Wake Up & Smell the Coffee….Before it’s too Late!


Picture Courtesy of Starbucks

When my hometown of Vero Beach, Florida finally got its first Starbucks in 2007, it happened to be perfectly placed on the way to my high school. Like any other middle-aged working woman, my mom is not functional in the morning until she has her cup of coffee, and since she was my ride to school, a caffeine detour became part of my early morning routine. Within days, this habit grew to addiction.

When I came across CBS’s report that climate change might be pushing coffee to extinction, Jon and I thought this would be perfect for our final multimedia project. You can follow the progress of our project and that of our classmates’ projects on twitter @thinkfwd.

Columbian Coffee Plantation Courtesy of Ride Adventures

According to Todd Sanford, a climate scientist from the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Coffee likes a pretty narrow range of temperatures, and one of the hallmarks, really, of climate change, will be increased extremes in temperatures.” Since coffee plans have adapted to specific climate zones, a temperature increase of even half a degree can make a big different.

The director of sustainability for Starbucks, Jim Hanna, said climate change is threatening the world’s coffee supply. He told the Guardian newspaper, “What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road — if conditions continue as they are — is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean.”

Courtesy of Swing's Coffees

So what does this mean for your morning cup o’ joe? It will most likely become increasingly more expensive as businesses such as Swing’s Coffees are forced to pay more for the same coffee beans.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a 1-pound can of ground coffee sold for an average of $5.10 in the U.S. in April, up from $3.64 the year before

As for the people who support your caffeine fix for a living, such as Luis Garzon, genetically modified coffee may be in the future.


Courtesy The New York Times

Coffee extinction might be brewing…who wants to be around coffee drinks who can’t get their fix in the morning? I don’t.



One thought on “Wake Up & Smell the Coffee….Before it’s too Late!

  1. Great photos and I love the intro. It is funny and engaging. Your piece could be better organized – the sentence at the very bottom will probably go unnoticed by many and try to make the photos a bit closer to the same size. Also you could use more hyperlinks. Nice job overall.

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