Global Warming and Wine

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Global Warming – what does this portend for wine growers, wine makers and consumers? What adaptive changes will need to be made in existing wine regions as global temperatures increase? Will wine growing need to be relocated in cooler regions?

Despite the many scientific uncertainties about the full effects if global warming, one thing remains clear – the challenges of growing and making wine will be many and varied.

Join us as our own Rusty Gaffney MD and Ted Burns MdD interview the leaders in the field:
Dr. Gregory Jones, Associate Professor, Southern Oregon University
Dr. Noah Diffenbaugh, Assistant Professor, Purdue University

Sponsor: North Berkeley Imports: www.northberkeleywine.com

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Show #179
(1:19:23 min 55 MB)

33 Responses to “Global Warming and Wine”


  1. 1 Dave Dec 4th, 2007 at 9:17 am

    Fantastic show, guys. This is a big topic and I’m glad to see you tackling it. Someone mentioned that there is debate about climate change. I think the debate is unfortunately more political than scientific, with industry supporters on one side and environmental advocates on the other. I also don’t really want to think about the idea of Napa producing jug wine. But I don’t think there is serious debate among scientists that the climate is changing, and carbon emissions are the leading factor.

    I know this is anecdotal, but I’ve had grapes in the ground for eight years and I’ve seen budbreak march up a day or two every spring, with a full two-week jump this past year that had disastrous consequences. I shouldn’t attribute specific local events to a global phenomenon, but I’m now a believer. I embrace the notion of shaving a degree or two off of our freezes, but still it’s frightening. My daughter (she’s 4) doesn’t know yet that she’s slated to attend UC Davis to study enology, though I may have to change my plans and send her to the University of Alaska viticulture program.

  2. 2 Bill Curtis Dec 4th, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Dave above is right that it is a political topic – and the same folks that are lecturing us to make do with less (and pay more taxes in the process) also can justify their own carbon un-neutral consumption behavior by purchasing “carbon credits”, as if that really makes a difference.

    While I don’t dispute the fact that the mean temperature on our planet is always changing – hard to doubt with the ice ages and warmings in past – I do have a hard time believing that man’s actions alone directly causes those changes. The sun’s activities have a much larger bearing on earth’s climate than anything we can do. For billions of years volcanic eruptions have spew enormous quantites of toxic substances in our atmosphere. More recently forest fires have done the same even before humans started walking upright.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am for a clean environment, but after seeing how the third world treats the planet and the fact that the Kyoto accords specifically exempted China, India and other major parts of the world where enviromental controls are much more lax that what we have here, it seemed like a political rather than a practical solution. And a money grab. And it might make some folks feel better, but does little to solve anything.

    The only way you can be carbon neutral is by ceasing to exhale, and for some reason I don’t think that is a solution. Without carbon dioxide the plant kingdom would suffer – nature has evolved over time and has created a many clever ways to balance things. When I was in junior high school the mass media was hyping that we were on the road to our next ice age as tempertaures are getting colder. While now the prediction seem premature, I don’t doubt that that is in our future as well.

    With the current warming trend we may have a better understanding of how European wine regions came into being and have evoled over the years – in the 1400′s maybe Burgandy wine was a fruit bomb and some current California wine making styles are what Pinot tasted like at that time? Was the UK a former powerhouse wine region?

    Becasue my son had to watch Al Gore’s movie in “English” class last year I went out and rented it so see what the fuss was all about. After watching it I asked his teacher why a politcal movie was a required viewing subject for an English class. She told me it was not politcal at all, but based on scientific fact. Many topics in his movie are questioned by many in the scientific community (but not those receiving grants to study global warming). What is not disputed is that the man who inherited a large potrion of his wealth from oil stock is now raking it in by preaching the evils of oil. At the same time he flys around the world and burns $20,000 per year in electrical bills at his mansion in Tennesee. The cynic in me makes me suspect of his true motives.

  3. 3 Bill Curtis Dec 4th, 2007 at 11:33 am

    P.S. You may disagree with my post above.

    As I live in Hawaii and have a house that is without Air Conditioning or Central Heating and I have a solar water heater on my roof I have some carbon credits for sale – please contact me at any time for any quantity that you may want to purchase.

    Aloha,

    Bill

  4. 4 Jon M. Dec 4th, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Great topic. But these two listeners need to do a little more homework on this topic or just pay more attention to news in the world. There is a consensus in the world scientific community and I don’t just mean the ones paid off by our P. Bush. Unfortunately, it is this typical sentiment that is leading our world in the wrong direction.

