How Long Do We Have Before Global Warming Kills Us?
Aug 2 2012
Hundred-degree weather starts to look mild when it's followed by tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorms in a three-week period. Weather like this leaves us all wondering when the Earth will crack its shell, swallow us into the depth of its lava, and end our lives as we know it. If Morbid Mildred's crystal balls are correct, the end is near and it is filled with burning, melting, killing, and even—gasp!—no internet?!
VICE: How long do you think we have until Earth dies from global warming?
Jo, 29, Decorative Painter: Oh man, I feel like it will. When I was a kid, I used to dream about it—that the world would end in my lifetime. So I'm pretty sure that it will. I think it'll happen sooner than we think. We have maybe 30 to 40 years tops, if we're lucky.
How's it gonna happen?
It's going to be slow at first. Nobody's really going to give a shit because it's gonna be all about making money for the big wigs. And then all of a sudden shit's just gonna fucking fall fast. That's what I see, that's what I saw when I was little.
Like what's gonna fall?
Everything's going to dry up, the water's going to go. That's what I used to dream about. The water. The water wars have already begun in certain ways because that's gonna be the real killer, you know what I mean? We really can't make it without that.
You had dreams about that?
Yeah when I was little.
I would wake up screaming and my parents were like, "Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you?"
Yeah, like, “What are they teaching you in school!”
That was it though—natural resources.
Do you blame Captain Planet?
I do! But it was really intense because I went to Catholic school for some reason, even though I'm a Jew. Those nuns can be really intense.
Those were some progressive nuns!
They were, in a way. I would go to sleep and wake up from seeing images of scorched earth. Maybe I was just a freaky little kid. But yeah, I think we have it shorter than everybody wants to believe.
How long do you think we have until global warming kills us all?
Jay, 36, Pastor: Oh I dunno, wow that's a good question. Do we know?
No, I'm just asking your opinion.
A thousand years?
Yeah, we only have 1,000 years left. No probably more like 1,500.
And how do you think it's going to happen?
I think things are going to start to flood and the water will get polluted and that will cause us all to die.
So we can't drink the water.
So we can't drink the water, and then we'll dehydrate. And then we'll die.
How long do we have until the world ends because of global warming?
Jana, 22, Model: You know I do my part to prevent it, so I believe in the power of positive thinking and I'm not going think about it.
So you don't wanna talk about it?
No we can talk about it. Maybe like another hundred years? 200?
And how's it going to happen?
There will only be certain zones where people can live, so we'll fight for the space and resources, and we'll just kill each other. Or maybe we'll move to the water, if there's water left.
Do you think the water is going to go?
Yeah, if it gets hotter, the water is definitely going to disappear. Or maybe they'll find a way for us to live without water by then. Or maybe we could get used to the climate. Who knows?
If the world ends because of global warming, how long do we have until that happens?
Fred, 19, Student: About a year.
You think the world is going to end in a year?
Alright, alright. Three hundred years.
OK. And how does it all happen?
The glaciers and everything are going to melt. It's going to be really hot and people can't withstand the heat. People are going to be dehydrated. The trees are going to go and all the carbon dioxide in the air will make it so that people won't be able to breathe. It's going to be too hot.
So we're going to suffocate to death?
Yeah. The water's going to get dried up.
So how long do you think we have until the Earth ends from global warming?
Elijah, 19, Student: About 100 to 200 years.
And how does it happen?
It's going to be too hot. Humans, we're going to burn.
We're going to burn? I'm going to burst into flames?
Nah, not just flames.
Like what? My skin's going to bubble?
If the end of the world is due to global warming, how long do we have until that happens?
Stephanie, 32, Poet and nanny: Maybe like ten or 15 years.
Yes, I don't think it will be that much longer. I think we really, really messed up.
Really? So how does it happen?
I don't know. I guess it will be something to do with the ice caps melting, then like massive climate change and flooding and governments not knowing what to do with all of that, and then the internet collapsing.
Wait, the internet collapses and that leads to the end of humanity?
Not the end of humanity. But I think that'll be the end of the Grid. I imagine looting and rioting and the government losing all control. Take New York City for example, this just isn't sustainable. This can't go on forever.
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