Entry 187: Climate Shift

There’s no disputing that there’s been some weird weather over the past couple of years. Many scientists have attributed this to climate change, while many people who consider science to be entirely theoretical attribute it to mere coincidence.

I’m here today to tell you that they’re all wrong.

Let’s look at the facts, shall we? In 2011, Hurricane Irene caused more damage in the New York tri-state area than any tropical storm in recent memory. This was followed less than two months later by an unprecedented  pre-Halloween blizzard, which in turn was followed by one of the warmest and most snow-free winters on record. There was also an Eastern Seaboard earthquake in there somewhere.

And now the area has been hit by another super-destructive hurricane–that’s two years in a row.

You can’t tell me the climate has changed that much in two years. And you also can’t tell me it’s a coincidence, especially when I relate to you an amazing theory about what’s causing this weird weather.

We moved220px-Butterflyeffect_poster[1] to Connecticut.

That, my friends is the one thing that changed before all these storms started happening. Obviously, we somehow upset the natural balance of things. Perhaps my weight shifting north threw off the earth’s rotation. Or maybe, when I was digging holes behind our house to install a bird feeder, I accidentally released an ancient demon who had been buried there.* Or could the squirrels eating so much of that birdseed have somehow upset a delicate ecosystem?

Who knows? It could have been one of those “butterfly effect” things where my wife Barbara planted a flower and a butterfly came by and picked up some pollen and then got consumed by some butterfly-eating creature which then belched, sending a subtle vibration through the air that grew in intensity until it caused la muerte de El Niño and threw the planet into a screaming frenzy such as you might see in Rockefel783832-roger-daltrey[1]ler Center when the band One Direction is on The Today Show.

But what’s really upsetting about all this isn’t the storms and the damage and seeing Roger Daltry’s ancient abs during the relief concert. What’s really upsetting is this headline in the November 13 New York Post (Motto: “If we can’t think of a pun for the headline, we don’t print the story.”):

Brew hoo! Coffee could disappear by 2080, researchers say.”

That isn’t actually what upsets me. After all, barring some major medical advance, I’ll be dead by then, and, really, who cares what happens after that? No, the news is actually even worse than the headline implies:

“Almost all (99.7 percent actually) of Arabica coffee bean growing areas will be impacted by 2020 as global temperatures rise, according to the study from the Royal Botanic Gardens in England.”

Evidently, Arabica coffee is used in about 70% of the coffee we drink, and almost all the sankafresh-brewed stuff. So it could be that by the end of this decade, our only coffee options will be freeze-dried Folgers or, for you decaf drinkers, what my father used to ask for in his quaint, mid-20th Century manner: “Sanka.”

This would, indeed, be a disaster, although not for the folks at the Royal Botanic Gardens, who will still be enjoying their tea.

A coffee shortage would be horrible because another thing besides the weather has changed since we moved to Connecticut: I drink a lot more coffee. This is due primarily to a couple of factors: 1) I no longer have to do down a flight of stairs to get coffee and, 2) We always pass Dunkin’ Donuts on the way back to our house from almost anywhere.

And so it seems that my humble family may have inadvertently caused these wild fluctuations in weather as well as the extinction of coffee and, therefore, the end of the world.

Sorry about that.

See you soon.

*You never met the previous owners.

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