Climate change to wipe out coffee

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans. By Harald Hoyer from Schwerin, Germany (Coffee Beans) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Fairtrade Commissions Climate Coffee Fear Report

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Fairtrade, a charity which attempts to offer an alternative to third world coffee buying cartels, to ensure vulnerable farmers receive a decent price for their crop, has produced a report which demands urgent climate action. But in my opinion Fairtrade are ignoring the very real hardship climate action would impose on the poor people Fairtrade tries to help.

A Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee

Coffee is a key global crop and the second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries, worth around US$19 billion in 2015. Worldwide, around 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day. Nearly half of all Australians drink coffee regularly. The coffee market is growing, but faces big challenges coming up fast:

  • There is strong evidence that rising temperatures and altered rainfall patterns are already affecting coffee yields, quality, pests, and diseases—badly affecting economic security in some coffee regions.
  • Without strong action to reduce emissions, climate change is projected to cut the global area suitable for coffee production by as much as 50 per cent by 2050. By 2080, wild coffee, an important genetic resource for farmers, could become extinct.
  • Leading global coffee companies, such as Starbucks and Lavazza, publicly acknowledge the severe risks posed by climate change to the world’s coffee supply. Consumers are likely to face supply shortages, impacts on avour and aroma, and rising prices.
  • In the next few decades, coffee production will undergo dramatic shifts—broadly, away from the equator and further up mountains. Production will probably come into con ict with other land uses, including forests.
  • Rising CO2 levels may boost the growth and vigour of the coffee plant, but there is no guarantee this ‘fertilisation effect’ will offset the risks imposed by a more hostile climate.
  • Most of the world’s 25 million coffee farmers are smallholders. Alone, they have little capacity to adapt to a hotter world in which climate and market volatility conspire against them.
  • Over 120 million people in more than 70 countries rely on the coffee value chain for their livelihoods.
  • Many countries where coffee exports form a main plank of the economy are also amongst the most vulnerable to climate risk. Honduras, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Guatemala, for instance, rank in the top- 10 for climate-related damages since the 1990s.
  • Climate change is likely to significantly increase the burden on the health and well being—physical and mental—of coffee producers, labourers, and communities, with consequences for productivity.
  • Crop adaptation strategies include developing more resilient production systems, diversifying crops,
    and shifting plantations upslope. The global trend, however, is towards intensification as producers
    seek to lift yields at the expense of more complex and carbon-rich landscapes. Ultimately, climate change is likely to push many producers out of coffee altogether.

However, the future for coffee and the world is not yet set. Several coffee companies have responded to customer demands for climate action, and many nations are making substantial efforts. Fairtrade, for example, has moved to ensure the production and supply chains for its Fairtrade Climate Neutral Coffee don’t add more heat- trapping greenhouse gases and that steps are taken to build safer, more resilient, more sustainable workplaces. Positive changes are brewing from above and below.

Read more: http://fairtrade.com.au/…

According to their website, Fairtrade is about stable prices, decent working conditions and the empowerment of farmers and workers around the world.

But as President Obama once admitted, an inevitable consequence of restricting fossil fuel usage is skyrocketing energy prices.

Video of President Obama admitting climate action will make energy prices skyrocket;

If implemented, the impact if Fairtrade’s recommendations would go far beyond simple increases in energy costs. For example, the first stage of manufacturing nitrate based fertilisers – converting atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia – is very energy intensive.

Even if poor people managed to avoid the fossil fuel powered mechanisation which they would no longer be able to afford, they cannot avoid the impact of increased energy costs on the price of essential farm inputs.

The climate models which Fairtrade uses to justify their position have never demonstrated predictive skill.

All this artificially imposed energy poverty and hardship for the sake of unproven predictions, from climate models which have never gotten anything right.

For shame, Fairtrade.

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163 thoughts on “Climate change to wipe out coffee

  1. WIPE OUT COFFEE?!??!!!

    Maybe those trillions of dollars spent were worth it after all.

    Oh wait… it’s models all the way down. False alarm. Never mind.

    • Meanwhile, here in real-world Canada, western farmers are worried about selling (or storing) another bumper crop of wheat in a market that is over-supplied and characterised by depressed prices. This extra CO2 is killing the market. Too much of a good thing!

    • It could get worse . . . .
      For processing Decaffeinated Coffee, beans have to fall through 100ft holding vats of highly pressurised man-made CO2 to remove the caffeine. Once the beans reach the base of the vat, they are ultra-heat steamed (CO2), dried in ovens (CO2), then crushed, made into a thick water-based liquid, then freeze-dried into granules, packed into jars and ‘Bob’s your Uncle’. Decaf.

      Sorry guys, haven’t posted for a while – but you sometimes wonder (in the simple case of decaffeinated coffee) just HOW can our microscopic man-made bit of ONE 2,500th of our sky (400 ppm) be so responsible for all this crap about climate change?

