Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Science

Climate, Habitat Threaten Wild Coffee Species 274

Posted by timothy
from the ok-panic dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BBC reports that Dr. Aaron Davis of the Royal Botanical Gardens claims 'almost three-quarters of the world's wild coffee species are threatened, as a result of habitat loss and climate change. "Conserving the genetic diversity within this genus has implications for the sustainability of our daily cup, particularly as coffee plantations are highly susceptible to climate change.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Climate, Habitat Threaten Wild Coffee Species

Comments Filter:
  • Daily cup? (Score:4, Funny)

    by mrjb (547783) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:37AM (#30524096)
    Try hourly.
    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Just go to bigger cups. I swear the former HR director here used to drink out of what I can only describe as a coffee BUCKET. It had to be at least 64oz.

      Personally though I've got this weird handicap in that I can't seem to make good coffee if my life depended on it, so I usually save coffee drinking as an occasional treat during a trip to the local coffee-house and get my daily caffeine from Diet Mt Dew (which I drink about 6-8 of per day :)).

      • Personally though I've got this weird handicap in that I can't seem to make good coffee if my life depended on it.

        Try a different preparation method, or methods plural, until you find a method that works for you. Also, try different beans, and different degrees of grind.

        For example, get an espresso maker, if you don't already have one.

        Or do what I do: get a Turkish-style brass pot, and very finely milled Turkish-style coffee, which cooks up thick-as-sludge coffee delight. (I add ground cinnamon, sometime

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lobsterGun (415085)

        try this next time you make coffee.

        - make sure the equipment is clean; Just rinsing it out isn't enough, everything needs to be washed.
        - grind the beans yourself, or buy fresh grounds. Coffee grounds go stale in just a few days.
        - use lots of coffee. 2 tablespoons per cup.
        - use good tasting water. If you don't like the taste of the water before it becomes coffee, you probably won't like it post brewing.

        • by KC7JHO (919247)
          good points, all! Also use cold water when making it, Hot water will cause the coffee to burn while it cooks and have a much more bitter flavor. The best coffee i can make is made with very good well filtered water, with out good water you will always get crap coffee.
        • use lots of coffee. 2 tablespoons per cup.

          Whoa there, Nelly. That's a lot of coffee, way more than most people use. If the parent to your post likes the coffee from his local coffeehouse, then likely he'll want something a little weaker than that.

          My suggestion: buy a good, basic coffee maker. Buy a coffee measuring cup that is narrow and deep (to better accurately measure)... or use a kitchen scale to measure. Keep experimenting with water temperature (cold is best, I use ice water), the brew setting

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by maxume (22995)

            Shipping a boutique product hundreds of miles from growers that may or may not be fairly treated and then worrying about the minuscule amount of sustainable wood fiber in the accessory is pretty inane.

    • Sounds like you're drinking failcoffee.

      Switch to freshly roasted (but not too dark) quality coffee, which is ground just before brewing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by von_rick (944421)
        You don't have to compromise on quantity even if you preserve the quality. Heck, I medium roast the raw beans every weekend, and grind it before brewing - but still I drink about 2 pots/day.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by PPalmgren (1009823)

          I remember watching a documentary about caffeine and its effects on the brain. At first, it provides a boost to mental alertness, but when consumed on a regular basis, this edge dissapears and caffeine is required to provide your old regular mental alertness. This symptom dissapears after 2-3 weeks of abstinence.

          Do what I did, ween yourself off of it, and only consume it when you really need it. This way, caffeine actually gives you a boost rather than bringing you back up to speed. I love the practical

      • by mrjb (547783)

        Sounds like you're drinking failcoffee.

        Au contraire. The better the coffee, the more cups I'll have. At home, I'll either have espresso or French-press/cafetiere coffee. On the move, Starbucks espresso is a bit too dark a roast to my taste, but Italian ice cream parlors are usually a relatively safe bet for a good cup. When given the choice between instant coffee and tea, I'll have tea. Life's too short for bad coffee. And there's definitely more to coffee than just caffeine content or bucket sized cups.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:38AM (#30524106) Homepage

    A risk of Pacific island nations ending up underwater? Not a serious problem. But threaten my coffee supply and I'll take to the streets!

