Climate Change is Getting More Personal
Climate change is starting to impact everyday life, from leisure activities like fly fishing to that morning cup of joe. Anglers and coffee producers alike are actively looking for ways to remain viable in a changing environment. As global warming changes the timing of peak snowmelt, alters the life cycles of insects, and makes summer water temperatures too hot for trout to survive, those who love fly fishing have to adapt their schedules to ensure the fish can make it back to their spawning grounds.
Coffee drinkers, too, may find themselves having to adapt. Arabica beans, which account for 60% of the coffee traded annually, cannot evolve for warmer temperatures. Researchers are seeking new, climate-resilient strains of beans that are both flavorful and scalable. One such strain, Coffea stenophylla, has been found in Sierra Leone. But, beyond the coffee consumer are the farms where these coffee crops are dying. Farmers are losing their land and livelihoods, left only with the option of migration.
Inside Climate News: Montana’s Famous Fly Fishing Rivers Are Feeling the Heat of Climate Change, Jun 6, 2018.
Vox: The global coffee crisis is coming, August 10, 2020.
Cornell Cooperative Extension: Climate change threat surfaces for ADK Brook Trout, May 25, 2022.
Why This Matters
What can be gleaned is this: when people experience climate change impacts first-hand, it spurs greater and more immediate action. Anglers are banding together to save their sport, effectively becoming environmental advocates along the way and despite the fact it was taboo to even mention climate change just ten years ago. From morning rituals to beloved hobbies, these occasions are cherished parts of life. But, global warming’s impact on the day-to-day is increasingly difficult to avoid.
CNN: Climate change is affecting the food you eat. Here’s how, September 20, 2019.
That’s Not All
The longevity of other food favorites is also at stake, including corn and tomatoes. Yes, the beloved pizza slice is now experiencing climate impacts after a drought and heat-stricken California leaves tomato canneries running short on product. And like trout, salmon cannot survive when river temperatures are too high, and salmon species in the Pacific Northwest have long struggled with this, impacting returns to spawning grounds.
CNBC: Will The US Face A Food Shortage?, April 20, 2022
Sacramento Bee: 'The Greatest Reduction Ever.’ How Drought Has Affected Rice Farmers In Sacramento Valley, May 16, 2022
NBC News: Shrinking Salmon, Fewer Clams | Climate Change Devastating Seafood Industry, October 1, 2021.