Climate Change and Bad, Expensive Coffee

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

green architecture, sustainable burban design

Photo courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects

  • Climate change might bring us bad-tasting and expensive coffee: There are about two billion coffee drinkers worldwide enjoying their cup of coffee every day. However, thanks to global warming causing extreme weather changes and aggressive pests, bad tasting and expensive coffee might occur since the highland coffee bean is running out of cool mountainsides where it flourishes best. According to Dr. Tim Schilling, executive director of the World Coffee Research program based at Texas A&M University: “The rise in global temperature is of great concern for us in the coffee industry because it will – and has already started – putting the supply of quality coffee at great risk. It’s also obvious that increasing temperatures – as well as extreme weather events – have a very negative affect on production. Over the long term, you will definitely see coffee prices going up as a result of climate change.”
  • Amount of Californians embracing green transportation doubled since 2000: According to the latest results of the California Household Travel Survey (CHTS), Californian residents use walking, biking, or public transportation instead of cars on an average day about twice as much as they did in 2000. Specifically, about 23% of Californian households now use green means of transportation compared to only 11% back in 2000, mainly thanks to increased walking as a means of transportation. California could set a good example for other states and countries, not only in greener transportation but also in the resulting healthier lifestyle.
  • High-rise apartment building resembles a giant tree: The architects of this residential tower in Montpellier, France got inspired by the principle of a tree. They used a smaller footprint for the building base and extended balconies like tree branches with leaves on upper levels to give residents the maximum outdoor space without blocking views or taking up too much room on the ground.  As one of the authors explains: “The tree is really the minimum space we can have on the site, but we have this really big extension with the leaves. Just as leaves in a tree are naturally arranged to get the maximum sun, we’ve mathematically arranged these balconies and cantilevers to catch and shade the sun.”
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