By Brent Suter, Fast Company
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brent Suter knows sports can unite us – climate change should do the same thing.
Baseball is America’s pastime. It’s part of our identity and our culture. Americans love the sport, and the national camaraderie the comes with it, while rooting for their favorite team. That’s why I was proud to pitch for the 2018 National League Central Division Champion Milwaukee Brewers this year. I saw how my city of Milwaukee came together to cheer us on towards our goal of the World Series. And while we lost our bid for the series, there’s a bigger test ahead for us. It requires that we come together, just like we do with sports, to address the very real threats from climate change.
These threats are impacting every community, including mine. In playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, I represent a city with a strong heritage in the beer industry. But get this, climate change is now going to impact beer as well. Recently, a new study noted that drought, heatwaves, and extreme weather associated with climate change will drastically reduce crop yields of barley, a key ingredient in beer. This is going to double the price of beer for consumers and have a huge impact on my city’s beer industry. But this isn’t the only climate change impact that Milwaukee and Wisconsin are facing.
Flooding is on the rise throughout our entire state due to torrential rains, threatening our neighborhoods and infrastructure.These threats are becoming more frequent and formidable for all of America, not just Milwaukee. Earlier this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we’ve got only 12 years to avert total climate catastrophe. And each week, it seems, new scientific and economic reports highlight the growing threats to industries and regions from climate change. Amidst these dire reports, communities around the country continue to bear the brunt of climate change in the form of hurricanes, storm surges, wild fires, and flooding.