Drink Up

07.24.14

Happy National Tequila Day! Here’s How Climate Change Is Murdering Your Tequila

Finally, we can build a consensus of outrage over climate change. Forget sea levels. It is endangering tequila. Save the blue agave!

Today we celebrate America’s greatest holiday.

On July 24, a day better known as National Tequila Day, Americans can raise a glass (or an embarrassingly inexpensive plastic bottle) in honor of tequila, the blue-agave-derived alcoholic beverage that might actually help you conquer obesity.

To be clear, National Tequila Day is, unfortunately, not a federal holiday. Its origin is a mystery, but it was probably started by someone who sold tequila. Still, the “holiday” retains at least as much legitimacy as the sham of commercialized lust we’ve come to know as Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, before you start celebrating and making all kinds of terrible life choices, it’s important to remember that Tequila Day isn’t just a time for meaningless, sodden fun—it’s a time to call for climate action, too.

“Ecologies are delicate things, especially when you’re trying to achieve a predictable, high-quality product.”

Seriously. There is reason to believe that climate change is directly threatening your supply of tequila. So if you have not been giving a damn about (or have been actively denying) the devastating effects of man-made global warming, now is a good time to start.

Here’s an excerpt from NPR’s “Tequila Nation” report from earlier this summer, in which a tequila distiller based in the traditional Mexican growing region discusses the problem:

"The summer gets hotter and hotter every year. Traditionally, for the blue agave, it took 8 to 10 years to grow and mature. And now we are looking at the agaves maturing 5, 6, 7-years-old. Less sugar content because the plant is forced to grow and mature faster. And everybody’s talking about it: Calentamiento global, global warming."

“It may seem like more hot weather would be a good thing for a plant that thrives in drought conditions and can be killed by too much rain or too much cold,” Willy Blackmore at Participant Media’s TakePart explained. “But ecologies are delicate things, especially when you’re trying to achieve a predictable, high-quality product.”

And to make your margarita potentially even worse, this year also saw The Great Lime Shortage, brought on by disease, storms, and drug cartels.

There you have it: Global warming is trying to kill your tequila buzz. Climate change leads to global bacon shortages. Oh, and fracking chemicals can easily leak into major water supplies and ruin your beer.

Everything is terrible. Happy National Tequila Day.