  5. 5 Bill Curtis Dec 4th, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Jon – there was consensus at one time that the world was flat. It was not science, rather common doctrine as dictated by the church. Similar to the all powerful medieval church in the past the mass media today is the mouthpiece for your movement. Also similar to the church of the past you can purchase indulgences (carbon credits) to atone for your “sin” of living in the modern world. I just don’t buy into the mass media hype, or the notion that my actions in living my life are hurting the planet. I especially don’t buy into the notion that by raising my taxes and the taxes of my neighbors that I will hurt the plane even less. One thing I did learn from my college professors is question authority and always question the motives of politicians no matter what thier stripe.

  6. 6 Les Hayden Dec 6th, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Well stated Bill, your right on target!

  7. 7 David Dec 7th, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I would like to comment on the idea you mentioned of having your wine retailer put together a mixed case of wine for you. I have done this a few times. One was a guy who was just starting to a online wine business and was offering a good deal. This introduced me to some good, reasonably priced Australian wines. (http://www.pizzini.com.au/). I decided to give the idea with a local retailer I had used off and on for years. At first he was really surprised by the idea and a little flustered. I thought it take just a few minutes, but it ended up taking close to a half hour as he tried to mix in match with what he knew about my preferences and the price I had given him. I just finished up the last bottle from that case and wasn’t disappointed with any of them. I highly recommend this approach as a fun way to learn about some new wines.

  8. 8 Joe Levine Dec 8th, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    I was initially just going to express my disappointment with the handling of this topic and then make a request for the future. Then I read the previous comments and decided to write a little more. Thanks to the remarks made by Bill, I only need to add a little. Like Bill, I am a strong believer in conservation and trying to protect the environment. I get bothered, however, by the doomsayers who keep predicting various crises without scientific proof or without considering changes that will occur in technology. If the predictions by these ‘experts,’ were true, the world should now be out of food and oil, the oceans should be dead, and we should be in an ice age [or at least experiencing global COOLING—check Newsweek 4/28/75 regarding the ‘consensus’ of the scientific community]. Bill was right on about the consensus issue in science and used my favorite example. I am a physician, and I take science and research quite seriously. It is important to know that the scientific method is based on developing a hypothesis or theory and then proving or disproving it. Consensus among scientists does not determine the truth of something. Next, I think people should realize that ‘consensus’ statements are often signed by people without expertise in the particular area [they just get credibility by being ‘nobel laureates’ or some other nice title but not one necessarily related to the topic] or who have only read a summary statement and not the entire document. To contradict Bill just a little, I want to point out that even global warming believers/enthusiasts in the scientific community were upset with the Gore movie because of how much it exaggerated possible consequences. Wrapping up, while I don’t think there is debate as to whether there has been global warming in the recent past, there is much question as to its cause and the role that man has or has not played in it, with there being good reason to doubt that our role is of any import. An interesting analogy to all of this might be that of a person with a fever. While there may easily be agreement that he has a fever, knowing the cause of it is different. And, while there may be a consensus among a group of doctors that it is caused by a particular problem, they could all be wrong. This could have serious consequences in the outcome of the case, so it is important that they find conclusive evidence of their belief before using a treatment that might be ineffective or worse than the disease. I have already said more than I want to on the scientific issues, and I don’t even want to touch the political ones, especially as Bill has already done much of that nicely.
    All of the above being said, I want to make my complaint about the show. I listen to you for information about wine and related areas, not general scientific or political debate. The topic of this program was ‘Global Warming and Wine.’ I assumed that you were going to be sticking with the connections between global warming [which is agreed to be happening] and how it is affecting wines. That sounds like a great topic, and it was part of what was addressed. Unfortunately, my assumption was wrong and you went into the general debatable global warming area which I believe has no place on this show. I hope in the future that topics stay focused in the wine area and stay away from controversial topics outside of that area. Please continue, however, to bring up controversy, politics and science within the wine arena as you have done with your shootouts, seminar tapes, and discussion of the interstate sales issue [at least I think you covered that].
    Joe Levine

  9. 9 Tim Beauchamp Dec 9th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks guys, again, for an interesting show. Obvious from the posts, this is a politically charged topic. Please don’t change your format or topics.

