“Savor that cup of coffee while you can,” reads the first sentence of a recent CNN article.
That article, along with many others, is a report on a new study from researchers at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, one of the world’s biggest and most important botanical research facilities. Most of the coverage of the study emphasizes one number: 60 percent of all coffee species are threatened with extinction.
That number needs context. The idea that coffee may go extinct, that there may be no coffee or that it will become rare, is not really likely, but neither is the study something to brush off. Effectively this is one in a long line of studies and surveys showing how macro forces—climate change, deforestation, pollution—will affect an important crop.