Trouble Brewing for Coffee

Beware, coffee lovers: climate change could disrupt your precious morning cup of joe. Coffee beans could lose half of their farmable land by 2050 as temperatures and weather patterns become more extreme and less predictable. This could lead to scarcer yields and pricier brews. But there is hope that unique varieties and novel farming techniques could change coffee’s destiny. The transition will require massive investments and many observers question whether the industry can meet the challenge.

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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting
Credits

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Aaron P. Davis
    Senior Research Leader of Crops and Global Change, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Amanda Grossi
    Senior Africa Regional Manager, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Jonathan Morris
    Research Professor in History, University of Hertfordshire

Show Notes

The world loves coffee, but the crop is facing a new challenge as climate change threatens traditional agricultural practices globally. The consequences go beyond risking coffee lovers’ daily cup by endangering small-scale farmers who rely on the crop for their livelihoods and economic survival. Coffee is getting even more popular, but scientists and farmers are just starting to think about how to modernize agricultural techniques and reintroduce more sustainable varieties for new climates.  

 

 

From CFR

 

Alice C. Hill and Madeline Babin, “What the Historic U.S. Climate Bill Gets Right and Gets Wrong” 

 

 

From Our Guests

 

Building a Climate Resilient Coffee Economy for Ethiopia,” Kew

 

Jonathan Morris, Coffee: A Global History, Reaktion Books

 

 

Read More

 

Anthony King, “Forest Plantations Are a Potent Blend for Coffee Production,” Horizon

 

Sarah Gibbens, “What Climate Change Means for the Future of Coffee and Other Popular Foods,” National Geographic

 

Tatiana Schlossberg, “Coffee and Climate Have a Complicated Relationship,” New York Times

 

 

Watch and Listen

 

‘Amazing’ New Beans Could Save Coffee From Climate Change,” Voice of America

 

The Global Coffee Crisis Is Coming,” Vox

 

How Climate Change Is Threatening the Coffee Industry,” CFR Education

 

Coffee, Climate Change, & Extinction: A Conversation With Dr. Aaron Davis at Kew”, James Hoffmann

India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most popular man in India. On track to be elected for a third term, he has transformed the country’s economy and global standing while silencing dissent and galvanizing majoritarian support for his Hindu nationalist agenda—all while growing closer to the United States. How could Hindu nationalism reshape India?

Media

In a wide-ranging conversation, Foreign Affairs Editor Dan Kurtz-Phelan joins Why It Matters to discuss nonpartisan publishing in a polarized political climate, the state of press freedom around the world, and the future of journalism.

Genocide and Mass Atrocities

Thirty years ago, Rwanda’s government began a campaign to eradicate the country’s largest minority group. In just one hundred days in 1994, roving militias killed around eight hundred thousand people. Would-be killers were incited to violence by the radio, which encouraged extremists to take to the streets with machetes. The United Nations stood by amid the bloodshed, and many foreign governments, including the United States, declined to intervene before it was too late. What got in the way of humanitarian intervention? And as violent conflict now rages at a clip unseen since then, can the international community learn from the mistakes of its past?

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Kenya

During Kenya’s state visit, the United States should work toward building a more resilient model of U.S.-Africa partnerships.

 

Iran

Ebrahim Raisi was more loyal to hard-line Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei than previous presidents, and whoever succeeds him is likely to be just as conservative.