An onslaught of scientific reports continue to tells us that the effects of climate change will irrevocably impact our way of life, yet many of us are still reluctant to change our habits. Now, climate change has finally threatened something that could force humanity to pull together in opposition against further global warming: the price of beer.
A study released earlier this week in the journal Nature Plants projected that future drought and extreme heat conditions could cause the yield of barley worldwide to decrease from three to 17 percent. Since barley is one of the main ingredients in beer, a drop in barley production would drive up the price of beer.
“Think about where beer is made, it is in cold climates ... Barley is a staple of cold climates where they can’t grow wheat, it’s too cold,” food critic and Senior Editor at The Atlantic Corby Kummer told Boston Public Radio Friday.
“Those cold climates are getting warmer and it is going to be harder to produce [barley] and it will grow in fewer places,” he continued.
The authors write in the study that they recognize that while beer prices may not be the most pertinent consequence of climate change, they hope that studies like theirs will wake people up to the dangers of climate change.
“Although it may be argued that consuming less beer is not disastrous — and may even have health benefits — there is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer consumption will add insult to injury,” the study says.