The latest dubious climate scare story just out involves a far-fetched thought-spiel that creates a scenario of what would happen if all the world’s fossil fuels were burned – that scenario all based on an inflated CO2 climate sensitivity and crystal ball quality science.
The theorized result would be the possible melting of Antarctic ice and a 120+meter rise in sea level – “over thousands of years“. Little wonder already a number of scientists have dismissed the report as wildly speculative and of no value.
Well, in an equally far-fetched scenario people should instead consider the grave consequences of what would result if NO fossil fuels were burned, i.e. the opposite of burning all the fossil fuels. What would happen if the supply of fossil fuels were suddenly cut off today in our modern and prosperous society? The consequences would be cataclysmic and would occur immediately, and not over hundreds or thousands of years.
First without fossil fuels a majority of the world’s power plants (powered by coal, oil and gas) would stop. This would lead to widespread, permanent blackouts. Industries and the their output of life-sustaining goods would grind to a halt. Household appliances would cease to operate, meaning perishables stored in our refrigerators and freezers would begin to spoil within a matter of days, if not hours. Water would cease coming out of the taps because the public water works would be idled by the power loss. Cooking, bathing and sanitation would stop. Toilets would become inoperable. Sanitation services would not take our refuse away. Garbage would pile up within days.
Would you be able to just drive to the supermarket and get the things you need? Traffic control systems and signals would switch off and traffic would turn into mayhem. Within hours cars and trucks would run out of fuel and stall, leaving millions of motorists stranded over tens of thousands of miles of streets littered with abandoned vehicles. Stranded motorists would be left to fend for themselves. Grocery store shelves, not being refilled by delivery trucks, would quickly be looted.
Entire information and communication systems would be dead, ATM machines would stop, lights and power at schools and hospitals would go out. The healthcare system would collapse immediately. Forget calling the authorities. Emergency vehicles would cease to operate because they would have no fuel. Police, fire and ambulances would not be able to respond to calls. Law enforcement would be paralyzed, which would lead to instantaneous anarchy and mayhem. Rapists, murderers and criminals would have a field day. Violent gangs would soon take over. Loved ones on business trips, vacations, universities, weekend trips would never be seen again because there would be no way for them to return, except by taking the perilous journey through the mayhem on foot. All air traffic would be grounded. Most would be stranded and left to fend for themselves.
Next imagine it’s wintertime with temperatures well below freezing and the wind outside is howling. Your home is without heat, lighting, electricity or water. How are you going to prepare your next meal, wash your clothes, bathe or stay warm? Immediately homes would turn cold and millions and frozen water pipes would burst. Millions of people would start chopping tress down to burn for heat to stay warm. In no time our skies would be choked by ash and particulates.
In the summer within hours millions would begin to suffer from hunger and dehydration. To comprehend the utter hell you would find yourself in, imagine what your next step would be when you find that your fridge is empty and there’s no more water and electricity? You’re hungry and thirsty, you’re craving for food and your children are sick. What are you going to do? Walk to the supermarket? These will be long since looted. Any meat and dairy products left at the markets will be rotted and the place overrun by rats and insects. To quench your thirst you might consider drinking the untreated water from a local stream. Good luck with that. You can go outside and make a fire to sterilize the water, but you’re hungry and there’s nothing to eat. Suddenly your dog or cat starts looking like a meal, or worse, you start looking like a meal for all the abandoned dogs now running stray. Humans would start cannibalizing, with the strong preying on the weak. Syria and ISIS in comparison would look like a Love Parade parade event!
The regions with nuclear power would be better off – at least at first – but not for long as they would soon would be overrun by a tsunami of millions of blackout refugees. Chaos would ensue. Society would break down into a free-for-all.
By now you get the picture. Hundreds of millions would perish within a matter days and weeks – killed by exposure, dehydration, starvation, disease or murder. Billions would die within weeks and months.
So what do you prefer? That scenario, or a sea level rise of 100 meters over 5000 years?