back to article Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed

Coffee plants, the source of the warm brown elixir powering millions of people worldwide using the magic of caffeine, are, it is claimed, at risk of extinction. A study led by researchers at the UK's Royal Botanical Gardens indicates at least a whopping 60 per cent of all 124 coffee species are under threat of annihilation by …

  1. cirby

    Umm... nope.

    First, they extrapolate that a degree or so of extra warmth is going to kill most of the species of WILD coffee plants. They add in species that haven't been seen for a while to get that "most."

    Then, they casually suggest that the ones being cultivated and harvested are going to die off because of possible diseases that aren't actually known to exist, and could only be saved because of wild plants (which probably won't be immune to those diseases anyway).

    Coffee production, by the way, is at an all-time high, almost 50% higher than in 2003/2004. So the global warming we've had so far seems to be having either no effect, or a positive one.

    1. Michael Hoffmann

      Re: Umm... nope.

      What also confuses me is that coffee is a hot climate crop. Just look up "coffee belt".

      Even if the area covering the current (already hot and tropical) coffee belt gets TOO hot, then won't that merely shift the crop areas further into higher latitudes?

      This isn't academical: it's already happening with grapes for various wines: areas that weren't suitable at all can suddenly grow cold-climate grapes such as Riesling or Pinot (*). Areas that had grown those grapes are becoming viable for Cabernet and Shiraz. I'm speaking from what is happening in a 200km radius in our own wine growing regions, seeing the changes and speaking to growers.

      (*) which isn't the first time. Once upon a time during the minor warming period in the dark ages, England grew some acceptable varietals for a short time. Source: Oxford Wine Dictionary

      1. Remy Redert

        Re: Umm... nope.

        The problem is that is not just getting 1 or 2 degrees warmer, is getting 5 to 10 degrees warmer and 3 to 7 degrees colder. The maximum, minimum and the variance there in is changing far more than the average increase suggests.

        And it's that variability that is liable to kill a lot of got climate species.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: Umm... nope.

          When you add energy to any already chaotic system (chaos theory applies), you see wider variances as well as shifts to new strange attractors. So, yep!

          1. Jtom Bronze badge

            Re: Umm... nope.

            There is no new energy being added to the system unless you are claiming the sun is getting hotter.

            The question is, how is the energy being dispersed. Actual data, as oppose to the primary speculative nature of those debating this topic, over the last decade suggest that polar winters are not as cold (but still well below freezing), and nights are not getting as cool. elsewhere.

            There his been niether a rise in average high temperatures, nor more extreme temperatures, either hot or cold.

            That’s just what the data show. I’m not interested in debating it.

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Umm... nope.

          " is getting 5 to 10 degrees warmer and 3 to 7 degrees colder"

          Have you got any documentation to show any of that?

        3. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Umm... nope.

          " not just getting 1 or 2 degrees warmer, is getting 5 to 10 degrees warmer and 3 to 7 degrees colder"

          I don't know why so many downvotes. Average temp is rising but extremes are shifting all over the place. Not only temperature but also for example those for drought/rainfall

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        But isn't coffee also rather altitude-sensitive, as in most species only tend to grow on mountains?

      3. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        "Even if the area covering the current (already hot and tropical) coffee belt gets TOO hot, then won't that merely shift the crop areas further into higher latitudes?"

        The vast majority of the species in question are not crops. Grapes can grow in areas they couldn't previously because humans decided to plant them there. Absent such human intervention, most species that suddenly find the climate unsuitable simply die, especially plants which obviously are less able to migrate.

        "Once upon a time during the minor warming period in the dark ages, England grew some acceptable varietals for a short time."

        There's been wine produced in the UK pretty much continuously since the Romans arrived, it certainly didn't require the Medieval Warm Period to make it viable.

        1. gypsythief
          Headmaster

          Re: Umm... nope.

          "Once upon a time during the minor warming period in the dark ages, England grew some acceptable varietals for a short time."

          "There's been wine produced in the UK pretty much continuously since the Romans arrived, it certainly didn't require the Medieval Warm Period to make it viable."

          There is a distinct difference between acceptable and viable.

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Umm... nope.

            English wine is more than acceptable, and has been for a long time. English sparkling wine has recently been judged better than non-Champagne fizz from various regions of Europe.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Umm... nope.

      So-called 'global warming' (this cycle) stopped at around 2010. It's all cooling now, will continue for the remainder of the bottom half of the ~70 year cycle. Yeah, it's a cycle. Like most things in nature. And it's not created by humans. There's also a 500 year cycle in the northern hemisphere, and 2000 was at or near the peak of THAT one, too. You know, 1000 AD warm, 1250 AD cold, 1500AD warm, 1750 AD cold [the Thames froze, and 'Valley Forge' happened], 2000 WARM, etc. and also the 70 year cycle... 1900 cold, 1935 warm, 1970 cold, 2005 warm, 2040 cold...

      That's right. No need to panic. Coffee will be around for as long as people grow it.

      /me sips cappuccino and moves onto something that actually matters

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: So-called 'global warming' (this cycle) stopped at around 2010

        Citation, please ?

        1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

          Re: So-called 'global warming' (this cycle) stopped at around 2010

          HADCRUT2

          It got SO embarrassing that they pulled it briefly for a half-model (3) before biting the bullet and replacing the public dataset entirely with a model: HADCRUT4.

          I knew something was skewiff when ALL the public datasets vanished off every global server I could find in 2005.

          Oh, and Bob? I'll call bullshit on "2010". It switched off in 1998 and went into decline from 2000.

      2. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        And never mind trivial details like the massive consensus of nearly all the people who have actually studied this and investigated it and know about it that the warming is happening, is very rapid, and is quickly getting worse.

        You know, the people that use data instead of handwaving and wishful thinking.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Umm... nope.

          And never mind trivial details like the massive consensus of nearly all the people who have actually studied this

          Even media studies students dont get to the end of their course and exclaim "Well, that was a load of old bollocks; I've wasted years of my life and tens of thousands of pounds". Why would climateologists do otherwise? They simply follow the money, and thanks to governments quereing the pitch, because they can't tax not burning fossil fuels, the wall of money is travelling in only one direction.