      • That should be 1/10,000th or greater depending on at what point one says that “this is now too much”.. Remember that it is only the last 50 or 100 ppm that are the supposed problem. Everything was fine and dandy prior to that, supposedly.

    • The coffee growing areas are under natural variability in rainfall and thus other meteorological parameters including temperature changes accordingly.

      In the case of Ethiopia, the coffee growing Gore region presents a 38 year cycle in rainfall. The above the average 19 years ended y 1970; the below the average 19 years ended by 1988; the above the average 19 years ended by 2007; and the below the average 19 years will end by 2026. So, Gore region is now under below the average rainfall period.

      The average rainfall is around 2150 mm. This presents high variation in rainfall in the two periods of 19 years — below and above the average. So also the temperature follow the wet and dry patern.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  2. …Great post again Eric…..The left wing Alarmists seem to be getting seriously desperate lately, I wonder why ?

    • Don’t forget, Coffee, Polar Bears, Penguins, etc. If it is cute an cuddly or effects your Starbucks morning run to work, we must be concerned about it when you live in California.

  3. ‘Decent working conditions’? I guess the authors have never tried picking coffee. It is terrible back-breaking work. I know, I have tried it. But somebody has to do it. Otherwise, how would I survive without my ‘tinto’ in the morning?

    • If you go to any bar in Spain and ask for “un tinto” you will be given a glass of red wine.

      Anyway, caffeine is easy to synthesize and it can be found in about 60 plants, including tea, mate, kola or chocolate. According to the book “Natural Products in the Chemical Industry” by Bernd Schaefer, 75 % of the caffeine consumed worldwide is produced by chemical synthesis.

    • However, once Antarctica becomes the world’s primary coffee producing continent, we can train penguins to do the picking, thus reducing back-breaking among human pickers.

  4. Now wait a second here!! I’ve been increasingly skeptic, through Climategate, following the multiple data set revisions, and seeing prediction after prediction result in a giant fail.

    But now EVERYTHING is different! Climate change might be taking away my coffee??? No no no no no, can’t have that happen! I need to sign up RIGHT AWAY to do anything in my power to keep that liquid gold flowing into my system….

    /sarc, in case not IOTTMCO (intuitively obvious to the most casual observer)

  5. Have you noticed that purveyors of other popular drinks, the carbonated ones, are very quiet about climate change?
    When your dominant corporate function is to force CO2 into water and sell it to as many people as possible, for them to let it fly free into the atmosphere, you have to wonder how they will manage their images.
    Can we foresee ‘environmentally friendly carbonation” commercials? The mind boggles.
    But this thread is about coffee. It is not like soda pop.
    To enjoy a good coffee you have to stir.
    Which the above story demonstrates.
    Geoff

    • Geoff – there’s a possible investment opportunity! Find a source of “old” CO2 – bubbly seltzer spring, carbonate (or whatever) seep, etc – capture it, and market it to the soft drink makers. They can inject this “natural” stuff in their products and brag about the “CO2” neutral nature of their soft drinks!

      • ‘Natural’ CO2 is always better – and it doesn’t have any GMOs either! There is widespread consensus of this fact.

    • And to enjoy a good carbonated beverage, most of them seem to supply caffeine. So, don’t stir your coffee, guzzle your caffeine in carbonated form and belch and flatulate instead of just get the morning jitters.

    • Actually, this may be the answer to the sequestration problem. Everybody – drink more coke! Of course, there’s a recycling issue to be hashed out – maybe people just need to buy it and not drink it.

    • They can bill themselves as “carbon neutral”. CO2 from the air, into the drinks, back into the air, no change.

  6. If I have to choose between affordable energy and affordable coffee, there is no question, it’s cheap coffee which is going to be sacrificed.

    • If the choice were that simple, I would agree. But, oil is a finite resource. Eventually, it will be very expensive if we continue to rely on it.

      And, there are other concerns about global warming, such as rising sea level, that we can’t just dismiss.

      New York isn’t flooded, yet. Good. Maybe we can stop it from ever being flooded.

      • It’s finite, but we won’t run out for hundreds of years, so no need to worry just yet.
        There has been no increase in the rate at which the seas are rising in the last couple hundred years.

      • I spent a few years “logging” oil wells which often involved working 24 to 36 hours or more without sleep, so I know a little about oil and a lot about coffee. We are not going to run out of oil any time soon, the coffee farms here in Kona seem to be doing fine, and coffee IS necessary for life!

      • Jim Yushchyshyn
        August 29, 2016 at 7:48 am

        If the choice were that simple, I would agree. But, oil is a finite resource. Eventually, it will be very expensive if we continue to rely on it.

