If the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is not a strong enough indicator of the disastrous effect global climate change is having on our world, brace yourself for what may be the most horrifying news yet. Last month, Chipotle announced in its annual report that crop shortages due to weather-related issues have caused the price of certain ingredients to skyrocket. The company indicated that rather than shell out extra money for nonessential menu items, such as guacamole, it would rather suspend them from their listings.
The United States’ record on environmental issues is historically weak. We emit carbon and consume fossil fuels at some of the highest rates in the world, drastically exacerbating global climate change. Ironically, however, the U.S. has yet to feel climate change’s most disastrous consequences, while low-lying island nations are already suffering from floods and receding shorelines.
Kiribati, a country comprised of 33 islands in the central Pacific, is facing the very real possibility of sinking into the ocean by the end of the century. Such an event would turn the country’s 103,000 citizens into refugees – not of war or famine, but of climate change.
Chipotle’s announcement that it may suspend offering guacamole is arguably climate change’s most salient impact on us as consumers in the U.S. thus far. The possibility of living in a world where one cannot order a heaping dollop of avocado-based goodness on one’s burrito is a terrifying proposition.
It is only the beginning, though. The circumstances that drove avocado prices up apply to virtually all the food that we consume. Prices of meat, milk, cheese, vegetables and more are all dependent upon stable weather patterns. As climate change continues unabated, weather will become far more volatile.
The true face of climate change is not just rising global temperatures and melting glaciers. Climate change is something that will affect virtually all facets of life, starting with our beloved guacamole.
This recent news should serve as a reminder of what we can do to mitigate the effect climate change will have on our world. Investing in alternative energy sources would help reduce our nation’s dependency on fossil fuels, which are unsustainable and pollute our environment.
On a smaller scale, taking efforts to reduce your carbon footprint and live sustainably are imperative. Little things such as recycling, using reusable water bottles, eating less meat and using electricity efficiently can have a large impact if more people are mindful of them. It’s a small price to pay to be able to keep our guacamole.