          Climate "science" is much like economics in that it isn't actually a science, and its a bit like the flat earthers in that time will prove them conclusively wrong - it already has, and will continue to do so.

          1. MacroRodent Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Umm... nope.

            Why would climateologists do otherwise? They simply follow the money,

            If a climate scientist wanted riches, it would actually be far more profitable for him to help the fossil fuel industry prove there is no human-caused warming.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Umm... nope.

              If a climate scientist wanted riches, it would actually be far more profitable for him to help the fossil fuel industry prove there is no human-caused warming.

              How do you imagine that would work? There's much more money in pushing this humans-caused-it BS.

              To fix things is simple. Burns lots of shit so there's plenty of CO2 to feed the plants, but make sure you remove anything unhealthy. We need more CO2, but the other byproducts from pollution I don't want. Be reasonably energy efficient, but scrapping your current petrol car with 20 years life for a EV with probably less life isn't efficient (scrap your car when it's past it and then get the EV), look after your water resources but make sure you grow plenty in your garden (minor carbon sink but tasty, and cuts down on waste if your kitchen scraps go back into the mix!).

              Temps will rise, and will fall, and will rise again. We may make a tiny increase or decrease, but not a big impact. But the resources we squander? Some are gone forever.

              And get well away from so-called 'renewables" like wind which is a massive fake. (wave/tide, hydro etc not so bad). More nuke would be good.

              I come form being a wind-loving anti-nuke Greeny, challenged to sit down and do some maths/research.. The overall numbers aren't in wind's favour.

              1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                Re: Umm... nope.

                > There's much more money in pushing this humans-caused-it BS.

                Quite.

                Now, for academic personalities, going the full anti-christ route is scary so they'd flinch at switching sides. But if they sit tight and sing off the team hymnsheet, they can get a great life of global conferences and grants and public attention/kudos and, critically, really really solid job security. Just the last is enough for most to plump straight for it.

                .

                My favourite global warming story, of the MONEY to be made by being faux-green, came from a conversation with the Head of Green Trading for one of the world's biggest investment banks. He was considered perhaps THE best senior green trader globally. MASSIVE profits.

                His favourite trade, his best-ever trade, was buying a shedload of a new low-carbon-output design of wood-burning oven, chartering planes, then people flying over chunks of "outback" Africa pushing the ovens out the back of the plane (near-randomly) with little parachutes.

                He made some absolutely ludicrous multiple of millions of (US)$ on that single trade. More than most top traders make in a lifetime.

                I was baffled. "Sorry mate, HOW do you make any money off that?"

                "FROM THE SUBSIDIES!!" (laughing delightedly)

              2. MacroRodent Silver badge

                Re: Umm... nope.

                Yes, temperatures rise and fall over thousands of years, like in this timeline. But see the jump at the end? After the time industrialisation started big time? Any connection?

                https://xkcd.com/1732/

                (btw I agree about the desirability of nuclear power)

                1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                  Re: Umm... nope.

                  Actually, the worst-case predictions for 2100 still fall below the earth's temperature when William the Conqueror invaded England. (And those worst-case predictions have massively overshot all subsequent _actual_ temperatures.)

                  Hell, even by about 1350 it was still so warm that when it snowed once in Norfolk, no one had ever seen anything like it before.

                  If you have an interest in this stuff, which it seems you do, then be aware that A GREAT DEAL of the graphs presented are subsequent to numbers of "layerings" of models. A good clue is to look for known extreme periods or patterns : if they're not there, you're not looking at data. Just on this chart you've put here, note that the VERY well-known post-WWII drama of 30yrs sharp global cooling ... does not exist. That is, this chart is not data. It's the result of people --to use the celebrated phrase of the tiny tiny core team @ Hadley+CRU-- "fiddling" with the data to get the "correct" result.

                  1. MacroRodent Silver badge

                    Re: Umm... nope.

                    Sure, that xkcd graph was certainly smoothed, which is reasonable when presenting trends over 1000:s of years.

                    VERY well-known post-WWII drama of 30yrs sharp global cooling ...

                    Where can one see that? A graph from NASA (https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/) shows a little upward peak around WW2, after which the steady upward trend that existed before the war seems to resume.

                    About the times of William the Conqueror, we already are above the circa-1000 temperatures according to several graphs. Greenland is not yet green again, but it probably is in a few decades. We shall see about the snow in Norfolk. It may get rarer, but on the other hand snowfall is also affected by weather patterns, which may change so that despite the warming, you still get snow in winter. In Helsinki where I live, there actually tends to be more snow if the Gulf of Finland has remained longer uncovered by ice due to a warm autumn. More moisture gets picked up from the open sea compared to an ice-covered one, and falls on the land as snow.

                2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

                  Re: Umm... nope.

                  https://xkcd.com/1732/

                  Wow, we have accurate temperature records going back to 20,000 BCE!

                  The "uptick" in that hockey stick graph is... bs.

                  The "proxies", that have "told" us what temperatures were over the last few thousand year, don't give us data that correlate with current temperature records. Which kinda make it look like they are not good proxies. So good luck convincing anyone that you "know" what the temps were in Ghengis Khan's day.

        2. caradoc

          Re: Umm... nope.

          "the warming is happening, is very rapid, and is quickly getting worse."

          The facts do not support your statement. There is no current warming trend, ice is increasing at the poles, extreme weather events are not increasing. Computer models are not science and the infamous 97% consensus is a joke.

          There are lots of people who have studied this and investigated it and know about it, who disagree with the doom mongers who have been predicting, for example, that there should have been no ice at the N Pole 10 years ago. They tell us it is 1 degree warmer than before 1850. Thank heaven it is, was the Little Ice Age a desirable temperature to around in?

      3. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        Yes there are cycles. And maybe yes 2010 was at or around the peak of multiple cycles. In that case one would expect that temperatures are actually starting to cool. It's 2019 so the supposed peaks of the cycles you quote are 19 years ago (for the 500-year cycle) and 14 years ago (for the 70 year cycle). that's long enough for temps to have started moving down, don't you think?

        BUT they're actually still moving up. So, evidence doesn't match your theory. Do you

        a) do what rational people do and question your theory

        b) do what dogmatic people do and question the evidence

      4. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        it's a cycle

        If only climate scientists around the world had factored this in

        (spoiler alert - they have)

        1. 10forcash

          Re: Umm... nope.