        Can’t let you get away with “oil is a finite resource” – prove it.
        Experiments have proven that calcium carbonate, iron oxide and water spontaneously turn to the mixture of compounds found in crude oil at the pressure and temperature found at the crust/mantle boundary. Given the subduction zones around the planet it is highly unlikely that the raw materials required do not find their way to that depth. Forget about fossilised marine creatures and get real.

        http://web.archive.org/web/20110718100138/http://www.gasresources.net/index.htm

        SteveT

      • Jim Yushchyshyn. sea level change has been very steady for a really long time. CO2 does not add volume to the oceans. You can be absolutely sure that no amount of “anthropogenic” CO2 will cause New York to flood.
        Please acquire actual evidence-based knowledge before panicking. Here, there are no :safe spaces”.

      • Steve T schools Jim Y:

        Can’t let you get away with “oil is a finite resource” – prove it.

        JY said:

        …oil is a finite resource. Eventually, it will be very expensive if we continue to rely on it.

        I see a glimmer of understanding! Market forces are at work, which set the price level. As petroleum products become more scarce, the price rises, making alternatives competitive.

        But that is not happening. A few years ago oil was more than $100/bbl. Now it’s half that, which means there is an abundance of oil. So that is a non-issue.

        Next:

        …there are other concerns about global warming, such as rising sea level, that we can’t just dismiss.

        Sea level rise was predicted to accelerate. That prediction was wrong. Therefore, that concern must be dismissed as a non-issue.

        But, but…

        New York isn’t flooded, yet. Good. Maybe we can stop it from ever being flooded.

        Too late! NY was flooded in 2012. We couldn’t stop it, all we could do was mitigate the damage. That was done, and now NYC isn’t flooded any more. Problem solved.

        Therefore, that is another non-issue.

        Please confine arguments to things that are:

        1. Not falsified by observations

        2. Not falsified by failed predictions

        The ‘no more oil’ scare, and the ‘accelerating sea level rise’ scare were false alarms. They did not happen, and there is no evidence that they are starting to happen. Science doesn’t progress with concerns that begin, “But what if…”. Those concerns are a matter of faith; of eco-religion. Please stick to things that are supported by verifiable facts and empirical observations.

        If JY has any verifiable evidence that global temperatures are either unusual, or unprecedented, he should post that evidence. So far, all we’ve seen is the hand-waving typical of the wild-eyed climate alarmist cult.

    • I was about to say that coffee isn’t necessary for life. Then I looked around at my cube mates sucking down their morning brews. And suddenly I’m not so sure.

    • Well my Starbucks mixed coffees such as frapp’s (can’t stand straight coffee) already cost more than 2 gallons of gas, but one way to justify them is that they have lots of calories so are just a food expense.

  7. yet another nonsense proclamation from an organisation that when challenged on the claims failure in the future will just shrug its collective shoulders and say the claims were justified by the “science” at the time.

    • Note the nod to ‘CO2 fertilization’ in their statement. In that sentence they assume a more hostile climate, which in fact will be more benign. When will they ever learn?
      =============

      • Invest in research on using nitrogen fixing bacteria to fertilize coffee, instead of synthetic fertilizer. Might actually do some good, it would at least keep them out of trouble.

    • Oh, David Middleton,

      Don’t muddy the story with facts.
      But it could, it might, could possibly, maybe, and the models….

    • Conceivably, the ignorant alarmist coffee snobs mean Arabica only – this variety prefers tropical highlands that may experience climate change. However, Robusta is doing just fine in tropical lowlands of which there would be a surfeit. And Robusta makes a perfectly fine coffee, tastier than Arabica in my view.

  8. “In the next few decades, coffee production will undergo dramatic shifts—broadly, away from the equator and further up mountains. Production will probably come into con[fl]ict with other land uses, including forests.”
    ——————————
    Any warming won’t affect crop growing zones around the equator, since any warming effects would be most noticeable at higher latitudes. Their statement conflicts with the basic tenets of the climate science which they otherwise support.
    Further, with no curtailment of current growing zones in sight, they are effectively arguing that the expansion of coffee growing zones is not in the best interest of coffee farmers.

    • Good point, but facts don’t matter. They will lie about anything to get a grant or cozy up to the rulers.

    • “In the next few decades, coffee production will undergo dramatic shifts—broadly, away from the equator and further up mountains. Production will probably come into con[fl]ict with other land uses, including forests.”

      Well, wouldn’t the forests also expand their range to higher elevations and higher latitudes. Seems like more CO2 and moderate warming would be a good thing all around. The only problem is that the warming is only found in models. No such luck here in the real world!

  9. Just another load of bulls**t, yawn. Like all crops coffee will be grown where the climate is appropriate and/or conditions or the plant itself is modified to suit, just as any other grown crop.

    More politically motivated ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. Make a case loudly enough, however badly founded, and the guilt ridden, hand-wringers of the industrialised nations will pay up.

  10. I did a google search for “Several coffee companies have responded to customer demands for climate action, and many nations are making substantial efforts.”