    I believe that the Earth is warming. Doubt if you can find many reputable cientists who disagree with that. I believe that the Earth’s temperature and greenhouse are closely linked. Again, you would have a hard time finding a reputable scientist who disagrees with that base on evidence.

    And I believe that man can and has affected the balance of the planet with the blatant disregard of the environment. The evidence indicates that there is a high probability that we are responsible to for some of the change in temperature. Much of the debate, if you want to call it that in the scientific community seems to be on the degree that humans have affected it, not if.

    The comment that a consensus in medicine is spot on. It doesn’t prove anything, and yes, it could be wrong. If I got a diagnosis for a fever, and then got a 2nd and third opinion, and the consensus was that I needed a particular treatment. My disregarding that treatment because it was based on a consensus would say more about my personal opinion than on the likelihood of a hidden motive by the doctors.

    And breathing is carbon neutral. The CO2 that I breath out came from the carbon that I ingested, which came from the food that I hate and wine that I drank, which bound that carbon from the environment. A big cycle. That is different from burning a fossil fuel. Sure, the carbon in that fuel came from the environment and plans life. But that carbon was captured by those plans millions of years ago, when the atmosphere was mostly methane and carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and ammonia.

    Guys. Obviously you have hit on a topic that makes every one’s heart beat a bit faster and blood pressure go up a bit. Great excuse to have a glass of wine. Keep it up.

    Tim

  10. 10 GrapeRadio Bunch Dec 9th, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Joe, I feel the show stayed more centered on the topic than you, but my take is not important. Sorry we failed to deliver on your expectations.

    Based on these comments, I think I will invite a few presidential candidates on the show to talk about the wine industry. Of course, Joe, as you know they may tend not to stay on topic. :-)

    Jay

  11. 11 Joe Levine Dec 9th, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    As I didn’t want to get into a debate here about non-wine issues, I hope that this is my last post on this topic. I felt, though, the need to respond to two issues raised by Tim. The first is regarding my ‘spot on’ fever analogy. Unfortunately, my point was missed in the same way people miss the point on global warming. To start, I didn’t mention anything about hidden motives by either the doctors in the analogy or the scientists in the warming debate. I just raise the point that they could very well be wrong despite their good intentions. Bill used the analogy of Galileo and the solar system. In medicine, there have been many examples of physicians being ridiculed for opposing the majority in the field only to be proven correct years later. In my years as a physician, I have seen many people improperly diagnosed and put on medications that could harm them directly. In addition, we have seen the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria threatening the public health because people have wanted, and doctors have provided, antibiotics to treat viral infections that are unaffected by the medicine and would have been better left alone. Tim assumes that he sees three doctors who have the same finding. My point is that, if a fourth doctor says that the other three [10, 100, etc] are wrong, the ones that are in consensus aren’t right just because of their agreement. If the fourth doctor is right, it doesn’t matter how many others disagree. To carry this a bit further, if the treatment the doctors in consensus recommend does no harm to the patient [or society] physically/emotionally/economically/etc and doesn’t miss doing something necessary, then nothing is lost. Unfortunately, most treatments [be it for medical problems or global warming] do have significant consequences.

    My second issue, which is not that important, is related to the carbon neutrality of breathing. Tim states that the exhaled CO2 is released from carbon bound in food. He is stating, therefore, that the process is not carbon neutral. He differentiates if from fossil fuel burning only in how long ago the carbon was bound. Whether that makes a difference or not doesn’t make breathing a carbon neutral process.

    Joe Levine

  12. 12 Joe Levine Dec 9th, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Jay et al,
    Your post appeared after I sent my last post. Thanks for the response. I think that having presidential candidates on your show would, besides still not providing an accurate debate, push me further towards harder liquor. Lets just stick to wine issues. And thanks for all the other great shows you’ve done.
    Joe

    PS I even liked the parts of this show dealing with the effects of global warming on wine.

    PPS When are you guys going to get out and cover some Long Island wine?

  13. 13 Bill Curtis Dec 11th, 2007 at 10:54 am

    What set me off was the comment by one of the “scientists” in the audio that all will be better if we vote for the correct political party, and his colleagues seemed to be nodding their heads in agreement. The is nothing wrong with political speech, but call it for what it is, don’t hide it behind psydo-science. Everyone has their political and religious beleifs, but they should be left at the door when performing pure scientific research. I thought we had learned that with what happened to Galileo Galilei.

