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The Cure For Pessimism? Action

GQ has a good interview with Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. It’s far-ranging, covering the company’s attitude to making clothing, to climate change, to politics. But what really struck me was this:

Gradually, the conversation went even darker. About Trump, Chouinard added, “It’s like a kid who’s so frustrated he wants to break everything. That’s what we’ve got.” I asked sarcastically if any part of him was an optimist. Marcario, sitting next to him, laughed loudly. “Did you just ask Yvon if he’s an optimist?” Chouinard smiled and cocked his head. “I’m totally a pessimist. But you know, I’m a happy person. Because the cure for depression is action.”

I would note that I think action is the cure for pessimism, as opposed to depression; one is a state of mindset whereas the other is often a serious mental condition that can require professional assistance. But that nitpick aside, I think he’s correct that you press through pessimism by acting to make the world a little bit better every day than how you started it.

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Climate Change is Threatening Coffee

Imbach et al:

Coffee production supports the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers around the world, and bees provide coffee farms with pollination. Climate change will modify coffee and bee distributions, and thus coffee production. We modeled impacts for the largest coffee-growing region, Latin America, under global warming scenarios. Although we found reduced coffee suitability and bee species diversity for more than one-third of the future coffee-suitable areas, all future coffee-suitable areas will potentially host at least five bee species, indicating continued pollination services. Bee diversity also can be expected to offset farmers’ losses from reduced coffee suitability. In other areas, bee diversity losses offset increased coffee suitability. Our results highlight the need for responsive management strategies tailored to bee pollination, coffee suitability, and potential coupled effects.

In effect: climate change is risking the growth of coffee beans, in particular the more sensitive arabica beans that are lower in caffeine content and generally regarded as more delicate and tasty compared to robusta-type beans.