Archive for January, 2010


The 6 Most Bizarre Global Warming Side Effects: Part 1

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All right, it appears the world has moved past the “is global warming happening” stage and has now moved onto, “how screwed are we?”

But what is interesting is just how wide-ranging the effects will be, far beyond the normal “it will get really hot” and “the hippies will be really smug” we all have been expecting. Here are some of the effects you probably never saw coming…

#6. The Boozeacalypse

For most of us, the best part of our day is spending time with loved ones. For the rest, it’s drowning reality in a pool of sweet, brain-clouding liquors. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t want to be drowned and global warming is looking to make it harder to accomplish that goal in the future, as it’s predicted higher temperatures are going to lead to either outright shortages, or at least pricier, lower quality booze.

Once again, Billy Carter proves to be ahead of his time.

The problem for beer is malting barley. As climates become drier in areas where barley is grown, it could cause a disruption in beer production as crops either have to be moved to more hospitable grounds or brewers have to adapt to different varieties of barley which could lead to dreaded ass-flavored beer (as in, there’s a reason those other varieties aren’t used now).

For those who like to get a fancier drunk on, the wine industry also faces some changes thanks to global warming, as many wines are region specific and as the climate changes, so too do the way grapes grow and ripen. Some climatologists predict that by 2050 it will be almost impossible to grow grapes throughout large portions of Italy, Australia, California and France. Those last two would be known as “the places where most of the good wine comes from.”

A desperate world will have to turn to the Red Sox for quality wine.

The effect on wine tastings and assorted douchebaggery could be devastating, forcing countless people who wear berets and eat room temperature cheese to wander aimlessly from art gallery to art gallery completely sober. Instead, they may be driven to…

#5. More Potent heroin

If you were hoping there was an upside to global warming then you’re in for a treat. Unless you don’t want to develop a crippling addiction to heroin, in which case this may be another downside.

According to the USDA, who spend their days ankle-deep in opium dens, rising CO2 levels are making opium poppies more potent. Apparently back in the day grandpa was just coasting on the weak shit. Poppies grown today produce twice as many narcotic compounds as those from 1950.

The prediction is for levels to triple by 2050 and by 4.5 times more potent by 2090. This obviously has a huge impact on the world’s rock stars, whose lifestyle depends on the substance. Either rock stars will face extinction by 2100, or else natural selection will give us an entirely new species of heroin-resistant musicians.

She’s a hardy breed.

Curiously, the opposite effect happens in tobacco plants, that lose nicotine and other compounds with the increase of CO2, which we assume means cigarette companies are going to have to supplement smokes with heroin in the future. That makes sense, right?

#4. The Death of Vegas

Las Vegas is a great place to ruin your life with debt or VD and people flock to do just that each and every year. Unfortunately, this utopia of despair is facing a silent threat most people beyond city planners never stopped to consider: Las Vegas is in the desert.

You know what would really bring this place together? Casinos and whores.

When the desert gets warmer, water becomes more scarce and officially Vegas is in a sticky spot as water levels in Lake Mead continue to drop with each passing year. And legally, the city will be required to find an alternative water source if water levels drop another 17 feet as that will drop the level below the existing intake pipes.

And the sign will get all dusty and no one wants that.

The city spent $800 million to build a new pipeline deeper into the lake but if levels keep dropping that won’t help; some predictions have Lake Mead disappearing by 2021. The effect spreads much further than Vegas (up to 36 million people would be affected) but Vegas is in an extra precarious position since, you know, the desert thing. If the worst case scenario plays out (and it’s looking likely) not even all the tears shed in Vegas by bankrupt fathers and exploited showgirls will be able to keep lawns green.