A great deal of us argue and bicker about the existence of climate change, with some fiercely contesting the existence of the phenomenon, and others insisting that it is indeed true.
What we don’t think or talk about is how climate change affects us right now. Many of us appear to think that the impacts of a warmer earth won’t be felt until decades down the road, perhaps when the ocean is suddenly washing up at your (once) hillside residence.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are already some very real impacts being each day by global warming. Some of which may surprise you.
1. Food prices
Our shifting climate is causing food prices around the world to increase as the maintenance and growth of crops becomes a whole lot harder to do. As the air gets warmer, larger and more frequent storms are beginning to smash crops worldwide.
Remember the famous banana shortage caused when Cyclone Yasi devastated Queensland banana plantations in 2011? Well this is could just be the tip of the iceberg.
Imagine if we had four Cyclone Yasi’s hit Australia in one summer. Prices would surge for a whole variety of groceries, and not just on your sweet little bananas.
2. Wine and general alcohol production
Even worse than food price increases has to be a rise in alcohol prices.
If it’s the end of the world, you’re going to want a drink, but you’re favourite Sauvignon Blanc may become too expensive to afford when the cost of harvesting grapes increases.
Similarly, beer will be affected as climate change endangers clean water, quality barley, and ample hops. This means that the small craft beer you love and crave may be in danger of shutting down when hops and barley become more scarce. These will truly be dark days indeed.
3. Fresh water
You need another expense like you need a hole in your head – water is going to increase in price.
Severe droughts, increased evaporation and changes in precipitation patterns are impacting water levels in streams, rivers, dams and lakes worldwide.
You may think they’re just being unfair, but this is largely what caused your local council to increase the water rates in previous years. Bet you’re starting to feel a bit guilty for that rude letter you wrote.
You know what else is going to get more expensive? Your power bill… sigh.
As the planet heats up, it’s going to become more expensive and harder to ship fuel across the world. Non-renewable fuel sources will then subsequently increase, forcing power company’s to increase electricity prices.
On the other hand, if the world continues to adopt renewable power sources, then this problem has a great chance of being fixed (hint hint to the government).
5. Allergies and asthma
This one is going to bleed your money indirectly.
A warmer climate will impact on those who are prone to allergies and asthma as the air will become denser with pollution, dust and water vapour. As your allergies and/or asthma worsens, think about the increased costs when you’re refilling that asthma puffer or buying more tissues and nasal sprays.
If you’re not a morning person, this may bring a tear to your eye.
Arabica, the most-consumed coffee species, could go extinct in the wild in 70 years, due to increasing temperatures and a climate change-charged deadly fungus. This would also put roughly 25 million coffee growers and distributors out of business, and drive coffee prices up substantially.
Is nothing sacred? Even our jeans are under threat from a changing climate. Water shortages and drought are having an impact on cotton production, causing price fluctuations and even a shortage in denim. So for those looking to go out and start the double denim craze again, you may be plum out of luck.
Which of these impacts are you feeling the most? How else does global warming affect you? Let us know in the comments below.