          Seems odd to me that climate 'science' has not just ignored but tried to re-write the geological record (presumably as it would affect their funding) and excluded Geologists from their cabaal - no citation available, just first hand knowledge of conversations with several Geologists i've worked with over the last two decades or so.

          1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

            Re: Umm... nope.

            @10forcash

            Well my wife's a geologist and she great respect for climate science.

            Climate scientist do work with geosciences. For example they rely on ice cores to measure temperature variation over near history. This is why they can show that the present rate of warming is unprecedented and is correlated with the rise in CO2 levels.

            However normal geology is not going to tell you a lot, because the normal rate of rock deposition means that they tend to work in periods of 100 of thousands of years which is to long to measure any climate data, especially if we are talking about the last 100 years. However they can show times of volcanic activity and other extreme events that can be tied back to the climate records.

            (of course you could argue that most geologists work for the petro-chemical industries or mining and therefore it is in their best interests to dismiss climate change, but generally I have better respect for science professionals and the scientific method than someone who terms "consensus2 as "cabaal")

            1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              Re: Umm... nope.

              "However they can show times of volcanic activity and other extreme events that can be tied back to the climate records."

              Wait, what? Climate change causes volcanoes now?

      5. Citizens untied

        Re: Umm... nope.

        I am sure you are an expert on what really matters.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Umm... nope.

      So the global warming we've had so far seems to be having either no effect, or a positive one.

      How dare you, sir. Climate change only has negative effects, any potential positive effects are clearly propaganda pushed by reactionary deniers, and cannot possibly be true.

    4. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Umm... nope.

      "Coffee production, by the way, is at an all-time high, almost 50% higher than in 2003/2004. So the global warming we've had so far seems to be having either no effect, or a positive one."

      Coffee production is at an all time high because demand is up, price is up and therefore planted area is up and producers are using every trick in the book they can throw at their crops to increase yield. I very much doubt that one can infer anything at all about climate change's effect on coffee crops based solely on year-on-year coffee production totals.

      Otherwise, I agree that the claims being made are rather spurious

      1. Jaybus

        Re: Umm... nope.

        "Otherwise, I agree that the claims being made are rather spurious"

        I don't know about their claims, but this article's claims that "The team of researchers decided to check all 124 wild coffee species against this criteria for this Red List, and believe at least one in six were threatened with extinction." somehow equates to 60% of all coffee species is simply ridiculous. Last I checked, 1 in 6 refers to 1 divided by 6, or less than 17%.

    5. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Umm... nope.

      We have already had to cross bread cultivated coffee with wild coffee in the past in order to fight diseases and increase genetic variation, it's not irrational to think we might need to do so again in the future.

      1. NXM

        cross bread

        Mmmm, hot cross buns

    6. Brian Miller

      Re: Umm... nope.

      I roast coffee at home, and one of my suppliers regularly sends out cards with coffee-centric news. This isn't recent news. (And yes, my cuppa really is better than your cuppa.)

      What is happening is a fungus is ravaging the coffee plantations, just like other fungi are killing bats, salamanders, banana plants, and all sorts of other things. The biologists suspect that the fungus has become prolific due to warming weather. (That, and monoculture.)

      Can the domestic coffee plants be saved by the wild coffee plants? Same way that the domestic banana plants are saved by the wild varieties: they aren't. The domestic plants are replaced in agriculture by varieties that are resistant to the fungi.

      1. Jtom Bronze badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        True story. A group of scientists discovered a body of water where a certain type of frog was dying in large numbers. They speculated that climate change was to blame, so they decided to monitor other sites. Initially, those sites were ok, but soon they, too, saw a die-off of that species. Definitely climate change, there was no other way to explain why multiple spatially separated populations could be experiencing the same thing.

        Eventually, a virus was found to be the culprit. How did it spread? The researchers had contaminated their equipment when examining the first die-off. They had caused it. This is easy to research.

        Never commit yourself to a conclusion reached by the process of elimination. You can never be sure you know all the potential factors.

        CO2 as the cause if temperatures rising was concluded by the process of eliminating other potential causes. However, all of the models based on that have been running hotter than real data for two decades. The climate is more complex than they can model. It may be that we are making the world warmer THAN IT WOULD BE OTHERWISE, but we have little understanding what that temperature would have been. So don’t bet your coffee beans that the future is destined to be warmer than today. The next glaciation period might simply be a few degrees warmer than the previous ones.

      2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        Domestic banana plants, specifically the current Cavendish and the former Gros Michel are triploid cultivars having been bred to be seedless and that leaves propagation by asexual vegetative reproduction which rules out cross breeding and largely means they can't evolve. Many wild species of bananas do have seeds and can reproduce sexually allowing them to adapt or be cross bred to become resistant. The problem then becomes one of marketing in that the perception is that people largely won't accept bananas with seeds.

        Coffee is different since seedless coffee would be pointless as it's the seeds/beans that we're after so they are fully capable of evolving and adapting and cross breeding is easily possible. The problem is that coffee plants typically take several years to mature before they produce a significant crop so it takes time.

      3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        "The biologists suspect that the fungus has become prolific due to warming weather. (That, and monoculture.)"

        And over one hundred thousand people a year are KILLED or otherwise inconvenienced by coffee in the UK.

        Everyone everywhere now "suspects" everything that happens now is due to climate change.

    7. JP_Veeam

      Re: Umm... nope.

      Amazing how much money and effort goes into these doomsday scenarios. The only reliable offset to human induced global warming is less humans, as even our food and breathing cause rises in carbon dioxide and other waste according to most of these studies. So the solutions of killing off a lot of the 7 Billion people expected on this planet soon is bound to come up in the minds of politicians and scientists who feel they would be spared the purge.

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        Re: Umm... nope.

        China's on the case.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Umm... nope.

        Which is IMMEDIATELY replied with, "Care to be first?"

        That and Chinese and Nazi connections make any discussion of population control political suicide.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Umm... nope.

          That and Chinese and Nazi connections make any discussion of population suicide political control."

          Fixed?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Umm... nope.