    Something might be a bit off on the priorities there.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:48AM (#30524270)
      "Risk" is only intolerable when it comes to terrorism. When it comes to climate change, we require certainty. (Why, I don't know).
      • by mhelander (1307061) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @01:00PM (#30525216)

        So you start by stating how rational you think the view on terrorism has been, and go on to lament that we don't (enough) apply the same hysteria to climate change?

        With the current level of polemic, those who point out holes in your arguments are painted as akin to holocaust deniers, flat-earthers and creationists and now as apparently so cynical that they care more for a cup of coffee than for people who see their land go underwater.

        It seems so hysterical at times that if someone tries to object to this coffee claim by pointing out that it seems likely that the coffee plant would be able to *adapt* to climate change, the way it and everyone else on this planet has been doing for quite a while, it would almost not surprise me to see him labeled a "creationist"...

        • by vadim_t (324782) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @03:30PM (#30527386) Homepage

          With the current level of polemic, those who point out holes in your arguments are painted as akin to holocaust deniers, flat-earthers and creationists and now as apparently so cynical that they care more for a cup of coffee than for people who see their land go underwater.

          Any holes are holes in the small details. The big picture is that retaining more heat will make things get hotter. That's about as clear as that the earth is round.

          The arguments about the specifics of what exactly is going to happen, but just because somebody got some of that wrong doesn't invalidate the big picture. The weather report may be wrong about that it's going to rain tomorrow, but that doesn't disprove that it rains a lot in London.

          It seems so hysterical at times that if someone tries to object to this coffee claim by pointing out that it seems likely that the coffee plant would be able to *adapt* to climate change, the way it and everyone else on this planet has been doing for quite a while, it would almost not surprise me to see him labeled a "creationist"...

          Do you realize that "adaption" is a potentially very nasty process?

          People talk of "adaption" as if in the case of coastal cities getting flooded people would just grow gills all of a sudden and happily live underwater.

          Adaption for humans will also be a messy thing. Suppose coastal cities get flooded. Well, we'll adapt, sure, through massive migrations, massive rebuilds of architecture destroyed by floods, and massive creation of new engineering projects like levees to prevent it. We'll definitely manage. However that won't happen for free, and you're going to end up paying for it, with your taxes, for instance. Some people will pay for it with their life for not getting out of the way soon enough, or will have their enconomic situation majorly screwed up.

          Other life no doubt will adapt, but that doesn't mean everything will just get used to the new conditions and otherwise stay the same. It could well mean a species we like dying off and getting replaced with some weed that doesn't mind the new conditions. Over enough time things will rebalance themselves, but not necessarily in a way we will find convenient.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KeensMustard (655606)

          So you start by stating how rational you think the view on terrorism has been, and go on to lament that we don't (enough) apply the same hysteria to climate change?

          You've misinterpreted what the OP was saying. I suspect deliberately.

          With the current level of polemic, those who point out holes in your arguments are painted as akin to holocaust deniers, flat-earthers and creationists and now as apparently so cynical that they care more for a cup of coffee than for people who see their land go underwater.

          Well firstly, the denialist movement hasn't found any holes in the theory. Which kind of makes your argument a non-sequitur, but never mind. The reason the term "denialist" is in common use is for the following reasons:

          • The incorrect use of the term "sceptic" to describe the movement.
          • The style of argument used i.e a continual stream of denials, without supporting evidence
          • The close resemblance of the logic used to the logic used by a pe
      • by Virak (897071) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @01:01PM (#30525224) Homepage

        That's because fighting terrorism merely requires giving up your freedoms, whereas fighting climate change requires giving up your SUV and that shit is serious fucking business.

    • by NevarMore (248971)

      Something might be a bit off on the priorities there.

      Absolutely. Those Pacific islands should be figuring out what coffee grown in their soil or crapped out by the local fauna will taste like.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "A risk of Pacific island nations ending up underwater? Not a serious problem."

      Not to be harsh, but the nations that would be underwater are small and not worth sacrifice by the large and important. I understand that there is sentiment in behalf of preserving every culture, but outside that there is no reason to do so. There are vast quantities of humans and as with other animals, some will thrive at the expense of others.

      As for coastal cities, they can be replaced in a generation with improved infrastructu

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Virak (897071)

        You could've phrased it far more succinctly as "Poor people are poor, so fuck 'em!"