    Are we in danger of not being able to drink a cup of joe in the morning? Of course not. As, or, perhaps I should say, if Earth warms, the result would be more areas favorable for the growth of coffee.

    But, there is also the question as to how global warming could effect people who grow coffee, now.

  11. strong evidence… already affecting… badly affecting… strong action… 50 per cent… extinct… severe risks… supply shortages… rising prices… dramatic shifts… risks… hostile climate… hotter world… livelihoods… vulnerable… burden on health…

    Ah, the aroma of global warming in the morning. Thank you for my morning fix!

    • Yeah well, 2050 is about right. You see, it’s got to be close enough to now to be scary and far enough off for the shreekers to escape being held personally accountable. It’s tough being an alarmist, didn’t you know? Looking at themselves in the mirror in the morning is especially daunting. [/sarc just in case it’s needed.]

      • Frankly after being in a few (pointless) discussions with them they are so frinking arrogant they don’t have a clue what they are talking about and the effect they have on other clueless members of the population. Which is to me the truly scary part. ( The blind leading the blind thingy).

      • @ A.D.Looking at themselves in the mirror in the morning is especially daunting. That is after they take a hot shower, shaving with cream from an aerosol can with a nice steel blade in a plastic holder while “Mum” is heating up “Brekky” on the gas stove, breaking eggs delivered by the trucks to the store the day before and toasting fresh bread in the electric steel toaster for him and his two lovely healthy bright children looking ready for school while reading the newspaper ( Guardian or the NYT I presume) before setting out on the tube for work.

        This could also read:
        Looking at himself in the cracked piece of glass found in a broken window frame, scraping his day old stubble with a rusted shard of years old metal ( metal? And where is the bloody hot water woman!!!), while the unwashed woman is scrambling left over undefinable broth with some pieces of day old bread to feed him and his two scrawny kids on a smoky fire on a ring of rocks in the backyard. All while waiting for the horse drawn wagon to pick him up for “work” ( he still thought of it as “work”)….

        But only just if he would have ….

  12. ” •Rising CO2 levels may boost the growth and vigour of the coffee plant, but there is no guarantee this ‘fertilisation effect’ will offset the risks imposed by a more hostile climate. ”

    By their own admission, less CO2 means less growth and vigour of the coffee plant. That’s guaranteed.

  13. Just so you’ll know, there are coffee companies operating in Africa and U.S. that do provide the benefits to local farmers but without the climate change rhetoric of Fairtrade. See Westrock Coffee for example.

  14. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “The climate models which Fairtrade uses to justify their position have never demonstrated predictive skill.

    “All this artificially imposed energy poverty and hardship for the sake of unproven predictions, from climate models which have never gotten anything right.”

    Without overheated climate models, there would be no trillion dollar climate crisis, nor the need to bloviate “save the planet” climate virtue that ends up causing real harm via draconian climate policy, leading to fuel poverty that hurts the poorest in society.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, coffee crops worldwide continue record harvests…

  15. “Leading global coffee companies, such as Starbucks and Lavazza”

    So now we’re supposed to rely on a bunch of people that can’t even get real jobs to inform us about climate???

  16. I’m not afraid. Coffee can be grown in a greenhouse. link So if I’m not afraid, why am I in a fetal position whimpering.

  17. So there will be no coffee if you happen to live in the virtual reality of broken computer models.
    … meanwhile, back in the real world ….

  18. In the next few decades, coffee production will undergo dramatic shifts—broadly, away from the equator and further up mountains…

    …I guess they are talking about the same climate change that originally moved production closer to the equator and further down the mountains

    • BTW…it’s cold that limits the range of coffee……frost kills it

      …a warming climate with extend it’s range

      • I had 8 coffee trees from Hawaii that thrived and produced plenty of beans while living in Puget Sound. They all died from the cold of North Central Washington when I relocated. They really do hate cold. In Hawaii they thrive at sea level (Kauai Island) and on the slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island. Just don’t let them cool off too much and they’re happy productive trees.

      • Given their own alarmist models, the land available for producing coffee will expand, not decline.

        Yet, this portend disasters?

        How gloomy and doomy these Fairtrade people are!
        Given signs of plenty, they see scarcity.
        Given increasing acreage and plantations of coffee, they believe the world is losing land.

        What’s next on their doom list? Tea?

  19. Didn’t they tell us that 10 or more years ago. More recycled alarmist news. Maybe fair trade is trying to establish a monopoly. All coffee growers will have to go through fair trade to sell their coffee.
    Did coffee production plummet in the last 10 years as promised ?

    The only thing I saw that hurt coffee was the ban on selling Kueirg coffee makers in Europe.

    • rishrac
      “The only thing I saw that hurt coffee was the ban on selling Kueirg coffee makers in Europe.”
      I missed that.
      I assume this was because they were – like the banned vacuums – over 2 Kw.
      EU wants your coffee to be fully-brewed – if slowly . . . . (IF I am right).