            Nope. I wasn't kidding about the political suicide bit. ANYONE who discusses reducing the population or even instituting curbs to birth rates gets immediately denounced as a Neo-Nazi, a Commie, or both. That's why the O-word is treated as 4 letters rather than 14 and why you NEVER hear it in politics.

  2. Michael Hoffmann
    Joke

    Great solution to overpopulation!

    Half the coffee addicts in the world will commit suicide within 48 hours of caffeine withdrawal.

    The other half will go on withdrawal induced killing sprees and THEN commit suicide.

    I predict that the remaining population levels will be equal to around 1850.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Great solution to overpopulation!

      Are you sure? I'd think they'd slump in a corner and lie there apathetically, until passing pets or wildlife eat them.

      That is, if they manage to make it out of bed in the first place - I know I wouldn't.

    2. Toni the terrible

      Re: Great solution to overpopulation!

      Hurrah! Instant Population Control. Seems good to a tea drinker like me

    3. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Great solution to overpopulation!

      Naaah, we'll just start distilling tea - nobody said anything about those being in danger and allegedly it's the same molecule...

    4. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Great solution to overpopulation!

      Does this mean we have to wait until we're overpopulated?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great solution to overpopulation!

      Half the coffee addicts in the world will commit suicide within 48 hours of caffeine withdrawal.

      The other half will go on withdrawal induced killing sprees and THEN commit suicide.

      I'm just planning to switch back to methamphetamines.

      There's a new, less dangerous drug now called "crystal meh"

    6. Havin_it
      Alert

      Re: Great solution to overpopulation!

      >I predict that the remaining population levels will be equal to around 1850.

      Blimey, that's only about a dozen people per country! We should probably huddle together a bit to facilitate dating, but where to pick?

    7. Paul J Turner

      Re: Great solution to overpopulation!

      No worries at all! Just roast Dandelion roots and grind them for wartime-style ersatz Coffee.

      I have made it and it isn't the worst 'coffee' I've ever tasted.

      There's no damn chance at all that Dandelions are going to die out as long as we have lawns.

  3. Thought About IT

    All right for some

    I assume that Trump and his fellow AGW deniers won't be affected. Either that, or they're stocking up on a lifetime's supply of jars of Nescafe.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: All right for some

      Trump has plenty of stocks of Covfefe

    2. Locky Silver badge

      Re: All right for some

      Nescafe /= coffee

      Error, out of cheese, redo from start

  4. Symon Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    There's too much focus on species and not enough on what really matters, the genes. These boffins need to find out if any genes are going extinct or not, as that's the true measure of biodiversity. Someone should write a book about it it...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene

    p.s. Just having my morning (builder's) tea. No crisis here.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      That's twaddle. A species is more than its collection of genes. Certainly until we are able to remake a genetic makeup and reform a living creature from that. Otherwise we could just store the genetic makeup of any creature - kill them all and still maintain they exist. The same as knocking down a building, looking at the blueprints, and stating the building still stands.

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Boffin

        "Certainly until we are able to remake a genetic makeup and reform a living creature from that."

        What, like this, in 2010?

        https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/scientists-create-cell-controlled-synthetic-genome/story?id=10692639

        https://www.wired.co.uk/article/artificial-life-vint-cerf

        Anyway, grandad, the kids are using new bases in their artificial life now. Six is better than four, obvs.

        https://phys.org/news/2017-01-scientists-stable-semisynthetic.html

        p.s. We're all doomed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Recreating

          Ooh, when can I book my ticket to Jurassic World?

  5. AMBxx Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Isn't this old news?

    Variations of this story seem to crop up every year or so. Isn't it another of those things like teenagers starting school mid-morning that has a natural recurrence in news rooms?

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Isn't this old news?

      News organisations get more page views ( and more page views, more advertising revenue) for stating that the end is nigh. People are also quite likely to pay attention to dire warnings, because it's evolutionary beneficial; people who ignore danger tended to die in ye olde days. A news story stating that "companies profit margins could be hit by having to replant different crops" gets less views than an alarmist headline about "you won't have coffee in a few years time".

      When I was at school, I was told that the worlds fossil fuels would be completely depleted by 2020 and we'd all be stranded without fuel for the cars, might starve as transport collapses and that we'd all freeze to death without heating. This year, I think everybody would agree that's not likely to happen next year (or in the foreseeable future) as a result of depletion of fossil fuels.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Isn't this old news?

        When I was at school, I was told that the worlds fossil fuels would be completely depleted by 2020 and we'd all be stranded without fuel for the cars, might starve as transport collapses and that we'd all freeze to death without heating.

        In '98 or '99 a co-worker started cursing loudly while reading the news paper. He'd just put in some very expensive gas heating/cooking equipment into his home and there was an article stating that, without any form of doubt, 'natural gas' would be completely gone by 2006.

        13 years after the 'never be any more of it found again' point and there's still plenty coming out of the ground, and production here in NZ has increased.

        That, and the "Ocean levels will rise by 100 trillion miles by 2000!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!111111111!!!1!111!" crap is one of the things that got me starting to be a bit more sceptical. I'm a coastal dweller on an island nation BTW, living in a city that is by and large millimetres above sea level. Maybe by the year 23,000,000,000 we'll see some of this catastrophic sea-level rise?

  6. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

    Temperature?

    I read somewhere or a man in a pub told me that it was variable rainfall including drought which was likely to do for coffee.

    1. Symon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Temperature?

      If only someone, somewhere would invent irrigation...

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrigation#History

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Temperature?

        "If only someone, somewhere would invent irrigation"

        Not as simple as that. Irrigation requires infrastructure build and maintenance and also in many cases (where it is active rather than passive) energy expenditure. All of that costs money which the developing countries where coffee is mostly grown can ill afford.

        Technically there are very few problems on Earth we can't solve without enough application of energy and resources, but that's exactly the reason why we're in trouble with climate change. We need solutions that are more sustainable rather than depending on burning 500 million years' worth of stored sunlight in 3 centuries

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Temperature?

          That's what market economies are for though. If the irrigation (or any other) cost of coffee rises, then so will the price. This will bring in more money - which will pay for the required irrigation. That's assuming coffee drinkers will pay more for coffee - and if Starbucks et al have proved anything, it's that coffee drinkers will pay more for coffee.

