How will we know that global climate change is serious business? You’d think it would be when we lose an island chain or two, or when species extinctions really start to ramp up due to loss of habitat. The truth is, of course, few people really care about trivial stuff like that; Slate makes the compelling case that we’ll really start to sit up and listen when the great wineries of Napa and France start to decline and implode. Writer Mark Hertsgaard puts it succinctly:

“[C]limate change is poised to clobber the global wine industry, a multibillion-dollar business whose decline would also damage the much larger industries of food, restaurants, and tourism. Every business on Earth will feel the effects of global warming, but only the ski industry—which appears doomed in its current form—is more visibly targeted by the hot, erratic weather that lies in store over the next 50 years.”

The story’s worth reading if you give a fig about wine, the climate, or the general ability of humanity to adapt to potentially catastrophic long-term change. It’s also an interesting example of the work being produced by a collaborative project called The Climate Desk, a collaboration of seven organizations including Slate, the Atlantic, and Wired. Weather and food go hand in hand; there’ll be a lot of Climate Desk stuff worth following from a gastronomic perspective, no doubt.

Image source: Flickr member rayced under Creative Commons

See more articles