Three Ways Climate Change Is Going To Ruin Your Beer
Water is beer’s primary ingredient, and brewers are worried about having enough.
In 2011, it took brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev 3.5 barrels of water to produce 1 barrel of beer. Due to concerns over drought and shrinking water supplies, the world’s largest brewer set a goal to drop that number to 3.25 barrels by 2012. It met that goal, and this week, Pete Kraemer, the company’s vice president for supply said that they has shrunk that number down to 3.15 barrels, with plans to drop it still further. For context, their plant in Houston alone produces 12 million barrels of beer each year.
The drought in California already has breweries that rely on the Russian River for water scrambling to find new sources, like a reverse osmosis system that’d purify groundwater, or picking up stakes and moving to Chicago.
Most of the water used to make beer does not make it into beer bottles — it ends up as wastewater, which in turn requires energy to treat. Matt Silver was a NASA researcher who decided to use his knowledge of life-support systems in space to create a water treatment system that turns industrial wastewater into electricity. The water that comes out of a brewery, for example, contains too much in the way of organic compounds to be dumped down the drain — but those compounds can feed microbes that turn it into methane, which can be used to heat and power a factory. His company, Cambrian Innovations, received seed money from the EPA, NASA, and the Pentagon and has been selling systems that do this to breweries like Lagunitas in drought-parched California. The state uses around 20 percent of its total electricity generated to treat, transport, and use water.
Large brewers are also concerned about barley, the second ingredient of beer.
In recent years, heavy rains in Australia and drought in England have damaged barely crops. That pattern of heavier downpours and drier droughts is likely to accelerate as greenhouse gases trap heat and warm the planet, according to the National Climate Assessment. Anheuser-Busch Inbev receives a lot of their barley from Idaho. Howard Neibling, a professor in the University of Idaho’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, told the Houston Chronicle that farmers see less water coming as snowpacks decline, and have tried to become more …
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Watch Now: Morano in 3 against one Aljazeera TV debate over EPA Climate regs: ‘They are bastardizing science…demonizing carbon dioxide’
Hosted by Ray Suarez – Featuring Climate Depot’s Morano with Debate Opponents: Sue Tierney, Managing Director of the Analysis Institute in San Francisco; and Vicki Arroyo, Director of Georgetown Law’s Climate Center.
‘Inside Story’ Host Ray Suarez cautions at the beginning of the program: ‘We are not going to have an argument on whether it’s a right thing to do or a back and forth about global warming, whether it’s really happening and so on.’
Selected Excerpts from Morano:
Morano: This is a sad day for American history. We have a long history of rejecting climate plans. We signed UN treaties but failed to ratify them. We tried cap-and-trade in 2003, 2005, 2008, it passed the House in 2009 but failed in Senate in 2010. The American people could not be more clear that they don’t want this and Congress did not want it. Many politicians voted out after voting for cap-and-trade in 2009, many Republicans in particular.
Using executive orders, in a way, is strategically brilliant – bypassing Congress.
Morano: They are demonizing carbon dioxide — it is scientifically horrible what they have done. Linking CO2 to storms and the President is implying that the goal of the reductions is going to alter future storms, hurricanes, floods and droughts. They are using the regulations as a justification. They are bastardizing science to make that claim…We don’t know what technology is going to be into the future, we don’t need a government bureaucracy dictating our energy future. It is a sad day in American history.
Host: Suarez: ‘The path is open we have been told what the finish line is, and everyone has been told ‘how you get there is your business. How is that the government dictating?’
Morano: They are saying ‘you can go to anyone hotel in the world, but you have to go to this hotel.’ Oh, you can take a back road or a highway, but what if you don’t want to go to that hotel? Our goal should be plentiful energy for Americans and everything that comes along with that, economic growth, jobs. The goal of focusing on a trace essential gas in the atmosphere as the big boogeyman and then altering all our policy to fit that — is wrong!
The CO2 cuts should not be …