          Also remember that small changes in coffee price can effect producers disproportionately. Most of the cost of coffee is transport, middle men, warehousing, packaging, roasting plus shops or cafes costs plus profit margin. So adding 1p to a cup of Starbucks is only 0.3% of the price, but probably 50% of the growers' price. That leaves plenty of available money to irrigate the things, with relatively little effect on demand.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Temperature?

            Irrigation in this case is a red - herring. The problem isn't drought/flood or temperature extremes wiping out coffee plantations. If it was you could solve it by throwing money at the problem, irrigating, moving the areas where you grow etc, and the only effect would be pence or pounds on your latte. But you can't irrigate wild coffee plants, especially if they're not known or mapped. And actually what is probably happening is that you are actually destroying wild genetic diversity by irrigating current cash crops - i.e diverting water from nature to grow cotton etc.

            So it's a real problem. Might not be our biggest problem - but then we aren't just losing coffee biodiversity - it's hundreds of other plants and animals. Current extinction rates are running at 100s of species per day, and are a 1000 times above 'natural' levels. All because a not very bright species of monkey wants shiny things

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: Temperature?

              But you can't irrigate wild coffee plants, especially if they're not known or mapped.

              If they're not known or mapped, how come we get scare pieces telling us they're about to go extinct?

              Maybe in the year 1,400 30,000 coffee species went extinct. We don't know because they weren't known or mapped, but the world turned over a new day just the same.

          2. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Temperature?

            You're right that dollar cost of implementing irrigation can be absorbed by a trivial increase in coffee price, but there is also an energy cost, which is the main point of my argument. We can fix all sorts of issues ( including ones caused by climate change) by spending more energy on them, but if that energy is not from a renewable source, its just aggravating the problem in a vicious circle.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Temperature?

              Solar powered irrigation pumps. If it's raining or dark, irrigation is less needed. Plus storage to cope with times when the pumps don't run. Or solar + batteries.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Temperature?

                There's a finite amount of water in circulation. If you irrigate you are basically converting water from rivers lakes or groundwater into plant mass or water vapor through transpiration. That means that somewhere else in the system (down stream) there is less water than there was. So irrigation schemes, whether or not they use fossil fuel, aren't simply 'good If all the coffee farmers in Ethiopia start to irrigate, water won't flow to the Nile and farmers in Egypt will get quite grumpy.

                1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                  Re: Temperature?

                  True. However increased evaporation does lead to increased rainfall. And of course cheap solar power means that desalination becomes an option.

                  On the other hand, introducing more water vapour into the atmosphere also increases energy, hence instability, though isn't cloud generally cooling? Climate science is hard.

                2. Peter2 Silver badge

                  Re: Temperature?

                  Unless you do an Israel, build desalination plants and create your own river from seawater and then export the surpluses that you don't need.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: Temperature?

                    What do they do with the concentrated brine so that they don't ruin nearby ecologies (terrestrial or aquatic)? Plus does it scale well (Israel IS a pretty SMALL country).

                    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                      Re: Temperature?

                      I'd say you use the concentrated brine to make bacon? Oh... Hang on...

                      I'd imagine you release it back into the sea. Once mixed, it's a tiny increase in salinity - which will be countered by the water you extracted being returned at some point as rain or treated waste water. Getting it to mix being the harder part.

                      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                        Re: Temperature?

                        That's correct -- that is the standard practice.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Temperature?

                          There's a bit of a gotcha there though. High salinity brine is denser than normal seawater, so in calm ocean conditions it can settle out and spread across the sea bottom rather than mix with the rest of the water table. This can cause devastation of bottom dwelling organisms near these plants, with god-knows-what effects on the ecosystem as a whole. OK, so it's not quite as bad as dumping nuclear waste at sea, but it's not a non-issue either.

                          1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                            Re: Temperature?

                            Yes, that possibility has been well researched. The results surprised even the most blase: even in utterly still water, it diffuses away to almost nothing in almost no distance.

                            To be clear: that idea/alarm exists only as a thought-experiment, it's not real.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: Temperature?

                              https://www.newscientist.com/article/2190929-growth-of-desalination-plants-is-a-serious-problem-for-marine-life/

                              Seems no-one told the guy at the University of York that this wasn't a real concern.

                3. Kiwi Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: Temperature?

                  There's a finite amount of water in circulation. If you irrigate you are basically converting water from rivers lakes or groundwater into plant mass or water vapor through transpiration.

                  Not quite true. The system I have (small scale I know) catches water that used to run off. I'm diverting a small portion of that lost water to storage tanks.

                  Later, I use that water to water the ground. A small amount gets used by the plants, some finds it's way deeper under ground, most returns to the air via evaporation. But the interruption in the water cycle is minimal, and by controlling it better we see better results as well. Locally grown crops, less soil erosion, no more needing treated municipal water for the gardens among a few of the many benefits.

                  Better soil and garden prep also reduce the amount of water needed, and controlling when the water falls on the soil also makes a huge difference.

                  This works in much the same way at scale as well.

                4. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

                  Re: Temperature?

                  "There's a finite amount of water in circulation."

                  Yep, a whole planet full.

                  "That means that somewhere else in the system (down stream) there is less water than there was. "

                  Well, downstream of most rivers is... the sea. So less water flows to the sea? I think you may have hit on a solution for rising sea levels.

              2. Richard Jones 1
                WTF?

                Re: Temperature?

                If only a wind powered pump could be invented, just like they used to use when such things were often quite basic and easily built and maintained even with very simple tools. Cheaper than a solar version and much lower tech. A wind driven water lifter could be built for peanuts using local skills almost anywhere, with no other environmental impact other than that down to the water movement.

                1. Kiwi Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: Temperature?

                  If only a wind powered pump could be invented, just like they used to use when such things were often quite basic and easily built and maintained even with very simple tools.

                  I still see them around a few places. If I was to win the lottery (which I'd have to buy a ticket for the chance to do so!) I'd buy a larger plot of land and toy with wind for water movement.

                  But I've been stuck with one question.. Wind pumps are quite simple, quite reliable, low maintenance, but they need wind to work. You also need the source of power to be at the same spot as the source of water.

