Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Save the Chocolate

Have you ever had a hard time convincing someone to care about global warming? I can think of plenty of times when the subject had inspired apathy during conversation. Often people feel it is too big for them to make a difference or that they are powerless to stop it. It is daunting to think about it holistically, millions of tons of carbon in the air, large scale industrial operations puking nitrous oxide in the air, warming oceans increasing atmospheric water vapor content. What impact does an individual really have?

Well more than you think. Not only is your personal carbon foot print contributing, but more importantly, how does your influence in a community raise standards in general. It might seem like a small thing, but people tend to accept the social mores of their community more than we would like to admit. In my life time I have witnessed the rise of recycling for example. What used to be the habits of statistic outliers like hippies and bums picking up beer cans at the beach, have been accepted in many communities to the point where not separating your recyclables could garner sharp looks and derisive comments from the local gossip.

Still not feeling global climate change on a personal level? Ok, how about chocolate. Scientific American has been following the impact of climate change on several bio-systems. One that might be of interest to chocolate lovers is the sub-tropical regions of the world, the exclusive habitat for cacao trees. Yup, global cacao production has declined in the last few years due to changes in climatic conditions combined with spread of several diseases and poverty. Mars corp. is researching ways to attenuate damages, but with growing demand coming from emerging economies and decreasing supply, it might mean less chocolate to go around.

So do what you can to limit your personal environmental impact, if for no other reason than to save the cute animals and chocolate.

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