Wake up climate skeptics: Your beer’s days are numbered

Climate change. Two little words that we all hear ever so often. To many, climate change has lost its meaning, a hidden spectre we all know is lurking in the shadows. However, not many of us have witnessed any tangible events brought about by the process. Indeed, in case you haven’t noticed, it has been rather cold outside recently. If you frequent the internet at all, it would be remiss if you didn’t notice various enlightened voices proclaiming “global warming” isn’t real… its snowing after all!

Prices could double under the effects of the direst possible climate change scenarios

Don’t you just love the woke? They have access to the forbidden knowledge that the global establishment, and NASA, do not want you to find out. My favourite piece of subversive information that I freshly obtained is that birds are not real; birds are government surveillance drones. Think about it – they’re always seen perching on telephone wires. What else could they conceivably be doing other than charging? Yes, the woke are the gatekeepers of illuminated information.

Those that don’t think that humans are having an effect on global climate do so despite multitudes of evidence to the contrary. It would seem that these people are not worried about the possible dire implications of climate change because, maybe, even if it is real, it will only effect people on the other side of the world and not themselves. Therefore, the potential negative effects of climate change are outweighed by the benefits of not worrying about our dying planet.

Many in the scientific community are of the opinion that these “climate change deniers” cannot be convinced despite very strong arguments being made. However, this may be about to change due to a stomach-churning study published in Nature Plants. There is a possibly imminent global beer shortage! Due to this, the authors hypothesise that beer prices will rise considerably.

Increases in the frequency of severe heatwave and drought events across the globe could cause worldwide barley yields to plummet. Barley is an essential ingredient in the brewing process of beer and it, along with other grain crops, could see a 17% yield decrease in Europe, Australia, Asia and the US. Even more worryingly, barley is predominantly used as a feed crop for livestock such as cattle. A measly 17% is siphoned off for beer brewing. The authors suggest that, when push comes to shove, animal feed will be prioritized over alcohol generation. This may mean that the price of what little is left for brewing will skyrocket, perhaps causing six packs of beer to increase by £15 in some parts of the world. Prices could double under the effects of the direst possible climate change scenarios.

This is bad news as the paradigm of relaxing with some friends and a cold pint at the end of the day is embedded deep within many societies. But this could change as the team’s model predicts a 16% decrease in global beer consumption under the most severe RCP 8.5 conditions (RCP values detail possible levels of radiative forcing in Earth’s atmosphere by the year 2100).

There may be a sliver of hope that we can try and desperately cling on to, namely that novel farming techniques could help barley better survive future climate change. Unfortunately, this is not likely to fully protect our beer supplies. The study writes:

“In the long term, adaptation efforts might offset mean damages to barley production from climate change through changes in agronomic practises, cultivars, or barley-growing areas; however, extreme events are difficult to manage under any climate regime.”

Will the panic generated by the very real risk of impending pricy pints give climate change deniers the impetus required to accept the overwhelming evidence of climate change? That remains to be seen. But if it doesn’t then I imagine nothing will.

Image Credit: U3144362 (CC BY-SA 4.0)