      Auto – much to be done, certainly, and there will be challenges, but I am ready for Article 50 to be invoked.

  20. Typical smoke & mirrors puff piece from a vested interest. I note the phrase “climate related damage” not “global warming” nor “damage to the coffee crop”.

    “•Many countries where coffee exports form a main plank of the economy are also amongst the most vulnerable to climate risk. Honduras, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Guatemala, for instance, rank in the top- 10 for climate-related damages since the 1990s.”

    Since the 90’s Vietnam has risen from 0.1% to 20% of the world market despite this damage from “climate change”.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-2581172
    This is not without other issues.

    “The expansion of coffee has also had downsides, however.

    Agricultural activity of any kind holds hidden dangers in Vietnam, because of the huge numbers of unexploded ordnance remaining in the ground after the Vietnam War. In one province, Quang Tri, 83% of fields are thought to contain bombs.

    Environmentalists also warn that catastrophe is looming. WWF estimates that 40,000 square miles of forest have been cut down since 1973, some of it for coffee farms, and experts say much of the land used for coffee cultivation is steadily being exhausted.”

    FAIRTRADE do not mention that.
    ” Fairtrade, for example, has moved to ensure the production and supply chains for its Fairtrade Climate Neutral Coffee don’t add more heat- trapping greenhouse gases and that steps are taken to build safer, more resilient, more sustainable workplaces”.

    Perhaps they helped with bomb clearance.

    • “•Many countries where coffee exports form a main plank of the economy are also amongst the most vulnerable to climate risk. Honduras, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Guatemala, for instance, rank in the top- 10 for climate-related damages since the 1990s.”

      curious, just what “climate- related damage” would the article be referring too?? Any of it related to CO2 and warming???

  21. The last line shows the purpose of this pseudoscience report. Its a marketing ploy to convince gullible consumers to purchase overpriced coffee. The Fairtrade org complete business model is based on public deception. Several research reports show that they do not support poor small farmers and many farmers who are a part of the Fairtrade org are worse off than if they were independent. If you want to support the small farmers there are much better brands to buy. The link is just one article.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/05/25/surprise-fairtrade-doesnt-benefit-the-poor-peasants/#66ca66261eac

    • The results in http://ftepr.org/wp-content/uploads/FTEPR-Final-Report-Appendices-April-11th-2014-FINAL.pdf are stunning. The church I used to go to were gung-ho on Fairtrade and so I’d accepted the whole thing as Good Work, but after reading the articles and (some of) the report I can no longer buy any Fairtrade product in good conscience. At the beginning of reading *this* article I thought the impoverishment of poor farmers that would result from “climate change” was an *un*intended consequence; after reading that report I can no longer think so. The best I can assume is a policy of actively not caring what happens to the poor farmers. The best.

  22. Hully gee! I was under the impression the “global warming” was a high latitudes, not semi- to full tropical areas where coffee currently grows. I remember frosts destroying the Brazilian coffee crop in the 1960’s and 70’s, so Fairtrade seems a bit off on good weather for coffee.+

  23. These people, including our low iQ President, are almost criminally negligent of the almost certain future of energy production and usage. Molten salt nuclear reactors can do everything one could possibly want from a power producer, including lowest cost, and automobiles will be electrified in the not too distant future. Even right now we have a vehicle about to go into production (the Elio) which is slated to be electrified in a few years, becoming the first practical and very affordable electric vehicle. Gasoline powered vehices’ days are numbered, regardless. Simple metrics like number of parts, reliability, maintenance costs,etc demonstrate that no vehicle can compete economically with an electric, given a low enough cost for batteries. And we are approaching battery prices that would be low enough to make the transition a very rapid one. Virtually all of our machinery , excepting motor vehicles, is already electric and in fact, a large portion of the components of a gas powered car are already electric (power steering, electric windows,cooling fans, most of the A/C system, etc). The future is nuclear and electric. Quit trying to kill systems which are on the way out, especially when the desired replacement is so crappy (renewables).

    • arthur4563 says: August 29, 2016 at 8:33 am

      These people, including our low iQ President, …

      The problem is not that he has a low IQ. The problem is that he has a high IQ and plenty of education. Such people will believe any kind of crazy crap.

      Magicians often say scientists make the best audience because they think they’re too smart and observant not to trust what they see with their own eyes. Ricky Jay, the sleight-of-hand master, told 60 Minutes (video) that “the ideal audience would be Nobel Prize winners….They often have an ego with them that says, ‘I am really smart so I can’t be fooled.’ No one is easier to fool.” link

      Let that sink in for a minute. The audience that a magician would have the easiest time fooling would be Nobel Prize winners.

      The reason we have CAGW is that smart educated people will believe other smart educated people. The idea that we go to college to learn thinking skills and become more skeptical is just hogwash. We go to college so that we will be able to believe that black is white when we are told so by an expert.

