People Care More About Beer Than Climate Change, And Scientists Are Using It To Their Advantage

Many media outlets seized on an opportunity to persuade people into caring about climate change… by relating it to beer.

News dropped that a study by researchers from UC Irvine and other institutions claimed that beer prices could double because of the price of a malted barley. The study, published on Monday in the journal Nature Plants, showed that barley yields would decrease by an average of 17 percent due to climate change. One of the scientists even posted the results to Twitter:

Of course, caring more about beer than the impact of climate change is a bad thing, but it is plainly obvious that people love beer so much that they’re worried about a price increase.

There was a wide variety of support for beer, paired with rage against climate change, ranging from political talking points to joking calls to ban all fossil fuels:

The subject was even covered by The Daily Show, in which Trevor Noah said, “If you tell American’s in 10 years the Marshall Islands will be underwater, no one cares, but tell them Corona will cost more? Now they’re marching in the streets.”

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/pmvksp/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-climate-change-s-effect-on-beer-production-worldwide—america-s-projected–1-trillion-deficit

The use of beer as a talking point on climate change has given the research more attention than it normally would have gotten. Steven J. Davis noted this fact:

Google analytics show that “beer” is a more common search term used in Google’s search engine than “climate change”. This could be a potential reason for the increased viewership.

 

 

beer v climate change
Search term interest over time comparison between ‘beer’ (in blue) and ‘climate change’ (in red). Credit: Google Trends

This opens up an abundance of new positions of attack scientists can use to get the general public to care about climate change, but there will always be skeptics:

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