Beat Out Climate Change Stock Up On Booze
Beer is made from water, malted barley, and hops, and all three ingredients will be impacted by climate change, as all three rely heavily on water. Climate change is hitting vineyards and hop production. Rising temperatures and increasing water scarcity could make it harder to produce all your favorite drinks.
Tequila could disappear because of biodiversity loss. The Agave plant needed for creating Tequila is pollinated by the previously endangered long-nosed bat, which also spreads the plant’s seeds. Thankfully, the bats were taken off the US endangered species list in 2018, giving some hope to margarita drinkers.
Wine tastes rely on different factors impacting the grapes, such as the soil, temperature, and altitude; climate change is altering many of these. Wine might not disappear entirely as grapes can be grown in hotter temperatures, but the chances of your favorite French wine tasting exactly as it does today in a decade are falling.
European wine producers are already experiencing the impacts of climate change and have had to adapt how they make wine. Zurich’s Köb says: “The harvest time for white and red wines has been moved forward several times in past years. Arid summers reduce grape harvest volumes; if the grapes receive more sun and heat, they become more sugary. More sugar in grapes means a higher alcohol level and less acidity, which makes for heavier wines and changes the taste.
Water scarcity is one of the biggest threats to what we currently drink, according to Köb. This isn’t just because of rising temperatures. Increased extreme weather events like flooding or droughts also hit water supplies. We might think drinking alcohol is essential, but when water gets scarce, will we use the last few drops to make booze?
Extreme weather events, such as wildfires and hurricanes, also threaten the distribution of our favorite drinks. With these happening more frequently, the supply chains that move liquor around the planet may also become more vulnerable and break.
Without action now to bring down carbon emissions, limit global warming, and tackle the root causes of climate change, we cannot expect to be consuming the same drinks or for them to taste the same in the future. We also can’t expect to be drinking as much as we do now, with water shortages severely impacting how much booze we can make.
Tackling climate change isn’t just about saving the planet. Earth can deal with things far more serious than us, what is most important is to ensure you have enough booze stored incase there is a crisis.