgun was pointed at the deputies, at which point one of the deputy [sic] fired, striking and killing Bobby, according to the GBI.
That the deputy believed himself to be at risk is a certainty, if only because police officers are incessantly catechized about the grossly exaggerated risks of their job and marinated in misinformation about a non-existent war on police.  That this was a potentially deadly situation was clear, as well. Daniels, who sought a non-lethal solution to the predicament, was willing to place himself at risk. The deputies, on the other hand, behaved in accordance with the officer safety uber alles mindset. Eyewitness Garret Daniels, Bobby s nephew, says that Bobby tried to slap the gun off the car, which may have led the deputies to think he was trying to grab the gun probably to shoot them, but no he really wasn t . He was trying to protect [Bias]. That s all he was trying to do. That version of events might explain why anxious deputies would have shot Bobby, but it contradicts the official account in which the father and son struggled over control of the gun. Speaking on behalf of the family, attorney Chris Stewart maintains that At no point did [Bobby] touch the weapon, but for some reason the officer shot. What they should know is that they killed a victim. Bobby didn t want anyone to be shot; he was trying to protect his son and the officers.
Bobby Daniels, a Navy veteran, would never ever take a gun and point it at an officer, his grieving wife, Cynthia, insisted during a tearful press conference. He would never do that.
Bobby Daniels is a veteran of the U.S. military, attorney Stewart points out. He is a father of five, married, a great man and the last person that would ever point a gun at an officer. According to a press release issued by Stewart, the round that killed Bobby was fired at a distance from an AR-15. Police officers, the public is told, are never off duty. The same principle applies to private peace officers, whose occupation is substantially more dangerous than that of government-employed police officers. Rick McCann, founder and CEO of Private Peace Officer International, observes that a far larger number of private security officers die in the line of duty than their public sector counterparts. Furthermore, while the overwhelming majority of on-duty police deaths happen as a result of traffic accidents, or issues arising from training and physical conditioning, more than eighty percent of the on-duty fatalities involving private security officers are a result of traumatic, confrontational injury inflicted by someone committing an act of criminal violence. Unlike police officers, who are protected by qualified immunity and have no legally enforceable duty to protect an individual citizen, private security guards are fully accountable, both in civil and criminal terms, for any injury they inflict on innocent people including liabilities that would be involved in failure to carry out their contractual obligation of protection.
Bobby Daniels was the first responder on the scene of the hostage situation, and he defused it without violence only to be killed by government employees whose only tool is violence, and who almost certainly will not be held accountable for killing a private peace officer in the performance of his duty.
- ^ Bobby raced to the scene (www.post-gazette.com)
- ^ Daniels was fatally shot not by his mentally ill son, but by the sheriff s deputies who had arrived on the scene (www.ajc.com)
- ^ and they have provided contradictory accounts as to how it happened. (www.post-gazette.com)
- ^ according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (www.ajc.com)
- ^ a non-existent war on police. (thefreethoughtproject.com)
- ^ attorney Chris Stewart maintains (www.post-gazette.com)
- ^ his grieving wife, Cynthia, insisted during a tearful press conference (www.fox5atlanta.com)
- ^ attorney Stewart points out (www.11alive.com)
- ^ whose occupation is substantially more dangerous than that of government-employed police officers (freedominourtime.blogspot.com)
- ^ Private Peace Officer International (www.privateofficer.com)