      • That which man builds he can build again, and reconstruction is a great economic stimulus.

        Broken window fallacy.

        Now, I'm not normally one to trot out a canard often (mis)used by the armchair Austrian economists, but it definitely applies here.

        We're far better off spending cash as a "stimulus" on building new infrastructure, extending capabilities, than in replacing destroyed infrastructure. I use the term "infrastructure" broadly here -- pollution-prevention or remediation efforts should be included as

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dkleinsc (563838)

          And if you need an idea of exactly how expensive and time-consuming rebuilding a coastal city is, I suggest you pay a visit to New Orleans.

    • by tool462 (677306)

      It's not the first time.

      Ever stopped to consider the implications of speed bumps?

      The prospect of running over some hapless pedestrian isn't enough to get most people to slow down.
      The prospect of slowly wearing out your suspension and feeling mild discomfort for a second, however, will.

  • by Xacid (560407) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:39AM (#30524114) Journal

    Watch now that people will suddenly care about climate change just as people only cared about fuel efficiency when gas prices rose!

  • by LWATCDR (28044)

    I don't drink coffee.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Maybe, but you'll still have to fight off the shambling hordes of caffeine addicts if anything serious happens to the supply.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sznupi (719324)

        So that is how we'll get a zombie apocalypse!

        Finally, after all this waiting (yes, also not drinking coffee/tea/etc.)

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Well, hey, I didn't spend all those years playing "Left4Dead" and not learn a little something about courage.
      • They still can switch to tea. Plenty of caffeine there and because of all the tannines it acts milder and longer.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Ew, no thanks. Even the British can't drink tea without loading it with milk and sugar. Plus, I'd have to drink at least twice the volume to get the same amount of caffeine. Worst case scenario, I'd switch to caffeine pills before drinking tea daily.

    • by srothroc (733160)
      I don't either, but I'm surrounded by people who do, which makes it a problem for me. I'd imagine you're in the same situation.
      • by xaxa (988988)

        I don't either, but I'm surrounded by people who do, which makes it a problem for me. I'd imagine you're in the same situation.

        In England tea drinkers are also very common. I don't like either, and usually drink water at work. Sometimes I drink squash [wikipedia.org]. In a coffee shop I'd order hot chocolate.

        I once saw a colleague drinking Bovril [wikipedia.org] (a runny paste made from cows, which can be diluted in hot water). Yuk!

    • by von_rick (944421)
      But your system admin survives on that stuff. Would you want a your system admin to go nuts because he didn't get his 3 cups of coffee before lunch?
    • by slim (1652)

      Could you provide a list of things you do eat, drink, use?

      You know, a whitelist so we don't waste our time worrying about things that don't affect LWATCDR in future...

  • by NevarMore (248971) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:40AM (#30524134) Homepage Journal

    Free market saves.

    Specifically harvest and sell these beans with the usual "its green 25-50%" markup plus the 10-15% free trade thing. Becomes desirable to save these species for profitability, the green-tards are separated from their money before they can do something annoying with it, and everyone wins.

  • Not a new warning (Score:4, Informative)

    by phlinn (819946) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:41AM (#30524144)
    As found on the warmlist [numberwatch.co.uk], this isn't the first time climate change has been accused of threatening coffee [terradaily.com]. Amazing how climate change seems to be the bane of all existence...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gadget_Guy (627405) *

      Amazing how climate change seems to be the bane of all existence...

      Yep. Who would have thought that global warming could actually affect different things across the globe.

      • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:25PM (#30524780) Journal

        The decided that "Global Warming" changed to "Global Climate Change" you know in case it started cooling. They should just change it to "Global scary thing that affects everything you do and you need to give us money to protect you from it."

        • by Virak (897071) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:44PM (#30525014) Homepage

          No, they changed "global warming" to "climate change" because idiots like you thought "global warming" meant that every single point on the planet would monotonically increase year-over-year, and to a lesser extent because "climate change" is more accurate anyway because the increase in carbon dioxide has other effects too, such as ocean acidification. Unfortunately, they failed to consider that idiots like you would think this is more evidence of a massive global conspiracy to steal your freedom and monies.

