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Valentine's Day destroyed by climate change?

February 10, 2012|By Dean Kuipers
  • A new infographic from the activist group Climate Nexus notes that the effects of global warming may seriously affect the world's supply of chocolate, a Valentine's Day staple.
A new infographic from the activist group Climate Nexus notes that the effects… (Climate Nexus )

Let’s face it, climate change is incredibly un-sexy. We don’t care how many nude protesters are involved. But it’s about to get worse. A new mini-report from the environmental group Climate Nexus points out that climate change is poised to wreck Valentine’s Day, or at least change it significantly, by threatening chocolate production.

That’s right. Global warming is very bad for chocolate.

As reported by The Times, research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture found last year that as temperatures rise, the principal growing regions for cocoa could shrink, especially in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the sources of half the world’s supply. Production could fall off dramatically by 2050, making cocoa less available and more expensive.

Of course, new growing regions could develop, but moving an entire industry is never a sure thing, or cheap.

Other elements of the Climate Nexus report say similar changes are already affecting the best sugar cane areas of the world, and are partially responsible for a 30% decrease in sugar production in Indonesia in 2011. Also, the 2011 U.S. pecan and peanut crops took a hit from crazy weather.

And for you maple fans? An article in the Atlantic magazine opines that the entire U.S. maple syrup industry could be gone by 2100. Maybe it’ll shift to the Yukon or Tierra del Fuego or something, but it probably won’t be coming from New England anymore.

Let’s all practice saying, “Happy Valentine's Day, honey, here’s some candy made from high fructose corn syrup.”

What next, coffee? Well, since you asked

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