    Climate change is happening. It always will. It is also much too complex an issue to state that one political party versus another is the solution, or even can makes a difference in effecting global temperature change. Remember the hype on the Ozone Hole over the South Pole a few years back? From what I understand it is now closing up – there appears to be a cycle there as well. As we invent new and more advances instruments to measure and quantify our world around us there are always some that will twist that data for political and/or monetary gain. Beware of hysterical, fear mongering science.

  14. 14 Rusty Gaffney Dec 11th, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Bill Curtis

    I read your comments with great interest as they show considerable insight. I had to comment on your reference to the UK – the fact is they are starting to plant more vineyards there and as the commentators said in the podcast, Denmark is awash in vineyards.

    Rusty

  15. 15 Bill Curtis Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Absolutely no Presidential candidates on Grape Radio! Much deeper thought than modern politcal retoric occurs on Grape Radio and it would be a dis-service to lower the bar and change format. We all want to have a grape day, after all.

    Doctor Rusty – I think there is merit in discussing more why the Romans attempted to moderize what is now Great Britian 2000 years ago.

    When I was in Oregon a few months ago at harvest one of the growers told me about vineyard rats. These rodents could jump fences 12 feet tall and consume vast amounts of grapes in one evening. After a bit of time he clued me into to that most of us know vineyard rats by a more common name – deer (or venison for those chefs and gourmands out there).

    Is it possible that Harian’s Wall really built to keep the mongrels (and I have a partial Scottish genes in my DNA, so chill out with the racist comments) away from the prime grape growing region that was in England 2000 years ago?? They probally still wanted the venison roaming around. Inquiring minds what to know.

    I did live in Norway as an exchange student for part of a year during High School (when I left Jimmy Carter was in charge and Reagan was Pres. when I came back to the USA). My first wine I ever had was home brew in a basement in Norway when I was 15 yeras old. So the knowledge of vinification even extends to Scandinavia to this day – some of it is other fruits (berries, apples, etc.) but some was also from grapes.

  16. 16 Bill Curtis Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Wait – I was 17 in Norway for my first wine. I was born in 1963. I did bring LP’s of the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Journey to a Norwegian nation that was still listeing to Elvis. And making it’s own wine. It was so long ago……

  17. 17 Bill Curtis Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    p.p.s. Will trade carbon credits for wine.

  18. 18 Alex J Dec 12th, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Interesting topic. It’s unsurprising that people hesitate to accept that their carbon-intensive, often wasteful activities (times hundreds of millions of people) could be threatening the relative stability that nurtures life in today’s world. But this is one of the most studied and scrutinized topics ever, and a compelling scientific case has developed over the last few decades. That was never true of the “flat Earth” business, or the ice age prediction myth/half-truth (see #18, paragraph 3 at http://UnderstandIt.org – and the links on consensus in #27).

    The nature of the issue (a lasting CO2 accumulation, along with thermal inertia, feedbacks and the potential for dynamic change) makes inaction a huge gamble in my view. Delay changes a lot, and we can’t just assume technology will offer a cost-effective, low-risk band aid once things are in full swing. This is likely one of those cases in which tightening the cap on the bottle is better then trying to get the genie back in.

  19. 19 Bill Curtis Dec 13th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Alex – if you feel that way please adapt your lifestyle accordingly. I have no objections to how you prefer to live you life. I once rented a room in a house off the grid for over a year, catching the rain from my roof and using solar panels for 12 volt power. We did have a propane fired refrigerator and flash water heater.

    I currently heat my water with solar energy and do not use any form of heating or air conditioning in my home. I am looking at investing in photovoltaic panels for generating solar electricty on my roof now that the local authorities have recently allowed you to reverse electric meter in my market and the price is starting to make economic sense (about 12 year breakeven at the moment, less if oil continues to go up in price).

    I do object to others trying to enforce their lifestyles on me or being the arbiter of what is wasteful or not in my life – the market economy restricts what waste I can create in my lifestyle and it is directly related to what value I create for others (or, if I was more fortunate, what I inherit from my parents).

    I have become numb to the constant bombardment of fear of the moment from the mass media and left wing in our country (and abroad) and will not accept the premise that my actions are creating harm to the planet. I am not vain enough to think my actions can change the forces of the cosmos.