          • I wonder why it upsets some people here (of all places) to look into how the climate change is effecting different aspects of the ecosystem. Yes it has been happening for the entire life of the planet, but we're only just now (say the last 50 years) able to observe the effects in meaningful ways. I thought that geeks were supposed to be interested in that sort of thing. It's not like the article stated "SUV drivers and coal plants are threatening the survival of wild coffee". I like your reply, but thin
        • by xaxa (988988)

          The whole globe will get warmer, but the whole globe isn't a uniform temperature. Prevailing winds and oceanic currents -- which move lots of heat around the world -- are likely to change, which will affect which places are warmed or cooled by them.

          For instance, Norway and the British Isles are significantly warmed in summer by the currents in the Atlantic (it's currently 2C in London, and -10C in Quebec, which is further south). If those currents shift slightly, that will make these countries much colder i

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Abcd1234 (188840)

      As found on the warmlist, this isn't the first time climate change has been accused of threatening coffee. Amazing how climate change seems to be the bane of all existence...

      Well, given that every species on the planet, including ourselves, is thoroughly adapted to their current environment=, I'm a little shocked you find that surprising.

      Of course, species will adapt or die off, but that's really the point: The species we rely on now are exquisitely adapted to their specific climates (coffee has a very nar

      • by Ironsides (739422)

        Well, given that every species on the planet, including ourselves, is thoroughly adapted to their current environment=, I'm a little shocked you find that surprising.

        For humans, which environment would that be? The Sahara Desert, the Russian Siberia, the Amazon Rainforest, the Himalayan Mountains, the US Plains, the Pacific Islands? Humans have adapted to be able to live everywhere.

        • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:52PM (#30525112) Homepage

          Humans have adapted to be able to live everywhere.

          Yeah, no kidding. But if the climate *changes*, then we have to actively adapt, and that means some people will die. Heat waves will kill some, cold snaps will kill others. Flooded coastal areas will displace some, while droughts and torrential rains will displace others. Meanwhile, crop and grazing land will be destroyed so that those who do adapt to the changes run the risk of starvation.

          Will humans adapt? Sure! The sufficiently rich will move to more hospitable areas. Sufficient rich farmers will move to new cropland. But the subsistence farmers and the poor who lack the means to move will die.

          But, eh, fuck them, right?

        • A little bid misleading. The human adaptation is less about the organism, and more about the things we build to help us adapt. Part of that coping is to rely on other things (flora and fauna) that are much less able to follow suit, and it is those things that are threatened. Not to say that humans would not find other ways, rather that is the point, we will find other ways. But it is interesting to note that we can't really save the rest of the ecosystem, so we'd better pay attention to what is going on
  • by rgravina (520410) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:41AM (#30524150)

    OK Earth, you've threated my coffee supply. Now I'm listening!

  • That's it. I didn't really care about climate change before, and whether or not it was anthropogenic, but THIS MUST END NOW!

    WE MUST SAVE THE COFFEE! SAVE THE COFFEE!

  • Finally... (Score:5, Funny)

    by glgraca (105308) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:43AM (#30524182)

    man will have a true incentive que stop polluting.

    There's a joke in Brazil about a lion that fled the zoo and ended up in a government building. Each day he would eat a civil servant. He was doing very well, until one day he ate the lady in charge of making coffee. Then people finally noticed something bad had happened.

  • Adaption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:46AM (#30524232)

    As Coffea arabica has shown us, in the age of man, being delicious is a very powerful adaption.

    • Re:Adaption (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:20PM (#30524706) Homepage

      Absolutely. It's not unlike the modern banana monoculture. As a species, the modern banana has been *very* successful, thanks to it being desirable to humans.

      But monocultures are also very dangerous. By minimizing genetic variation in a population, the species becomes extremely susceptible to new types of disease, fungus, and so forth. And again, bananas teach us much, here, as there's great fear that the modern banana could end up being wiped out by disease.

      Thus, protecting these heirloom species is extremely important, as it provides a pool of genetic diversity is present in the wild, providing some protection against the dangers of monoculture.

      • by fantomas (94850) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @01:44PM (#30525706)

        Until the 1950s, the majority of bananas consumed via expert markets were of the Gros Michel [wikipedia.org] variety. However these were very susceptible to Panama disease. A substitute had to be found and we now mainly eat the Vietnamese Cavendish variety.

        Banana monoculture is certainly capable of failing.