  24. “Rising CO2 levels may boost the growth and vigour of the coffee plant, but there is no guarantee this ‘fertilisation effect’ will offset the risks imposed by a more hostile climate.”

    They got that one backwards(their spelling). Rising CO2 levels are greatly increasing coffee plant growth and if there’s one thing you can bank on, it’s the law photosynthesis to continue to rule, with massive benefits….. even at double the current atmospheric levels of CO2(which will never happen).

    Risks of a more hostile climate for growing coffee?

    Those are the ones based on a speculative theory and model projections for regional weather/climate that don’t show much skill.

    This is biased speculation with no accountability to the real world of coffee growing. If this entity was using information like this in the real world coffee market, they might get lucky and make money or more likely go broke because they have can’t view the realities………which are the ones that count for real coffee vs speculative models of what might happen as a result of humans causing climate change from burning fossil fuels.

    • “Rising CO2 levels may boost the growth and vigour of the coffee plant, but there is no guarantee this ‘fertilisation effect’ will offset the risks imposed by a more hostile climate.”

      It looks like the arguments being made on WUWT about the benefits of increased CO2 to the world’s plant life, is entering the alarmists’ thinking. They now feel it necessary to raise the issue so they can dismiss it.

    • Mike M quotes the article.:
      “Risks of a more hostile climate for growing coffee?” Oh, cut them some slack–may be they are referring to the potential cooling period some think we are moving into

  25. Every two weeks, there’s another study that is published about the health effects of coffee. It must be the most studied food item on the market. I often wonder if that is as a result of college students in search of graduate degrees who find a convenient excuse to sit in a coffee shop all day. The studies seem to attract the attention of coffee addicted editors. Half the studies are utter rubbish and the other half I have my doubts about. This is no different.

  26. ..Maybe these people at Fairtrade.org think “Iced Cappuccino” is made from FROZEN COFFEE BEANS ?

  27. Everyone wants to get onto the lucrative alarmist AGW bandwagon. Fairtrade is using it to get publicity. I am always in support of giving third world farmers a fair deal, but as people have mentioned this is ridiculous. Shame on Fairtrade for sullying their mandate.

  28. Ah, but the real climate-change danger is to the most expensive coffee: Kopi Luwak.

    As has been shown by many peer-reviewed studies, climate change is endangers populations of cute and useful creatures while at the same time causing explosions in ugly, dangerous and disease-carrying pests. Thus the plight of the Asian palm civit (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) may not have been extensively studied, but because it is in the classification of useful creatures, its pending extinction is assured.

    The Asian palm civit is vital to the production of Kopi Luwak (Indonesian for “civit coffee”), one of the most-valued and highest priced coffees in the world.

    The Asian palm civit eats and partially digests coffee cherries, and expels the beans in its feces, which are then collected by Sumatran Kopi Luwak farmers:

    The luak, that’s a small catlike animal, gorges after dark on the most ripe, the best of our crop. It digests the fruit and expels the beans, which our farm people collect, wash, and roast, a real delicacy. Something about the natural fermentation that occurs in the luak’s stomach seems to make the difference. For Javanese, this is the best of all coffees—our Kopi luak.
    — Doyo Soeyono Kertosastro, Indonesian Coffee Farmer, March 1981 National Geographic

    More details can be found here .

    Urgent action is needed immediately to save the Asian palm civit, or civilization will lose access to civit-poop coffee.

    • Now that you bring that up, it has been discussed here before…. about the Asian palm civit. I remember that. Oh the horror of losing that coffee, how many years has it been now ? It didn’t happen yet ? I thought it already happened ! It’s like a reoccurring cycle of explaining how a diaster is eminent, which if they keep at for a few million years, it will happen.

    • So when people complain their coffee tastes like… you know what… they are just boasting they are drinking the expensive variety?

  29. Fairtrade Coffee was (I suppose) a great idea, but from everything I’ve read it has been pretty well taken over by organized crime. The situation works out to pay-to-play, so the small farmers don’t come out ahead at all.

  30. What!?

    Are we lacking in news of gloom and doom?

    Why would an international corporation seek to frighten customers and potential customers?

    Translation: Significant price increases are on the horizon. Likely for all goods that Fairtrade operates as another cost layer, called middleman.

