As you may have heard, the United States delegation was met with laughter and disbelief at their panel here yesterday.
“We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” said Wells Griffith, Trump’s adviser. While this is horrific enough, I’ve met several organizations here today that are delivering research that we could be in danger of something much bigger.
Dabo Guan, from Tsinghua University in Beijing and the University of East Anglia, reports that an increase in extreme heatwaves and droughts could damage global yields of barley, a key ingredient in beer.
Yields could fall by between 3% and 17%, depending on the severity of future climate change. Global beer consumption could decline by up to 30% as prices double. The price of a six-pack of beer could potentially go up by an extra $20, if no measures are taken to offset the impacts of climate change.
Similarly, floods, hurricanes, extreme weather, unseasonal frost, and drought are all wreaking havoc on the wine industry. Winemakers are attuned to the minutest changes in the weather and differences they taste in their wines. With grapes accumulating high levels of sugar (and potential alcohol when they ferment) much sooner, winemakers can either harvest much earlier, sacrificing complexity for acceptable alcohol levels, or produce wines with an undrinkable alcoholic force. And with severe fires wiping out entire regions of wine country in a matter of days, vintners are losing their land and their livelihoods.
As with food, climate change is wreaking havoc in the wine and beer industry, and soon will be felt at your dinner table.
Appropriately, Donald Trump won’t feel his own effect as he’s not a drinker, but I call to my fellow beer and wine connoisseurs out there to RESIST and help us tackle climate change today!