    • by jfengel (409917)

      Very much so. Michael Pollan's book "Botany of Desire" is about the way four plants' usefulness has been a great advantage to the plant. Not just deliciousness (apples and potatoes) but also attractiveness (tulips) and, uh... cannabis.

      Very good read.

      http://www.amazon.com/Botany-Desire-Plants-Eye-View-World/dp/0375501290#reader_0375501290 [amazon.com]

  • "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hack your email servers, then you threaten their coffee supply and they FREAKING SURRENDER."

    /whiteflag

  • "'almost three-quarters of the world's wild coffee species are threatened"

    Finally, American politicians might take notice of climate change and seriously engage with the issue!

    Oh wait, when their access to oil was threatened they just invaded an oil producing country. Err, watch out Cameroon.... ;-)

    • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:08PM (#30524518)

      Oh wait, when their access to oil was threatened they just invaded an oil producing country.

      Someday, the people who say this are going to learn how stupid it is.

      The USA has never imported oil from Iraq. Not now, not when Saddam was in charge, not before that.

      The USA imports less than 10% of its oil from the Middle East. The largest source of imported oil in the USA is that internationally known terrorist hotspot Canada...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        The USA has never imported oil from Iraq. Not now, not when Saddam was in charge, not before that.

        It's not about US-consumed oil.

        It's about US (and British!) companies getting the oil to enrich themselves, their boards, and associated politicos (Cheney, et al).

        • It's not about US-consumed oil. It's about US (and British!) companies getting the oil to enrich themselves, their boards, and associated politicos (Cheney, et al).

          Except no western companies got any of the oil contracts from Iraq, not even BHP.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by xaxa (988988)

        Increasing the world supply of oil decreases the global price of oil. Since the USA is a net importer, that benefits the USA.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by phantomfive (622387)
          Strange you should mention that. I had a friend who, around the time we invaded Iraq, thought it made sense to invade if we got lower gas prices. Then after the invasion gas prices went up. She was really upset after that and thought the invasion was a waste.

          You'll have to look a little deeper to find the true reason we invaded Iraq (hint: it [newamericancentury.org] wasn't [newamericancentury.org] exactly [newamericancentury.org] a [newamericancentury.org] secret [wikipedia.org]).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CheshireCatCO (185193)

        Leaving aside the broader question, about which I really don't want to speculate, period, the DOE says you're wrong in your data:
        http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html [doe.gov]
        and http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm [doe.gov]

        The US does, in fact (and long has) important oil from Iraq and we get well over 10% of our oil from the Gulf/Middle East at ~15%, approximately what we get from Canada. Which is, to be fair to you,

  • by ZeroExistenZ (721849) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:49AM (#30524290)

    Conserving the genetic diversity within this genus has implications for the sustainability of our daily cup

    ... geeks for the anti-global-warming ring:

    Happy day, geek walking up to coffee machine to read note: "Please be informed, due to potential global warming, there is no more coffee, EVER.".

    Geek falls on his knees to the floor, with his dilbert printed mug explodes in chards upon impact on the same floor, with a sharp sound as the geek releases a load screaming while shaking his fist at the heavens:
    "OMG NOT MY COFFEE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! ID ANYTHING FOR COFFEE! IF I ONLY SAW THIS ONE COMING! I was soo proud, thinking I could bend nature, the fool I have been", while he rests his face, sobbing, in his hands in the mids of his fallen empire of productivity, the once caffeinated multitasking geek, he.

    That very deperate moment the globalwarming-genie pops in with a puff of black CO2-rich smoke:
    "There is a way, my good brave intellectual... But it will be a challenging quest...", while the disoriented geek looks up, licking his thinkgeek caffeine soapbar, bubbling a partial disoriented yet interested:
    "Wut?"

  • Switch to tea. Sorted.

    • by slim (1652)

      About all they have in common is caffeine, wetness and (different degrees of) hotness.

      There are more things to enjoy about coffee than just these three things.

  • Scare tactics... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:07PM (#30524502)

    So they are running out of boogie men - now it's "you'll lose your daily caffeine." Coffee trees enjoy warm climates; what if "global warming" will BENEFIT coffee crops? Most of these guys don't know their asses from their coffee cups, how do they know how an entire species of trees will react to climate change?