  31. If the climate warms as predicted, and the cost of coffee goes up, we will adjust. If coffee becomes as expensive as oil, will the stock market suffer? Nope. It will be seen as an opportunity – perhaps like gold, as a hedge against economic downturns? It will not matter to me by then, and many people reading this essay. It will matter to my descendants, perhaps. If so, I would be telling them to invest in coffee as scarcity breeds profits. Alas, I fear that a Maunder Minimum type of solar activity might actually cool the Earth for a bit and so, if the reverse of the prediction is true, then will we perhaps see a collapse in coffee prices similar to the oversupply prices of oil today? Either way, the futures market gamblers will roll the dice and win. Of course, as a coffee drinker, I’d be happy for a cheaper cup of joe. ;-)

  32. The ‘Climate change risks to coffee !!!’
    gets trotted out every so often – this version from October 2009 –

    “Significant areas of forest and occasionally coffee are destroyed every year by wildfires, and this problem is bound to increase in a hotter and drier future climate. Widespread landslides and inundations, including on coffee farms, have recently been caused by hurricanes whose intensity is predicted to increase. A hotter climate with more irregular rainfall will be less favorable to the production of quality coffee and lower profitability may compel farmers to abandon shade coffee and expand other land uses of less biodiversity value, probably at the expense of forest.”

    from Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11027-009-9186-5

    It’s like a broken record .

  33. When the Eco-Greens talk about being green they want naive folks to think
    this green:

    When those who run those organizations are really coveting
    this green:

    • Like most leftists, they actually believe that everyone should be forced to use their definition of “fair”.
      In other words, a “fair” tax, is any tax paid by someone who makes more than the leftist.

      • Chuck,

        This may just be personal preference, but I prefer Heinlein’s work, where he distills the valuable spirit of those endless pages of Rand’s repetitive diatribe into a few chapters of comparatively easy, entertaining reading, a la Starship Troopers*. (*The book, NOT the movies. Dear Ceiling Cat, never the movies…) The principles are not watered down, but rather simplified & clarified so as to be easily useful to anyone who cares to attempt an understanding of the material: essentially, that individual freedom based on rational principles is the basis of any truly enlightened society/economy/government (or lack thereof)/etc.

        If I’m going to have to read many hundreds of pages while listening to an author preach, let it be in an enjoyable manner and without using the same set of words in the same order every other chapter… Time Enough For Love, or Friday, for example.

  34. Context – In the USA:
    The number of farms fell dramatically after its peak of nearly 7 million in 1935, with most of the decline occurring during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s (fig. 3-1).The decline in farm numbers continues, but at a slower pace. By 1997, about 1.9 million farms remained.
    http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter3.htm

    Books have been written about this transition. If one’s goal is to keep coffee bean growers poor and on the fringe of modernity (count me out), the effort is likely to fail.

  35. There is another prophecy that predicts the extinction of coffee beans will be followed by their rediscovery. The dodo dynasty, however, seems to be permanently suspended.

  36. There is only one way to keep the (coffee)-traders honest , that is competition . So if Fairtrade is striving to create a monopoly for the so-called small producers , they are working against the snall producers , who will benefit from an open market-place and not from semi-marxistic idealistic monpoly , You know it all the way to hell is paved with good intentions ……..

  37. Perhaps we will see all of the illegal growers turn legit by replacing marijuana with coffee. The market for coffee is bigger than for marijuana.

  38. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing

    After weeks of trying to bake and brew decent coffee from local beans in the deserts of Darfur a colleague who happened to be an agronomist told me why. There are 2 basic varieties of coffee: lowland and upland. I could have experimented with lowland beans for 20 years and still ended up with something raw and bitter. It was only through desperation that we continued to drink it.

    Then I was moved to the Ethiopian highlands (2000 m.a.s.l.). Wow! Any guest in the most humble of mud huts is honoured through the coffee ceremony conducted by the hostess. She sits there in front of you, baking, crushing, brewing and serving – black with sugar. Theirs’ is the best in the world and they know it.
    The coffee you buy is usually a blend of the two. Only suppliers of the most premium coffees supply pure upland. It is priced accordingly and you may never encounter it.

    So, while coffee is a tropical plant it is very adaptable. I have seen it grown in the steamy coastal regions of West Africa, right through to wonderfully livable climates of the tropical highlands.

    Should there be a ‘drastic’ increase in temperature of 1 C the upland farmers would simply shift their crops up slope. Just 300 m can mean a difference of 1 C at these altitudes.

    Why is ignorance such an annoying thing?

    • With that I have to tell a story.

      When the Ethiopians are baking coffee (in a hand ladle over fire) going on smell, one would swear it was burnt to cinder. Getting the bake just right is the key.

      One day I served my own baked version to staff. After a few sips my female staff member said, “Michael, I think I need to make more coffee, there is nothing happening inside my head!”

  39. Every week, I replace the article on the outside of my cubicle related to coffee. Why? Because this week coffee is BAD FOR YOU. And next week, coffee will be GOOD FOR YOU (or at least NOT SO BAD FOR YOU AS PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT).

    Sorry for yelling, but that’s what these press releases do..

  40. It turns out that coffee and tobacco grow very nicely in my greenhouse… stop on by for a cup of fresh roasted yum and a smoke if ya please.. hehehe. Honestly hydroponic is the bomb. It takes very little space, much less water than ground planting and the yield is about twice as much. Not to mention my growing season is year round. Seriously though, this is not the first time coffee was supposed to become a rare thing, the story usually comes along with a price rise. The only results these stories produce is the death of the credibility of the community pushing them. The shriller they scream, the more we tune out. It must be quite frustrating for them.