    Global warming may be happening, I don’t doubt that. You would have to be able to accurately measure the temperature of the earth first, not just specific areas. Once we do that and understand the mechanics we will be able to predict the weather more than 5 days out. If warming is occuring I would think it would be more directly related to solar activity – if we had none of that there would be no warmth of any sort at all.

    You suggested a link above. I suggest you read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. It was written by a women that at one time lived in a socialist utopia where the few dictated to the many how you were to live your life. Or try 1984 or Brave New World. All timeless classics of the human condition.

    Al Gore is still jetting around the planet and raking in the bucks. When he gets home and pays the $3,000 plus per month for his Tennesee mansion electric bill he must sit back and smile not only to have the fortune to inherit his wealth from oil companies in the first place from his parents but to also make another fortune by peddling junk science to the lap dogs of the left. I welcome the country that allowed Al’s family to amass their weatlh (and he was smart enough to leverage some of that into Google stock), I just cringe at the hypocracy of his Global Warming hype. If he, and the others of this movement, really thought it would make a difference wouldn’t their actions be different? With the left it is not what you do, but how you feel about things that is important.

  20. 20 Bill Curtis Dec 13th, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    p.s. I do find it ironic that the anti-establishment children of the 1960′s that were preaching freedom of lifestyle and speaking against the oppressive conformity of society and all it stood for have now become the establishment and want us to conform to thier vision and dictate how we are to live our lives.

  21. 21 Alex J Dec 14th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Bill, I don’t think this is about vanity. But perhaps to assume that spewing gigatons of fossil CO2 has no impact over time is just as irrational as vanity. Absolute temperature isn’t quite the issue either – it’s temperature anomaly, widely-tracked with independent surface datasets, oceanic profiles, the satellite record etc. And the understanding of climate mechanisms has improved much more than your weatherman’s 5-day outlook. As hinted at the above link, local weather fluctuation and global climate change are two separate (though related) things.

    I realize a lot of the resistance to this issue is politically-charged and based on a fear of government. Acting sooner rather than later, though, makes the more costly and restrictive measures less likely to be implemented. I prefer an incentive approach, but it’s society that will decide whether the hazards and costs of emitting so much CO2 should be paid for up-front, while they’re still relatively manageable. How much is released is not just a matter of productivity, but also efficiency and the energy source. Things that can be further improved even with today’s technologies.

    I don’t know the details of Gore’s activities/how he’s addressing his energy consumption (although I hear he’s buying green power). Or what the net effect of his campaign is, etc. But he isn’t the issue. The need for education, international cooperation, and accelerated mitigation technology is. Even with a serious effort, it’s going to take some time to make a course correction.

  22. 22 Bill Curtis Dec 14th, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    We must agree to disagree. I just don’t buy into the notion that Carbon Dioxide, the same gas that comes out my lungs and provides sustinance to the plant world, is toxic and harmful to the enviroment. I don’t think a plant knows the difference if the CO2 it absorbs is generated from an animal or an exhaust pipe.

    I am not ready to turn back the clock 200 years in time and eliminate electricity, heating oil, climate control for people and our foodstuffs, toss our our cars for horses (which produce methane whether you use them or not, so do we just walk instead?) and turn back all of the advancements that has improved the quality, standard and duration of life and the overall human condition due to some scientific theory fad of the moment. Crude oil is not evil, it is an organic component just like every we find on the planet. As we run out it (if we can run out) will get more expensive and we will figure other ways of producing energy.

    The purpose behind this moment is not to reduce energy consumption (unless you are advocating mass genocide), but to make you feel better (less guilty?) about paying higher energy taxes and/or reduce your standard of living. And possibly to fund more research that the pundits are “experts” in? Sorry for the cynicism, but every 5 years so called scientic experts are crying wolf about something new and then it slowly fades to the background.

    The planet will warm and cool as it always has. Look to fluctuations at the center of our solar system for the root cause of global temperature change – the amount of energy it produces in a minute is more than all of mankind could ever hope to generate. Every once in a while a large volcano erupts on earth and can create short term climate change, but the earth has natural cleansing mechanisms that bring things back into balance after time.

  23. 23 Steve24601 Dec 14th, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Bill – I too live in Hawaii and we just installed solar electric panels. I figure the return on investment at about 10 years at current rates. Less if Hawaiian Electric raises their rates (again). So, post a reply here and I’ll get you a reference to our contractor.

