Friday, July 14, 2006

Global warming to affect U.S. wine industry

The other night on the CBS Evening News, I heard a story that caught my attention. Predictions are that the U.S. wine industry could be decimated by global warming in 60 years or so, as the Mediterranean climate in places like Napa Valley in Northern California will be too warm for good grapes.

My first thought was that An Inconvenient Truth was starting to have a ripple effect in the media, which is great. Then I expected the story to end with, "So wine makers are banding together to fight global warming to protect their businesses."

Because nothing stirs behavior change like financial impact.

But the end of the story was, "We'll come up with new strains of grapes that can live in hotter climates. We'll deal with it, as the wine business has unlimited financial resources. We'll design our way out of it."

What a disappointment! And how short-sighted. These businesses can have an enormous impact to fight global warming if they acted now, and began teaching their wine-loving customers how this environmental crisis will impact them personally. I hope that the wine-makers change their stance, and develop a group campaign to "Save the Earth; Save the Grapes." As wine-makers are already involved in a lifestyle business, they have a potentially great reach in shaping pro-environmental behaviors in customers who might not otherwise care. And some smart environmental group, or conservation-based museum or zoo, might want to approach them to do a joint campaign...

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