We’ve hit “peak coffee”. Look: I ride a bike and walk and take the bus. I sold my truck as part of my efforts to reduce my carbon footprint and not add to the oil depletion problem. But I need my coffee. I suspect I’m not the only blogger whose coherence as a writer is entirely dependent on the fragrant bean from heaven.
If you read the article, you’ll see that the problem is that demand is outstripping supply. Brazil uses a crop cycling method of agriculture, which means that they’re going to be less destroyed by rising oil prices’ effect on food prices, but also means some years the world is flush with coffee, and some years it’s not. Next year is one of those years. The environmental concern is that Colombia will deforest to make room to grow more to meet the demand. Hopefully, people will just reduce demand.
I have to wonder if the high demand for coffee (a lot of that demand no doubt coming from the U.S.) is a reflection of the larger worrisome trend of how Americans are ramping up productivity (without getting paid more) while spending less time at home with family or on vacation. We are a dramatically under-rested nation. Even if you manage to keep your work week at 40 hours a week, you’re also tacking on lunch hours and long commutes, and all the other hustle-bustle of the day that work eats up that isn’t officially part of your work day. People don’t sleep enough because they stay up late to carve a little time for themselves (since Americans barely take vacations) and get up early. Many don’t exercise nearly enough, and being physically unfit makes it hard to get through your day without feeling run down. In conclusion, no wonder we suck down so much coffee. It’s the perfect stimulant: legal, not especially unhealthy, and improves your mental capacity instead of degrading it.