As I sit out here on the Crow’s Nest in short sleeves, watching the leaves fly about in the autumn breeze, I start to ponder over the subject of climate change, or as some folks refer to as global warming. I know I’ve chatted about this a time or two, but it hasn’t really affected my life much. Well, we did have some damage here from Hurricane Harvey, and we couldn’t spend our summer vacation in Port Aransas this past summer because of the storm damage, but we’re doing okay.
Scientists claim the severity of hurricanes like Harvey, Florence and Michael was due to global warming, and future hurricanes will probably have huge tidal surges and extensive flooding due to warmer seas. This might be true, but we’re 3 hours from the coast. We should be fine, right?
Weather experts expect hotter summers from here on out, but we Texans are used to triple digits. Find a good shade tree and enough ice to chill a 6-pack of beer, and we’re fine and dandy. No worries over global warming here. I think I’ll pop the top on another cold one and read the paper on this beautiful, warm October day.
Whoa! Hold your horses! Have y’all read this article about some study published in the journal Nature Plants? It says here that some British professors and other smart fellas did some research on the ever-changing climate, and they concluded that global warming will significantly affect the production of barley. The study shows that in some European countries, barley production will decline drastically, and here in America we’ll see a moderate decrease due to climate change.
Some of y’all might wonder why this is such a big deal. Somebody might be saying, “I don’t even eat barley. I like white bread and Cheerios”. Well, Bubba, what you might not realize is that barley is used in making beer, and now you know why I’m as nervous as a three-legged cat in a dog pound.
Let me spell it out to y’all who flunked Econ 101. If the supply of barley decreases, the production of our favorite elixir decreases and there is less beer sitting on the shelves at your neighborhood convenience store. And when the supply is low but the demand for cold beer is high, the price of good beer rises. Now some of my fellow beer drinkers might be fine with drinking the cheap stuff made with water from the Milwaukee sewage treatment plant, but those of us who enjoy a well-crafted brew will have to pawn some power tools just to be able to buy a 12-pack of beer. Oh, the horrors!
This study also reports other grains will be affected, and food prices will rise due to shortages. With the decrease yield in barley production, a bottle of beer could double in price. Dang! How will I work that into my budget? I’m gonna have to cut back on other luxuries like air conditioning, beef or health care just to keep my beer fridge well-stocked. What in the name of Samuel Adams will I do?
So, what can we do to slow down this global warming? I know there are several folks up in Washington D.C. who are blind to this problem. They probably drink martinis or herbal tea, although I believe Trump prefers Russian vodka. These folks aren’t real concerned over the possible beer shortage, but I doubt these politicians know that most of us voters usually have a good beer buzz going on as we cast our ballots.
As Election Day approaches, I suggest to do some research on the candidates. Cast your vote for that candidate who is concerned about global warming, protecting residents along our coastlines and making darn sure I have affordable beer in my fridge.