The Latest Victim of Global Warming: Beer!

Colleges have always been a primary point of rally for green initiatives.  Now, a threat to malting barley has created a new call for support as the price and availability of beer is being threatened by climate change according to a study conducted and released in 2008.


The potential for the alcohol industry to be effected by climate change has been a concern for some time, but it is hitting a feverish pitch and garnering support and calls to action from campuses across the country.  In Lawrence, Kansas, Greenpeace volunteers held a recruitment event called “Save the Ales” earlier this week to tackle how global warming effects college drinking.

“It’s not really about the beer,” John Gawin, Greenpeace intern, said. “It just shows you how climate change can effect even small things.”

The concepts of global warming and climate change have been well documented and embraced by politicians and mainstream media for quite some time now, save a few reluctant to see the truth.  While the general public is aware that there is a problem, it is often difficult for many to grasp it on a personal level.  We see how it is reported, but it sometimes takes a direct effect on the “simple things” in life to make it tangible.

In college, beer is real.

The study conducted in 2008 reveals a trend towards drastically increasing prices of the materials used to create beer that is a direct result of global warming.  Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, claims that if changes aren’t made soon, beer could become scarce.

“It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up,” Salinger told the Institute of Brewing and Distilling convention.

For college students, even those who aren’t activists, this could be the last straw that brings them to the fight.

Photo credit: Andre Charland on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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