    That tree survived for millions of years on a planet that faced all kinds of cataclysmic events; I am sure it will be just fine, especially under the protection of mankind.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:26PM (#30524794) Homepage

      Coffee trees enjoy warm climates; what if "global warming" will BENEFIT coffee crops?

      Nope, sorry. Coffee trees enjoy a very *specific* type of climate, which is why the growing regions are restricted to specific altitudes, latitudes, rainfall rates, and so forth. Change that environment significantly and the result would be very destructive.

      That tree survived for millions of years on a planet that faced all kinds of cataclysmic events

      In their current form? Doubtful. All plants either evolve or die off. More likely is that the tree evolved to fit a particular niche that wasn't filled by any other plant. But the current species is now very sensitive to it's growing conditions, as it's exquisitely well adapted to where it grows (as any coffee cultivator will tell you).

      Of course, given enough time, species will typically evolve to new pressures (although they may just as often die out... when was the last time you saw a sabre toothed tiger?). Unless, of course, the rate of change is too drastic, and the species is unable to adapt before those pressures become overwhelming (poor poor tigers)...

      • by russotto (537200) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @02:43PM (#30526602) Journal

        Nope, sorry. Coffee trees enjoy a very *specific* type of climate, which is why the growing regions are restricted to specific altitudes, latitudes, rainfall rates, and so forth. Change that environment significantly and the result would be very destructive.

        Coffee grows in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Mexico, Indonesia, Jamaica, Ghana, Ethiopia, and numerous other places around the world. It has its limitations; it's not going to grow in North Dakota. But it's not quite the hothouse flower you make it out to be.

  • ... because eventually Good Ol' Global Warming (GOGW) will devastate those tropical countries too stupid to take extreme advantage of their natural crop resources to subjugate the world - and eventually it will all be grown in England! Coffee, wine, bananas, Civets, all that 1st world cash-crop crap; hell, even cocaine! And then England can finally return to its rightful place as the oppressor of millions / billions through simple honest restriction of trade! And the US can go f**k itself! (totally unrelate

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "because the US will have all that soya crop and probably more cocaine"

      We can grow moobs due to soy-induced endocrine disruption while being as annoying as Billy Mays!

    • by slim (1652)

      Nifty trolling. But the UK doesn't have enough land to grow enough produce to feed its current population. Without drastic population reduction (unachievable without significant economic strife) we need imports.

      • Well if you're going to bring common sense in to it all then I think we _can_ feed ourselves, if we focus on community supported agriculture, reduce the consumption of meat and reduce waste and more sustainable agriculture - I think we could even raise the amount of people supported by a hectre of crop land by maybe 1/8 th with just a change in some agro methods - and maybe replacing 50% of the land resources devoted to farm animals would also increase arable yields
        of course my original point would be that

  • No cause for alarm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:27PM (#30524806) Homepage Journal

    First off this quote is key

    The discoveries showed how little of the world's plant species had been documented, the researchers said.

    In other words, they are extrapolating, or in layman's terms pulling numbers of out their ass while capitalizing on the global warming scare which they still believe the public to have fully bought.

    Second it is about "wild" plants, meaning not what you tend to find at your supermarket or local bistro.

    whats next? Threaten beer?

  • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @01:03PM (#30525254)

    I don't know if younger or less aware drinkers have noticed, but there is a lot of truly horrid southeast Asian farmed coffee that has entered the market. I've been tasting it mixed with more expensive beans to make "morning blends", or used in flavored coffee where its lack of coffee aroma and its aftertaste of lemongrass is concealed. The next time you visit one of those less successful coffee bars, try to get a good whiff of the beans before they're ground to see why they're so much less expensive and so much less successful. The distinction between the richer, more full-scented, quality beans and the weird, always half-priced, Asian sacks of mud, sticks, and a few coffee beans is quite noticeable.

    • by tool462 (677306)

      It's probably not such a big deal for all those people who get their coffee loaded with sugar/chocolate/caramel/cream/etc. Those things are just milkshakes with a caffeine booster.

      I usually drink straight espresso though, and there are very few shops that have good enough coffee for that.

  • I think we are all in agreement here, that as long as the regular coffee bean stays in production, we don't care about the rest of them.
    So many more important things then coffee beans have gone extinct due to our hand, or because of our pollution, that we can not seriously worry about this without bursting out laughing.

    Are you kidding me!!

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

Working...