In an article reported by popular science website Nature, a recent study published in respected science journal Nature Plants has examined the potential fallout from extreme weather triggered by global warming, and the projected results are alarming for one obvious reason.
While man has farmed barley for thousands of years, we’ve also done a hell of a lot of other less wholesome stuff that has, according to the majority of scientists, helped bugger up the climate. “Climate change” has been a bit of a buzzword for over a decade now, and hotly debated amongst commentators and politicians, despite the plethora of evidence to support the fact that sea-temperatures are rising and that ice caps are melting. One way, it seems, that scientists are able to communicate this ongoing concern, is to hit the general public where it hurts, by pointing out some of the least popular results of an environmental backlash for our polluting ways.
As it turns out, you see, barley is just one of the many naturally occurring foodstuffs that doesn’t take too kindly to a swing in the climate. In fact, if trends continue the way they are currently heading, without a significant decrease in emissions within the decade, the consequences could be dire.
A significant reduction in the production of barley (up to seventeen per cent over one-hundred years) could drastically effect the global output of our favourite ales and lagers, driving prices up to more than double what they are now.
Beer is the most-consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, with Australians alone quaffing an average 71.82 litres each in 2017. Other countries lap it up on an even greater scale, too, meaning the effects of a global spike in beer prices due to undersupply of barley could be a global crisis: to some even more-so than what might happen to the polar bears.
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll likely fall for anything, so this seems like a pretty good mast to tie one’s colours to. A world without polar bears would be sad, but a world without beer?
In such dire times, that’s a bold risk to be taking.