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Maybe You Don’t Care About Polar Bears, But You Do Care About Your Beers

by | October 20, 2018

Climate change is not something we can push under the rug anymore, it is very real, and it is affecting the entire world. Maybe you don’t care about the ice caps melting and the dwindling numbers of polar bears, but I bet you do care about your beers.

In a news story that is bound to grab the attention of beer enthusiasts worldwide, a new study published by Nature has stated that climate change is not only going to affect the environment and the world as we know it, but it will also drive up the price of beer.

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There is a tendency among most people to ignore climate change, as it is not something you can see the results of on an everyday basis, unless you live at the polar ice caps. The problem seems too big, our individual contributions seem too small, the consequences too abstract and not something we can imagine. 

The study comes just a week after a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which basically said we have 12 years to get climate change under control. If we don’t we will see widespread disasters and the extinction of many species of animals, including the polar bears. 

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The study read: We couple a process-based crop model (decision support system for agrotechnology transfer) and a global economic model (Global Trade Analysis Project model) to evaluate the effects of concurrent drought and heat extremes projected under a range of future climate scenarios. We find that these extreme events may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide. Average yield losses range from 3% to 17% depending on the severity of the conditions. Decreases in the global supply of barley lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer and ultimately result in dramatic regional decreases in beer consumption (for example, −32% in Argentina) and increases in beer prices (for example, +193% in Ireland).

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Steve Davis from the University of California, is one of the co-authors of the Nature study. Speaking about why they chose beer as their subject for the study, he said it was to ‘drive home the not-that-palatable message that climate change is messing with all sorts of aspects of our daily lives.’ It may be easy to ignore the polar bears that aren’t in your day to day lives, but most people will notice if beer prices are going up. 

But it’s not just beer that is going to be affected, climate change is also threatening coffee and chocolate prices too. 

Are you worried about climate change? What about the increase in beer prices, or the impending extinction of the polar bears? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

back to school, dealing with in-laws, polar bears




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