  41. Coffee is a favorite alarmist prop because a lot of people like it. A threat to it has impact. That’s why we get these frequent scares – because they have impact.

    It’s funny that my Colombia Supremo cups from Sam’s Club say “single serve cup,” they don’t say Keurig anywhere. I figure they weren’t going to pay a royalty to Keurig. Yet the box does say, “Fair trade certified,” so they are paying a royalty to Fairtrade (I assume. Maybe someone else certifies “fair trade.” Great racket).

    Call me a heathen, but I couldn’t care less if my coffee is “fair trade,” and I wish I could get a refund of money spent so the box can say “fair trade certified.” What kind of crappy life must you have to worry about whether your coffee is “fair trade.”

    • Well to be fair I like to assume the stuff I’m getting is fair trade. You know… willing seller/willing buyer rather than the proceeds of a stickup or heist but with those Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Kim types I guess you do need somebody to keep an eye on that sort of thing with their overheads.

    • In Walmart today. Looked at their stock of coffee. Maybe 75 different brands/packages. NOT ONE had Fair Trade Certified on their boxes (though some tea boxes did).

      Most said nothing about their virtue. Starbucks’ boxes had some mumbo jumbo about blessings from Conservation International. I guess the Fair Trade commercial enterprise isn’t doing so well.

  42. If they are trying to get a better price for farmers, shouldn’t they want to see more global warming which they claim will reduce supply, thus increasing prices?

  43. The childish notion that all of the world’s problems can be stated in terms of climate change and then solved simply by cutting emissions has taken hold in the rich countries. The poor countries enthusiastically go along with it because of billions in climate adaptation aid that it implies.

    • Yuk! Instant coffee is disgusting. I’d prefer to do without. However, I feel no moral obligation to do that!

      • Some may disagree Annie.

        Living in the UK, a strong, yet silky smooth brew, in a mug using 4 x heaped teaspoons of Nescafé ‘Crema’ Gold instant coffee (£6 per 200g jar) beats any ground alternative. Delicious.

  44. •There is strong evidence that rising temperatures and altered rainfall patterns are already affecting coffee yields, quality, pests, and diseases—badly affecting economic security in some coffee regions

    OK, where is this evidence?

    • You know the worst drought ever in the American West? Just a few short years ? Proof of global warming ? Well its raining now and you don’t hear anymore about it. See, altered rainfall patterns. ( sarc)

    • One of the studies here shows there’s already an effect…
      https://ccafs.cgiar.org/research-highlight/arabica-coffee-production-risk-due-changing-climate#.V8WGqThTHcs

      “a new study by Alessandro Craparo from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) which shows evidence that climate change is already having an impact on the Arabica coffee sector in the East African Highlands region. The study describes that over the last 49 years, there has been a +1.42 °C increase in night temperatures which has led to yield decreases in Arabica of 195 kg/ha. The consequences for smallholders in the region are dramatic as it represents losses of 46%.”

      • Your ‘study’ shows they don’t understand lapse rate, claiming they only need to move vertically 3-500 meters to compensate for the alleged 1.42°C increase in night time temps. Actually they only need to move 150 meters if it is humid, or 300 if it is dry (unlikely). My, what a catastrophic fantasy!

  45. ‘Leading global coffee companies, such as Starbucks and Lavazza, publicly acknowledge the severe risks posed by climate change to the world’s coffee supply. Consumers are likely to face supply shortages, impacts on avour and aroma, and rising prices.’

    I presume Starbucks, along with all the other major coffee shop chains have included that list of devasting effects on their business in their accounting statements. I mean, it’s only fair to their shareholders – and they wouldn’t want an enthusiastic AG coming after them sometime in the near future.

  46. I prefer to buy goods and services that are produced by people who are skilled at what they do and are well paid for their work. Buying Fair Trade certified products is like getting an unemployed guy to service your car . . . he’ll no doubt welcome the work and the money but there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a couple of k down the road and the wheels will fall off or the motor will seize.

    In my experience – and I’m an unabashed coffee snob (plunger brewed, no milk, no sugar, no additives of any kind) – Fair Trade coffee is rubbish.

  47. I sense a scandal brewing on North Avenue. When did Coca Cola know that climate change would endanger coffee production, and what did they do to suppress this knowledge?

    The Clintons will expect a multi-million dollar speaking engagement deal from the sugar-water industry within the week, or else a certain subset of state Attorneys General will serve papers. After all, the poor and down-trodden must secure their right to finance the rich via the daily purchase of four-dollar lattes.

  48. So they build up an entire organization apparently completely oblivious to the laws of economics… Who is anti science again?

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