    Anyway, I installed the panels not only to reduce my carbon footprint and my electric bill, but because of insurance. Very simply – if my wine cellar is out of power, I’m going to cry and my modest investment in wine might go down the tubes on a hot summer day. So when the power went out during the earthquake a while back, it was a bit worrysome. But with solar electric panels, I’ll get at least a couple of hours of power to keep my collection cool.

    That aside, if my solar electric panels, solar water heating, and Prius can help preserve the great Pinot Noir producers that I love, then I’m all for it. Not that I don’t like a hot weather Shiraz every now and again, it is just that I love the cool climate Pinot. And if the Champagne region warms up and we lose the wonderful stuff (especially the Veuve Cliquot), life will be diminished.

  24. 24 Alex J Dec 15th, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Bill, apparently changes in average solar irradiance are nowhere near enough to explain the trend, while the amplified greenhouse effect is. CO2 is vital for life on Earth, but an ACCUMULATION traps more solar heat in the atmosphere. Oxygen is vital too, but if it were significantly higher than 21% this would be a different world.

    The CO2 in your breath is part of the natural, present-day carbon cycle (it comes from food, derived from plants that remove CO2 from the atmosphere = little or no net change). In contrast, huge amounts of fossil fuel carbon, sequestered over eons, are now being released in a geologic minute. Volcanic activity is no longer high enough to significantly affect long-term climate, but the occasional big eruption has a temporary net cooling effect. A large CO2 accumulation lasts a lot longer.

    What matters is rapid global change in a biodiverse, populous world. And contrary to the common talking point, slowing it down needn’t mean returning to the horse & buggy days. So yes, we’ll have to agree to disagree. :-)

  25. 25 Joe Levine Dec 16th, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Bill,
    I think I love you. Actually, I want to thank you for all of your posts that are totally in synch with my thoughts. I haven’t had the time to put together such thoughts in writing, and I wanted to stay away from the non-wine issues here. I have, however, been happyreading your posts. One small point you left out about Gore is that the money he donates to offset his carbon footprint goes to a company that, I believe, he owns and/or runs in some way.
    On a bit different topic is your discussion of your voluntary behaviors vs what you want the government mandating as well as your extension to the Ayn Rand issue and Socialism. There is an interesting difference in the way Conservatives/Libertarians and Liberals/Socialists think about approaching problems, and please note that I am not saying global warming is a man-made issue. I was struck by this during President Reagan’s funeral. Some reporters were struck at how he wanted to cut government social programs yet would write out personal checks to people that he learned needed assistance. They didn’t understand his [and I think most Conservative/Libertarian's] belief that we have an individual obligation to help our neighbor [solving whatever problem we might see] but that the government has no right to force people to do so and is not an efficient agent in doing so.
    Joe
    PS Bill, if you’re ever out by Long Island, I’d love to have you stop by.

  26. 26 Bill Curtis Dec 16th, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Here’s what this effort is really about….

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/965

    …global carbon tax.

  27. 27 Bill Curtis Dec 16th, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Joe – I lived on Long Island (Syosset) breifly – 1968 – 1970 when I was in Kindergarten and 1st grade then the family moved to California.

    I am proud to say my grandfather lived in Valley Stream and ended his career as a senior electrical engineer with LILCO. There are more carbon emissions today on Long Island because the nuclear power plant he was working on at the end of his career was never allowed to open. France I think generates 40% of it’s electricty with nuclear. During his career he worked to design portions of the grid that brought electrical power to many in your area and many of those systems and stations may still be in use today. It is true he was a quasi public servant working for a utility company, but that was public employment for improvement for the common welfare, so I am not completely against public works and goverment per se.

    I do agree the people can be more responsible that institutuions in effectively solving problems. We have structured our society so you can acheive personal reward by what you bring to the table for others. Bill Gates got in on the ground floor and has introduced products that save others time and effort and has become a billionare in the process. Better he is wealthy because of that than because his grandfather was the monarch (or lord, or prince, whatever) and it was handed to him by accident of birth.

    Health care is free in Cuba but I’m sure Micheal Moore left out of his movie about Castro hiring a Spanish doctor to have his surgery in Argentinia. The insurance companies have made it difficult as it is for doctor’s here to keep costs under control, and some would think it would be better if we had it all organized by the people that manage stellar customer service oriented organizations like the DMV and Social Security (to name a few).

    Compassion should truly be judged by your actions, not by how much you support taking out of your neighbor’s paycheck to fund your pet projects.

