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This Is Not a Drill: Experts Estimate Chocolate Will Be Extinct in 40 Years

The debate over climate change rages on, but regardless of what the POTUS and other global warming deniers want to believe, the fact remains that rapid climate change is negatively impacting the earth’s crops. One of the most notable to suffer under our neglectful practices? Cacao, the plant required for chocolate production.

According to Business Insider, that cacao plant, and in turn, chocolate, is in danger of extinction in as early as the next 40 years. As these plants can currently only grow in a small area 20 degrees north and south of the equator, the conditions under which they thrive are crucial to their continued existence:

Over half of the world’s chocolate now comes from just two countries in West Africa — Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. But those areas won’t be suitable for chocolate in the next few decades. By 2050, rising temperatures will push today’s chocolate-growing regions more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain — much of which is currently preserved for wildlife, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Researchers are scrambling to develop ways to change crops’ DNA to allow plants such as cacao to survive in the warmer, drier climates that will inevitably result from rapid climate change. One such technology is called CRISPR, developed by UC Berkeley geneticist Jennifer Doudna. But despite the fact that such scientific advances are promising and could prove beneficial in saving many of the plants responsible for fueling food production, it would be irresponsible and downright stupid to ignore the crisis we find ourselves in.

In addition to chocolate, climate change also threatens to destroy production of wheat, corn, and rice worldwide, according to National Geographic. And food production is not the only thing in danger. Increased temperatures overall will result in reliance upon air conditioning for survival, which will only serve to worsen global warming. Fresh and salt water supplies will be affected. Weather catastrophes — from hurricanes to ice storms to droughts — will only increase and intensify. And every single one of these effects will negatively impact human health on the whole, all WITHIN OUR LIFETIMES.

Let me say that again for the people in the back: These dangerous impacts of climate change are not some distant threat our great-great-great grandchildren may have to worry about. They will occur to us and to our children, and they are already happening NOW.

Chocolate loss is really only a blip on the spectrum of things we should be concerned about when it comes to climate change right now, but if the thought of potentially losing access to our checkout line impulse buys is the thing that motivates us to wake up and pay attention, then so be it.

On second thought, maybe chocolate loss is just the thing we need to motivate people to take this seriously. Because for my part, there comes a time each month when you’d better give me chocolate or suffer death. Hell hath no fury like a woman without her fix, after all, and no chocolate = a hell of a lot of pissed off women to contend with.

And it’s for damn sure nobody will survive that.