Field of Science

Damned good reason to take global warming seriously


Hotter summers, more draught, rising sea levels, melting ice caps, doomed polar bears. Yawn. If none of that rouses your interest and ire, how about this? One of the first crops that may be seriously affected by global warming is cacao. Yes folks, global warming is going to take away your chocolate! What is there to live for?
Cacao grows in the rain forest understory, and its growth is very sensitive to droughts, not to mention disease and insects. One thing that is becoming abundantly clear is that shifts in weather patterns and increased tree mortality may send rainforest into refugia just as it did during glacially induced droughts of the Pleistocene.
Now this does not mean chocolate will disappear, but it will become the caviar of confections, too expensive for those of us living on academic salaries, too expensive to remain that simplest of pleasures, too expensive to be squandered on kids. Once again chocolate will approach the status of chocolatl, the Aztec royal beverage, and be served in gold vessels.
Do you want this to happen? Well, let's all get busy reducing our carbon foot prints and showering our political duds with milk duds to remind them what is at stake!
If you check out the article, how about helping the Phactor improve his word power. What the heck does "gouchest" mean? My giant old Funk and Wagnalls only offers the suggestion that in Scotland "gouch" refers to an offensive odor. So what is the "gouchest threat"? Something certainly stinks here.

How ironic that I had mole for lunch. FYI the image is a display window for Sprungli, the giant chocolate confectioner in Zurich, Switzerland. See the bunny in the red track suit?

3 comments:

Larissa said...

This makes my drive to encourage people to take climate change seriously, and my desire to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable activities all the more necessary. Social Scientists do not generally live off salaries that allow for indulgences, and I'm not sure I'm prepared to live without chocolate.

ForestJane said...

As a proofreader, I have to suggest that maybe they meant 'gauche' instead? So global warming is a huge social blunder of epic proportions?

Dr A said...

That makes way more sense than any other interpretation.