General Question

Zerstorte's avatar

If the world ends, would gas stations/plumbing/the phone system still work?

Asked by Zerstorte (52points) March 7th, 2010

In a lot of dystopian thrillers I’ve been reading, everyone drives wherever they go. HOW? Are gas stations fully self-reliant now? Same question with home lighting and cell phones.

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15 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

That’s called “Artistic License”.

FlutherAlot's avatar

Gas can be pumped from the tank manually.

Maybe they take a generator for the lighting

Cell phones without a power grid…... hmm

john65pennington's avatar

Have you ever watched the movie, War Of The Worlds? the movie gives you the answer.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh. Sometimes it’s called “suspension of disbelief”.

gailcalled's avatar

Or read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. It is post-apocalypic realism

Zerstorte's avatar

Do I need to watch the whole movie to find out how ?
I need instant gratification!

Oh. And well, of course manual pumping. But in this one movie I saw they were filling up at a gas station.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Not a chance. The 3000 gallons in the underground tanks would be gone in a couple of days. You need to have the refineries working,
If you are worried, start storing your own gasoline now. Ammo as well

pikipupiba's avatar

For a time, yes. Maybe the History channel original series Life After People would be of interest to you?

Zerstorte's avatar

WHAT! Full episodes of Life after People are online? I guess I hadn’t checked hard enough.

galileogirl's avatar

If the world ends there is no more world, so no, none of those things would exist. Now if you mean what would happen if human life ended, no they wouldn’t work without humans to manipulate them. You do understand the end of human life has nothing to do with the end of the world. The world existed long before we walked out of Africa and will probably exist quite well after we disappear.

Maybe you are asking about when we have damaged our Mother to the point that she finally disowns us and most of us perish Of course that probably won’t be quick, rather several generations like the Norse settlers in Greenland who refused to live in harmony with nature. Any humans who learn to survive will not be worried about traveling on remnants of roads or asking [NSFW] or “Does she like me? or “What’s up with atheisis?” questions. While they may be interested in plumbing, without large water and sewer systems, it won’t be what most of us use today.

thriftymaid's avatar

Oh my goodness.

lillycoyote's avatar

There isn’t a whole lot of your basic modern life that will work without electricity, once that’s gone, you’re pretty much on your own. Sitcks, stones, seeds and a whole lot of just plain manual labor, if you want to survive.

mattbrowne's avatar

No. Alan Weisman will tell you why in his excellent book ‘The World Without Us’

filmfann's avatar

In most of these types of stories, everything falls apart immediately. It wouldn’t happen like that, unless you had a character (like Garbage Can Man in The Stand) blowing things up. Water would still run, the power and gas would still run, and the telephones would still work.

If the power went out, you would still have phone service for at least 24 hours, if you were close to the downtown area, or 8 hours if you lived away from town. The water would probably flow for a good week, depending on whether people are fighting fires or leaving faucets on.

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