                  Wind or solar generators OTOH generate electricity which is easier to store or move to another location, however they're more expensive and have a higher potential maintenance cost.

                  I'll probably do some of both TBH, in the unlikely event I wind up with the combination of land, resources and need :)

                  1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                    Re: Temperature?

                    > You also need the source of power to be at the same spot as the source of water.

                    Unless, instead of it being a water wind-pump, it was an electricity wind-pump.

                    In which case, you just need the source of power to be at the same political spot as the source of subsidies.

                    .

                    (currently running a bit over 100%, even after the last decade's savage cost-reductions. not counting the savage grid costs.)

            2. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Temperature?

              but there is also an energy cost, which is the main point of my argument.

              Last year we had (for us) a rather 'extreme' drought, 90 whole days without rain! My own city was on the very brink of water cuts (whole suburbs having their water cut for a day or two at a time) when the rain finally came.

              Being someone who'd just re-discovered gardening and was working to piss someone off (who was making all sorts of claims about what could/couldn't grow here) I took a lot of interest in improving my soil's resilience to drought and how to get the most I can from the least water available.

              I've learned a lot, including how the right ground prep work saves a hell of a lot on water. And I use solar pumps to give me a enough pressure for things to work.

              There's lots of good material on places like youtube and various gardening blogs. I can use less water in dryer conditions and still get good yields, with a simple system where the harvesting and initial filtering side of it are all from the rainfall alone.

              Oh, and we no longer have to worry about soil erosion, which was a big problem on the land I've been allowed to use for this.

          3. Adam 1 Silver badge

            Re: Temperature?

            > if Starbucks et al have proved anything, it's that coffee drinkers will pay more for coffee.

            If Starbucks has proven anything, it is that Americans will drink anything lukewarm and full of sugar and caffeine.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Temperature?

              Nah, that was proven well before that...with truck stops. There's a long-standing nugget of wisdom that truckers make poor judges of coffee simply because they'll just take anything strong enough to get them through their day.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Temperature?

                Had to downvote you sorry. It was that or let my trucking brother get his trucking hands on you and deal with you in his own truckling way over your trucking misrepresentation of his trucking coffee tastes!

                He's quite a nasty trucker when he gets riled up!

                :)

  7. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Pint

    Action needed

    This could be the greatest threat to the Millennial life style since they started having children!

    Once they're done with Veganuary they can move onto Coffebruary where they all sign 'Something must be done!' petitions in Starbucks.

    Icon - has anyone checked the really important species needed for a refreshing drink?

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Action needed

      This could be the greatest threat to the Millennial life style since they started having children!

      Eh? Wot?

      The Millennials I work with are almost universally still children themselves. Certainly you'd have to be charitable in the extreme to call any of them grown up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Action needed

        Oh, great, sour older men, having a pop at people born after them. Just what the article required.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Action needed

          'Grumpy Old Git' syndrome appears after you've spent decades of trying to earn a living and or raise a family in the face of unchanging political BS about 'Improving the common persons lot'.

          And it will ever be so.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Action needed

        Those are 'post-millennials' look it up online, along with 'millennial spending'

  8. Paul Herber

    I blame the Americanos.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      This isn't a black or white issue

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think he meant Americanians.

        1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

          I think he meant Americanians.

          ===

          obviously this is one AC who has never seen the inside of any Starbucks / Costa .................

  9. Zuagroasta

    Panic sells

    And I'm gonna see my doc this week about reaching 2020, forget about 2080... carry on, I kinda like long, hot summers.

    1. Sam Haine
  10. LucreLout Silver badge

    Yawn

    Which is not good news for those of us relying on the stuff for our morning, afternoon, and evening pick-me-ups. The good news, if you can call it that, is that we're talking about climate change over many decades, into the 2080s, which most of us won't be around to witness in any case.

    Thank f**k for that! When I read the headline I thought coffee was threatened by something real, like a plant disease or some such. Now that I know it's just "climate change", I can relax. Coffee probably faces a bigger and more realistic threat from unicorns.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Yawn

      > like a plant disease

      That's exactly what this is about, if wild coffee species go extinct then there we can't use them to protect cultivated coffee from diseases.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        But if there aren't diseases then why would you go hunting for wild coffee plants?

        I have a sneaking suspicion that if there was a multi billion quid economic incentive to do so then an awful lot of wild coffee species might be discovered in a hurry.

  11. chivo243 Silver badge

    Add this to the list?

    I've also heard that bananas and chocolate are in the endangered foods list?

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Add this to the list?

      @chivo243 re bananas & cocoa (chocolate)

      There are some nasty pathogens affecting those, so that's a big immediate concern.

      Almost a bit of history repeating itself if we look at bananas

      Back in the day a banana variety "Gros Michel" * was the primary commercial banana, a nasty disease devastated it (hence the song - "Yes, we have no bananas") and there was a dash to find a version that was Panama disease resistant (the Cavendish, bizarrely developed at the decidely non tropical Chatsworth House, Derbyshire).

      The cavendish is now itself under major disease threat, so the search is on for alternatives

      The Gros Michel was claimed tp be a far tastier variety than the starchy tasting Cavendish

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Add this to the list?

        a nasty disease devastated it (hence the song - "Yes, we have no bananas"

        I didn't know the connection - every day's a school day

        1. Scunner

          Re: Add this to the list?

          First they came for the bananas, and I did nothing, for I am not a banana...

          +1 for the Gros Michel story - people take this stuff for granted

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Add this to the list?

            First they came for the bananas, and I did nothing, for I am not a banana...

            Fear not, for I expect that Ian Hislop will fulfill that role.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Add this to the list?

        I have ate Gros Michel - it's a lovely tasting banana, and the Cavendish is basically a golden delicious bland thing in comparison.

        1. Scunner

          Re: Add this to the list?

          Agreed, the cavendish is awful. I've not had a Gros Michel myself, but I can recommend the variety they grow on Tenerife - smallish fruits but very sweet and excellent flavour.

      3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Add this to the list?

        "The Gros Michel was claimed tp be a far tastier variety than the starchy tasting Cavendish"

        Betamax was far superior to VHS, too.

  12. devTrail

    Global warming as a useful label

    Overpopulation.

