Year 2, Month 10, Day 21: Brrrrrr.

I’ve been seeing this come up in Google recently, but it was only on October 17 that I decided to write a letter about Starbucks’ concerns about the world’s coffee crop, which were described in the October 16 issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

There’s a global crisis of unimaginable import and the powers that be aren’t doing anything about it, despite Seattleites’ strident efforts to raise awareness.

No, it’s not “Occupy Seattle.” We’re talking about a threat to the world’s coffee supply; and Starbucks executives, not underemployed young people, are ringing the alarm.

Jim Hanna, the Seattle coffee empire’s sustainability director, told The Guardian that climate change is already spurring severe hurricanes and more resistant bugs that are reducing crop yields.

I could imagine a future without oil more easily than one without coffee. Sent October 17:

For American coffee drinkers, the news that climate change may drastically impact future crops around the world should be a sobering revelation. Of course, it isn’t just the bitter brown berry that’ll get clobbered by the consequences of a runaway greenhouse effect, but virtually every aspect of planetary agriculture.

But it is also worth noticing that Starbucks actually has a “Sustainability Director” — an official whose responsibilities presumably involve looking farther into the future than the next quarterly report. This is something which other corporations should emulate.

How different would our planetary energy economy be if the big oil companies’ priorities were built around more than short-term profitability? How different would our planetary environment be if they respected (and acted upon) climatologists’ reports instead of lavishing funding on anti-science politicians?

It’s time for the fossil fuel industries to wake up — and smell the coffee.

Warren Senders

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *