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Beer and Climate Change

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"Beer and Climate Change"

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Plzen, Czech Republic, home of fine beers (cc photo by Donald Judge)

Plzen, Czech Republic, home of fine beers (cc photo by Donald Judge)

Via Joshua Tucker, new research out of the Czech Republic indicates that climate change is bad for beer quality.

Which seems like as good a time as any to discuss the perversity of agriculturally-oriented Americans tendency to oppose climate change legislation. Generally speaking, when you see some stuff being grown somewhere that’s because the climate in that place is well-suited to growing the stuff that’s being grown. What’s more, the people doing the growing have an approach in place that’s well-suited to the intersection between the stuff being grown and the local climate. Climate change will, well, change all that. Some farmers might see a net benefit, but in general incumbent farmers are going to lose out since in general we have our farmland and farm infrastructure and farm-related human capital all located in places that make sense given the current climate.

Instead of seeing it that way, unfortunately, the tendency seems to be for rural America and agricultural interests to see the climate change debate primarily as a kind of culture war issue. Farm interests and environmentalists have had a lot of fights over the years about other things that’s given environmentalists and the environmental movement a bad image in those circles. Siding against them seems like the smart thing to do.

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