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Stuff that matters

Spoiler Alert

If you like food that tastes good, oh well!

New Mexico, land of Christmas-style everything, grows a quarter of the United States’ chili pepper crop every year. But that’s getting harder and harder to do, thanks to — oh, you know the drill. Climate change is at it again, says the Santa Fe Reporter.

Chili pepper plants, it turns out, are pampered babies that require precisely timed meteorological cooperation to thrive. As temperatures wobble from their predictable patterns, chili plants are more likely than not to wither away like 18th century poets, or burn out like their 20th century counterparts. This summer, drought conditions over New Mexico were punctuated by unseasonal storms that destroyed large swaths of the crop.

But New Mexico isn’t the only state in danger of losing its signature foodstuff. Maine might be short a few lobsters too, or so suggests a new study that shows baby lobsters have a harder time surviving in warm water. As the Gulf of Maine heats up, fewer and fewer larvae are going to live to full-grown, delicious glory. (We promise we care about more than their buttery futures.)

On the plus side, we’ll always have Chili’s and Red Lobster — the Tithonuses of our time.