The raging wildfires burning around the world can seem distant, until they begin to deposit clouds of deadly particles close to where you live. But it’s more than just fires: climate change is about to become very real for everyone who loves wine, coffee, or Christmas.
In addition to the supply chain slowdown thanks to COVID-19, climate change is about to take over things that many people like very much, and it will not be fixed when the winds change and the smog clears.
Here’s a list of things you can expect to start seeing less as the weather continues to get worse.
Although there are almost six months to go, this Christmas season can also be affected by fires, not to mention increasingly severe droughts.
Christmas tree growers face extremely difficult growing conditions for their trees. Christmas tree growers face extremely difficult growing conditions for their trees. Generally, Christmas tree growers like Larry Reyerson, owner of U Cut Christmas Tree Farm in Medford, Oregon, have access to water from Spring through early Fall; This year, he has had irrigation water for only five weeks.
“This year is by far the worst I’ve ever had,” said Reyerson, who has been in business since 1979. “I need water just so my little ones can survive, and then the bigger ones can probably survive the drought, but they couldn’t get through the hot days we’ve had.”
Christmas trees take at least 6-7 years to reach the proper “Christmas tree” height. Although mature trees can survive a year of drought and fires, producers say the seedling inventory has been completely destroyed this year.
Researchers at the University of California in Davis have published research that shows how the California wine region is a victim of climate change. Wildfires, as well as the drought, are harming the area’s grapes, which means they expect not only a diminished yield, but also lesser quality.
Smoke from wildfires is permeating areas like the Napa Valley, which means it is polluting vineyards and literally changing the taste of wine.
Additionally, the drought is wilting vineyards and reducing the areas where grapes can thrive, which means that in the future, wines may become scarcer.
Hundreds of people have died due to extreme temperatures in the Pacific Northwest. Portland only had three consecutive record-breaking days at the end of last month, surpassing 116 degrees on June 28, but it’s not just people who are having a hard time – clams are literally being cooked in their shells.
Low tides, mixed with a scorching sun, means that the bivalves are being hit by sunlight for hours. The result: they come to the surface with their mouths open, as if they were already cooked.
Coffee prices around the world are starting to rise because the drought is affecting more than just the United States. A major water shortage is gripping Brazil and, as the top coffee producer, the United States, the nation with the highest coffee consumption, has to pay more for the beverage.
Climate change is not only causing the drought, it also led to COVID-19, and the pandemic is also increasing the cost of coffee due to shipping restrictions and mail delays.
Businesses in South and Latin America, as well as Africa, are facing significant shipping constraints as e-commerce takes off and life largely goes online.