    I’m sure all of the folks in this podcast that are attending the upcoming Barcelona convention will get there by sailboat so they practice what they preach. University Professor is one of the few vocations where you can have enough vacation time to sail from Oregon to Spain and back as you care for the planet.

    I will cease and desist on this political topic now and get back to wine related issues.

  28. 28 Eldon Gath Dec 23rd, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Politics. Yikes. The sad, simple truth is that the world’s climate is indeed warming, like it has done many times in the geologic past, and will do many more time in the geological future, whether we are here to drink wine or not. That is the reality that no one disputes. The dispute is the cause of that warming, but that can be disputed all you want. The problem that cannot be disputed is the pace of that global warming, the pace of the arctic and antarctic ice melting, the climatic instability that is being generated, and the future peril this all holds for the people of the planet, and (back on topic) the future of the wine industry. 120,000 years ago, global sea levels rose naturally to 6 meters (almost 20 feet) higher than they are today. During the time it took to rise to that level, no one lost their home, no vineyards had to move north, frankly no one cared. A rise of even a meter today is trillions of dollars in damage, because we simply cannot take down our tent and move inland as sea level rises. The people who own the house on 2nd street are in the way. Whether you believe that Al Gore’s electric bill is the root cause or not, you must believe that humans are a contributor to the problem. Maybe not the only cause, but certainly part of the cause, and the only cause that we are able to do anything about. Humans are the largest geological agent on the planet, and supposedly the most intelligent, but maybe also the most stubborn. If we do not at least try to reduce our environmental signature, then we are as ignorant as those Easter Islanders who cut down their last tree, and just as doomed.

  29. 29 Matt Jan 1st, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    This is the first episode of Grape Radio I will not finish in a long time. I did love Jay’s note of skepticism at the top of the show (intentional or otherwise) and I think Bill’s posts above really hit the mark.

    Grape Radio provides such a tremendous service to wine lovers (for free) I’m not going to complain too loudly about a single show that I find unappealing. Rising temps in established AVAs are clearly a topic to discuss. Long term solutions and options that will be embraced by a wide majority will come from private industry and not from preaching politicans or scientists with a vested interest in continued funding for their research. Just my two cents.

    Looking forward to the next winemaker roundtable (Joe Davis vs. Brian Loring was the best set of episodes ever!)

    Thanks for such great content!

  30. 30 Fred Feb 8th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    From the chemistry of the fermentation process, 95 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted for each 100 pounds of ethanol produced.

    Do the math worldwide and see how much the wine industry contributes to global warming.

    In 2006 California wineries released approximately 450 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

  31. 31 Tomas Aug 14th, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Some people can’t see the forest through the trees.

    1. Its a fact that the climate is warming. I am a sommelier, professional brewer and sake expert. I keep a close eye on harvests of rice, grain and grapes. Regardless of the cause…the earth is warming.

    2. CO2 emissions while they may not be the “main” cause…they certainly exacerbate the problem and it is one factor that we do have control over

    3. Curbing CO2 emissions will ultimately create industry, create jobs, create wealth and empower individuals by making them less relaint on govt funded oil, oil protection and fossil fuel

    4. Solar and wind is rapidly becoming more advanced, is supported by free market and will be comparable to the cost of cola without subsidy within a few years

    5. It doesnt matter what China and India chooses to do..Chinas ecology is ruined…entire villages have cancer..they have plenty of money but at what cost…self eco-destruction. We need to take the lead and let American innovation curb CO2 and make us less dependent on fossil fuels.

    6. It is a shame that traditional wine regions will get too warm for ideal grapes, but it will have the effect to create ideal climates elsewhere.

    7. This shouldnt be a political issue. Unless McCain fufills his vision of 80% nuclear power funded by taxpayers…the free market, a paradigm shift in energy conservation/consumption…hydrogen and wind/solar will make us much less wasteful and the man made factor will be very well mitigatred

  32. 32 Tomas Aug 14th, 2008 at 7:41 am

    cola=coal

    haha amusing typo

  33. 33 Stacy Sep 25th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Antibiotics are a great for minor infections but the problem with them is that once your body gets used to it, it becomes immune to it. The solution to it is not letting your body get used to any particular antibiotic by using them in cycles. But as with anything related to health care, u need to do this with the opinion of your physician.

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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

GrapeRadio has been the subject of numerous news reports by: The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, The Financial Times of London, and Wired Magazine.