Stevieslaw: Global Warming Gets Personal

Stevieslaw: Global Warming gets Personal
Smokey Diamond, our intrepid reporter, practically shredded the main section of our local newspaper, the CDT, this morning—even before she finished her first cup of coffee. “Hold on,” I said, “I haven’t even looked at the Sudoku yet.” For those of you who have never seen a copy of our local, you can trust me when I say Sudoku and the remnants of the comics are the by far the highlights.
Still, you do not want an angry Smokey around, so I asked cautiously, “What’s wrong?” Smokey tossed me the CDT and there on the Obituary page in bold letters was the headline, “Blight Sweeps Coffee Plantation.” The article, written by Tim Johnson of McClatchy News, has some of the worst news ever reported on a Monday morning. Tim writes, “The orange, dust-like fungus sucks nourishing sap from coffee leaves killing the bushes.”
My heart sank and all feeling drained from my feet and hands. Rust, as the fungus is called, has been around for decades, but the constant warming of the planet has allowed it to infect the coffee bushes at a much higher altitude than ever before—up to 5000 feet above sea level. The loss of the coffee crop is predicted to cost a half million jobs, increase crime, immigration and promote the substitution of narcotics producing crops.
From Johnson, “Central American growers usually cultivate Arabica coffee rather than the intense and harsher Robusta coffee. In blend, Central American beans often are mixed in to lend flavor.”
“Lend flavor,” I thought, “Oh no.”
“What’s next,” mused a heartbroken Smokey. “Tuna?”
I hadn’t the heart to tell her.

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