Friday, October 7, 2011

Dessert Activism

Arguably, everybody loves chocolate, and everybody loves melted chocolate even more. However, an increase of Global Warming does not necessarily imply a surplus of gooey chocolate fudge, or that stuff that turns hard when you pour it on ice cream—in fact, chocolate production as a whole is being threatened by climate change. In addition to the surprisingly large number of resources and reports on the topic, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture asserts that if by 2050 the climate of the Ivory Coast and Ghana increases by 2.3 degrees Celsius, some of the major production sites of the crop would cease to be suitably cool for cocoa cultivation. As Western Africa accounts for 70% of the world’s cocoa production, such climate change could be devastating. Hopefully we won’t have to spend adulthood like the pre-Colombian Mesoamericans who used cocoa beans as currency. But in all seriousness, an increased temperature would leave the lowland areas, where cocoa is grown, too hot for the fragile plant. Additionally, the inhospitable highland areas are either too scarce or too cold for the crop, thus deeming relocation of the crops a poor solution. The report urges the integration of strategies between farmers, researchers and governments, in the hope that decimation of this precious species does not become a reality. From raising awareness of the threat, to adaptation of new technologies or crop diversification to more heat-resilient cash crops, each of three sectors must be involved. Although Hershey’s, Nestle and are addressing the labor issues that surround the area’s cocoa production, the sustainability and foreseeable future of the world’s cocoa crop itself is at risk. If possible extinction of animal species doesn’t do it, hopefully the possibility extinct desserts will get the general public on the side of Conservation Ecologists.

Kelly, Tara. "Climate Change Could Make Chocolate A Luxury Item, Report Finds." The Huffington Post, 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 Oct. 2011. .

Läderach, Peter. Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on the Cocoa-Growing Regions in Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire. Rep. International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), 2011.Print.

1 comment:

John Latto said...

Won't somebody think of the chocolate!