    Excessive exploitation of fertile land driven by corporations grabbing huge swathes of land worldwide and cutting down forests to plant monocultures vulnerable to any kind of pest or disease, but more efficient moneywise.

    Misuse of water causing excessive evaporation and unpredictable weather patterns.

    Careless movement of fruits, beans, saplings wooden frames without checking for any infestation thus spreading globally fungi, pests and diseases.

    Global warming has become a useful label behind which to hide a lot of problems that nobody wants to address.

    BTW Ethiopia mentioned in this article has become in the last ten years one of the primary targets for foreign land grab.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Global warming as a useful label

      @devTrail

      All those that you mention are real problems that need addressing. Doesn't mean warming isn't happening, we need to address all of those issues not hide behind one to ignore the other

      1. devTrail

        Re: Global warming as a useful label

        Doesn't mean warming isn't happening,

        I agree.

        we need to address all of those issues not hide behind one to ignore the other

        No, they're not being addressed and media information is so misleading that we are largely ignoring them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Global warming as a useful label

          He didn't claim that they were being addressed, just that they needed to be.

          Climate change is the poster child of all environmental issues right now, and even it is being given scant attention because of the economics concerned. The other issues you've raised are even less likely to gain any attention, unless it becomes clear that money can be saved if those issues are dealt with. Even then it'll only happen if the money saved ends up in the pockets of the people who have to take the action.

          Personally I don't think the earth is overpopulated - at least not quite yet. However, the choice of methods we use to cultivate food for that population are driven by the money markets rather than by concerns of overall efficiency. As a species we're always going for the easy options, and in much of the world that means we're taking a slash and burn approach to everything, leaving the cleanup and restoration costs for other people (likely other generations) to deal with. Eventually we'll be forced to stop this sort of behaviour, but more likely due to running out of these natural resources rather than from any sort of concerted programme to try and keep ourselves in check.

          Based on current consumer behaviour we probably crossed the line of population sustainability a few decades ago. I don't think we'll ever have an intentional cull of our numbers but eventually we will do it inadvertently - war is inevitable when important resources like food and fuel become scarce.

          This wasn't meant to be an anti-capitalist rant (and I apologise if it's coming across as such), but the reaction to climate change is sadly very typical of how we treat problems that need global cooperation. On this basis the future doesn't seem very assured.

          1. devTrail

            Re: Global warming as a useful label

            Climate change is the poster child of all environmental issues right now, and even it is being given scant attention because of the economics concerned.

            I don't think so anyway I am saying that the situation is not correctly reported.

            The other issues you've raised are even less likely to gain any attention, ...

            It's the media that decides the attention. Don't believe the claim that they report what the public is interested about, they decide what the public is interested about.

            Personally I don't think the earth is overpopulated - at least not quite yet.

            Consider Britain, the net balance between food imports and exports is negative, British countryside does not produce enough to feed the population, British forest do not produce enough oxygen to offset British CO2 production. The UK is already living on borrowed resources. Now check the population density and check the charts of the population density in most of the third world countries.

            This wasn't meant to be an anti-capitalist rant (and I apologise if it's coming across as such), but the reaction to climate change is sadly very typical of how we treat problems that need global cooperation. On this basis the future doesn't seem very assured.

            Why should I be bothered by an anti-capitalist rant? To be honest I don't like the kind of reasoning: "if you don't think it this way then you must be thinking in this other way" The world is not just black and white, and if someone says that mainstream media communication about climate change is misleading you can't assume that this person is a pro capitalist climate skeptic,

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Global warming as a useful label

              @Dev trail

              The anti-capitalist comment was more my own reaction to what I'd written than a worry about how you specifically would perceive it. Taking offence at my pre-emptive apology seems a little extreme though. I never accused you of being a climate change sceptic nor a pro capitalist, just like the other guy didn't say that all the points you raised were being addressed. You seem to be the one employing the "if you don't think it this way then you must be thinking in this other way" logic, not me.

              FWIW I do agree that the media (mainstream and otherwise) coverage can often be misleading on climate change. However that's just because they're news media, not climate science journals. Stories about climate activists reacting with outrage to the latest policies from AGW-denying politicians are going to generate far more clicks/views/newspaper sales/ad revenue than any dry discussion of the underlying science ever would. If you want informed opinion you need to consult the relevant experts, not just look at what happens to be popular right now - which is all the media is actually any use for.

              Taking Britain as an isolated example seems an odd choice in the context of a discussion of global population. Of course one of the wealthiest and most developed countries on earth is a net contributor towards high CO2 levels. If Britain *really* wanted to be carbon neutral and self-sufficient for food at it's current population it probably could be managed with current technology, but only if there were relatively drastic changes in the average lifestyle (less meat, more veg, more renewable energy, corresponding changes to land use etc.). However I think I can comfortably predict that Britain will continue using it's wealth to "borrow" resources from the rest of the planet, sustainable or not. How that "borrowing" is managed is a political issue as well as a scientific one, which is why as a species we rarely get very far at addressing truly global issues.

  13. jmch Silver badge
    WTF?

    Does not compute

    “Among the coffee species threatened with extinction are those that have potential to be used to breed and develop the coffees of the future, including those resistant to disease and capable of withstanding worsening climatic conditions”

    Surely any plants that could potentially be used to breed future coffee plants that are resistant to climate change are themselves more resistant to climate change?

    1. Sceptic Tank
      WTF?

      Re: Does not compute

      I was wondering about that exact same thing. Seems like a bit of a failed venture to want to cross-breed with stuff that already cannot take the punch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does not compute

        Cross breeding efforts are more likely to be useful for countering future pathogens. You might find some wild strains that are more resistant to temperature variation but genetically that's a much harder ask than finding a strain that has a particular disease resistance lacked in commercial crops.

        The most likely direct effect of climate change on commercial applications is to reduce the amount of available terrain with stable enough temperatures to successfully grow the crop. Coffee will still be available but it'll probably cost more.

    2. khjohansen

      Re: Does not compute

      Errrm, well - having tasted a "Robusta" variant..

      - the cross-breeding will be needed for a tasty _and_ resilient variant!!

  14. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Joke

    Whats the problem??

    We will just switch over to ersatz coffie

    1. Sceptic Tank
      Flame

      Re: Whats the problem??

