We'll be able to sit around a table and give thanks but the future of Thanksgiving on Climate Change will look very different. Mother Jones gives us a preview of what Thanksgiving will be like with Climate Change on steroids.
What will happen with our Turkey?.
The "turkey belt" of the United States is in the South, where states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas contribute the bulk of our national annual haul of over a quarter of a billion birds. But if you're worried about keeping turkey on your Thanksgiving table into the future, you might turn your attention to the Midwest. After this summer's record-breaking heat and drought in the Corn Belt, the grain supplies that plump the birds up for market dwindled, prices spiked, and as of fall turkeys are the most expensive per pound they've been in 10 years.You could always go out and kill your own, right? But what about the potatoes for your mashed potatoes? They'll still be around right?
No halfway decent Thanksgiving plate is complete without a dollop of mashed potatoes and gravy. Unfortunately, rising temperatures are endangering the future of that creamy dish. Elevated spring temperatures in Idaho could produce an 18 percent drop in spud yields and an annual $141 million economic loss to the state, according to the American Security Project. Additionally, volatile rainfall will also create irrigation problems. Scientists also fear that the destructive potato tuber moth, which now frequents farms in Africa and New Zealand, could increase infestation in its usual hotspots and expand its range in North America, South America, and Europe.Not to worry as scientists and agriculturalists have found a great starchy substitute to grow in the warming areas previously used for potatoes. They believe that bananas would work as a great alternative. Mashed bananas and gravy...yummy!
Well at least we can count on Cranberries, true?
Over in Wisconsin—where growers typically produce more cranberries than any other state—the cranberry is actually the official state fruit. Like most woody perennials, cranberry plants go dormant for part of the year, and Wisconsin's typically bone-chilling winters are great for this important stage. Tod Planer, a coordinator with the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, says that during recent mild winters, berries have failed to freeze, forcing farmers to cover their crops in fresh water every few days to make sure oxygen reaches the plants. One Wisconsin farmer told Grow magazine that he saw his first cranberry blossom in mid-May this year, the earliest he's ever witnessed. Mild weather in March spurred his plants into production, but then the cold returned and damaged the early vines, leaving the farmer to predict a major loss.So we will have to adapt not just to the loss of Thanksgiving but to the loss of comfort and safety we cherish. Rather then accept the loss I say we work to mitigate the worst effects of Climate Change. Sure we'll have to make some changes but on our own terms and not at the dictate of Mother Nature.