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January 31, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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Coffee farmers attempt to adapt to climate change

Politicians must take steps now to protect agriculture

American coffee drinkers have had a chance to sample a wide variety of the finest coffees the world has to offer, and selecting a personal favorite bean from a huge selection is now a perfectly ordinary part of shopping. But the impact of climate change on coffee growers is going to change this equation drastically [“Farmers struggle to adjust to recent weather extremes,” News, Jan. 28].

What we’re likely to be drinking in coming years won’t necessarily be the coffee that tastes the best, but that which is most resistant to weather extremes and the various epiphenomena of the greenhouse effect. Of course, it isn’t just coffee that’ll be affected, but virtually everything we eat and drink.

Our politicians, terrified of offending their corporate paymasters, continue to dawdle and delay instead of taking immediate steps to protect our agriculture from the consequences of climate change. But with each year that passes, action becomes more expensive — and less effective. The time for excuses and evasions is past. Wake up and smell the coffee.

--Warren Sanders, Medford, Mass.


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