      Yeah, but let's first rip our taste buds out with tweezers.

  15. tentimes

    More to coffee than Arabica and Robusta!

    Just to point out that your assumption that coffee is still blended with Robusta is wrong for most coffee, and there are far more breeds than the Arabicas! Robusta cannot be drunk on its own (it is foul!) and I think people apart from the makers of Red Mountain instant coffee would go for a better bean. My main bean is grown in india - Monsoon Malibar. I but it in green and roast it myself.

    I doubt coffee makers, given the price it fetches, will not let many breeds go extinct.

    1. devTrail

      Re: More to coffee than Arabica and Robusta!

      My main bean is grown in india - Monsoon Malibar. I but it in green and roast it myself.

      Most of the coffee is bought anywhere during the day, not homemade, rarely people really know what kind of coffee they are drinking.

      I doubt coffee makers, given the price it fetches, will not let many breeds go extinct.

      It happened for bananas that are now almost a Cavendish based monoculture. Makers are very well aware of the issue, but short term earnings and the scale economies brought by concentrating on few breeds prevail.

    2. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

      Re: More to coffee than Arabica and Robusta!

      Ah, but robusta has about 4 times the caffeine of arabica

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More to coffee than Arabica and Robusta!

      To the best of my knowledge I don’t think there is actually any coffee beyond arabica and robusta (globally 60 percent robusta vs 40 percent arabica) grown commercially for drinking, although I think there’s another grown that has other non consumption uses. Within the arabicas and robustas there are dozens of varietals and cross breeds such as bourbon, caturra, catuai, geisha etc, but they still all stem from the same two species, which I don’t think are the hardiest species, but are the only ones that are vaguely palatable. Arabica grows between 15 - 24 deg C and robusta from 24 - 30 deg C.

      Monsoon (or monsooned) Malabar is a method of processing the beans by exposing them to the monsoon rains on India’s Malabar coast, so it’s not a variety in itself as it can be monsooned arabica or monsooned robusta.

  16. MJI Silver badge

    I am British so OK

    Tea bushes are safe aren't they?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: I am British so OK

      Tea bushes are safe aren't they?

      With the added advantage that global warming makes them easier to grow in the UK.

      1. Toni the terrible
        Thumb Up

        Re: I am British so OK

        You have been able to buy Tea grown in Cornwall for years. Still, growing tea on the Pennines might be good.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am British so OK

        Sadly - tea isn't safe either

        The Red List of Theaceae, the tea family, identified that more than a third of the world’s Theaceae species are threatened with extinction. The report assessed 254 Theaceae species and identified 85 as threatened with extinction. Sadly, the report also identified two species as Extinct in the Wild, the Franklin tree Franklinia alatamaha and Camellia amplexicaulis, highlighting the urgent need for conservation action.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: I am British so OK

          No.

          This is horrific.

          Save the Tea Bush!

  17. glennaskswhen

    Not serious enough

    Don't you think that if this is true you should be taking it very seriously - come on, we're talking about the extinction not just of coffee but the human race here! Unless you don't believe it yourself, of course.

  18. Mandoscottie
    Joke

    124 species and we basically consume 2 of 124, storm in a T cup (or coffee mug) :P

    now for another double espresso of Columbian Supremo beans in the grinder, what else do you need?

  19. Doctor Evil
    Coat

    I'm alright, Jack ...

    ... so long as barley and hops aren't threatened

  20. Havin_it
    Alert

    Are you sure you're telling us everything?

    Oblig.

  21. holmegm

    Er, what?

    “Among the coffee species threatened with extinction are those that have potential to be used to breed and develop the coffees of the future, including those resistant to disease and capable of withstanding worsening climatic conditions,” noted Aaron Davis, lead author of the paper published in Science Advances and head of coffee research at Kew.

    So, climate change is wiping out coffee species whose super power is resisting climate change? I'm confused.

  22. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Starbucks

    ...will just increase the ratio of small mammal dropping they now use.

    1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

      Re: Starbucks

      Civet Coffee?

      Surely far too high quality for Starbucks?

      .

      (Civet Coffee)

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Starbucks

        Civet Coffee?

        Surely far too high quality for Starbucks?

        Dunno. I have it on good authority that SB is "total shit" coffee.

        I'm glaf the civet stuff is still very expensive. No chance of someone I know accidentally getting some and giving me a cup. I stop my pre-digested food at honey.

        (Windows- closest we have to a steaming turd icon)

        1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

          Re: Starbucks

          Ahhhh.... what a lovely picture: curses -- no IMG tag support

          Civet coffee's raw materials

          Sumatran kopi luwak farmer gathers up the droppings of civet cats which eat coffee cherries, digest them, then egest them in their feces.

  23. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Join the dark side

    Switch to camomile tea, it never hurt anyone... probably.

    Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Join the dark side

      Switch to camomile tea, it never hurt anyone... probably.

      Oh trust me, it has hurt people.

      Just ask the last person who tried to give me some, and I 'rapidly handed it back to him' :)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the first time

    Remember Ovaltine? During the Second World War coffee became very difficult to obtain. Ovaltine was developed to temporary replace coffee as a morning drink. It lasted for many years as a chocolate drink for kids...

  25. Kiwi Silver badge
    Boffin

    Is it just me or..

    The key words "in the wild". Pretty sure there's no more Fresian cows in the wild, but also pretty sure they're not at risk of extinction. Then again, the Fresian breed I knew a few decades back may be long gone.

    I'd also hazard a guess that a lot of the 124 'species' have not been around that long, and never existed "in the wild"!

    When all forms of coffee are gone try to wake me.

    (And no, it's not that I don't care about this stuff - I do care about the environment; but I have no remaining patience for bullshit panic-pieces!)

  26. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge
    Megaphone

    Coffee :- someone who has been coughed upon

    courtesy of: Sorry, I haven't a clue

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Coffee :- someone who has been coughed upon

      I have a feeling that was Compo or one one of the crowd from "Last of the Summer Wine", perhaps seasons 5 or 6.

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        Re: Coffee :- someone who has been coughed upon

        Let's award points to BOTH of them.

        And what do POINTS mean?!

        PRIZES!!

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