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Grist’s List Of 16 Things Climate Change Is Screwing Up

August 20, 2013

On the one hand the list is interesting (sort of) for the diversity of things on it (from fireworks to the Tour De France), which drives home the point that climate change is almost infinite in its impacts.

On the other hand, the list is mostly about how climate change will affect us humans and the things we like. Wine, for example:

In 2011, former U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan delivered the keynote address at the the third Climate Change and Wine Congress in Spain. What he knew, and the attendees knew, is that wine is particularly susceptible to a changing climate. Most crops find increasing heat waves, flooding, and droughts difficult to endure, but wine is special. Grapes are grown in specific fields for hundreds of years because that particular place is particularly good at producing a particular varietal of wine. When areas get warmer or drier, the grapes change, and then the wine’s taste and color changes. Some vineyards are trying to move uphill to take advantage of thinner, cooler air, but it doesn’t always work. Some varietals are simply trying to move north, and a few vintners have already planted “champagne” vineyards in England.

Here’s the problem: Until the way we look at the climate stops being all about us, until the way we look at the planet and life on the planet stops being all about us, there isn’t much hope of addressing climate change. Because addressing climate change means starting to care less about ourselves, and our own needs and desires, and more about the rest of the species on the planet and the habitats they live in. This list suggests we aren’t quite there yet.

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