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A dry planet: No more alcohol
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A dry planet: No more alcohol:

 1 MCE, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:17:57 PM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
Imagine for a moment that alcohol ceases to exist, perhaps it disappears overnight, perhaps it cannot be made any more for whatever reason.

The point is how would the would the world change after one week, two months, a year?

How would it change your life? who would it effect society? Apologises if this has been done before, I just wanted to kind of throw it out there.

Update: On several peoples suggestion I change this to 'No drinkable alcohol' as no alcohol at all would be pretty much apocalyptic.

edited 22nd Aug '12 6:25:48 PM by MCE

 2 Morwen Edhelwen, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:40:36 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
@MCE: For one thing, a whole category of songs wouldn't exist anymore. No alcoholism, no drink driving, but then, you'd also have to nothing to enjoy "in moderation" at parties or with friends. And then assuming this happened in the near-future, we'd have to check if there was life on other planets quicker so people could attempt to make alcoholic drinks there. It would be like Prohibition, but Earth-wide and different because it's not like it's illegal here, it just doesn't exist.

edited 22nd Aug '12 3:43:29 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
 3 Aondeug, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:45:10 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
My first thought was "Dear loving god what will happen to the alcoholics?" Our methods of dealing with that problem are already sketchy, but for it to just disappear randomly might make some hideously ill. Like my step granddad. Or hideously pissed. Like my stepfather's ex-wife.

Oh dear god.
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 4 Morwen Edhelwen, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:47:25 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
@Aondeug: I never thought of that....
The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
 5 Drunk Girlfriend, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:48:42 PM from Castle Geekhaven
There'd also be problems that don't involve drinking. Things like hand sanitizer wouldn't exist, because it's primary ingredient is alcohol. Same goes for other various antiseptics that need alcohol. So it'd be a major setback to the medical industry.

Also there wouldn't be denatured alcohol, so no camp stoves, ink removers, things that require an alcohol solvent, permanent ink pens and other alcohol-based inks. There'd no biodiesel fuel, no vinegar (as it's requires fermentation), no vanilla extract, no expensive perfumes, no artificial sweeteners, and no antifreeze.

The list goes on and on.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 6 Rationalinsanity, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:49:13 PM from The Inner Rim Relationship Status: You can be my wingman any time
Alpha 1, standing by
The people who are seriously addicted might be screwed, some might even die, because you don't quit an addiction like that by going cold turkey.

On the bright side, someone would make a fortune by inventing some kind of synthetic replacement.tongue

[up]And that.

edited 22nd Aug '12 3:49:35 PM by Rationalinsanity

 7 Drunk Girlfriend, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:52:35 PM from Castle Geekhaven
With all those products becoming useless overnight, I'd honestly predict the downfall of civilization as we know it.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 8 MCE, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:52:36 PM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
If it stopped being possible to make it, rather than just vanishing, it would become a black market item as the remaining alcohol was stolen and sold for increasingly high prices.

Drunk girlfriend: Also there wouldn't be denatured alcohol, so no camp stoves, ink removers, things that require an alcohol solvent, permanent ink pens and other alcohol-based inks. There'd no biodiesel fuel, no vinegar (as it's requires fermentation), no vanilla extract, no expensive perfumes, no artificial sweeteners, and no antifreeze.

With all those products becoming useless overnight, I'd honestly predict the downfall of civilization as we know it.

Its on of the great things about humanity is that once we've invented something we start thinking "What else can we do with this?" Unfortunately that leads to dependence..

edited 22nd Aug '12 3:56:26 PM by MCE

 9 3of 4, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:52:45 PM from Five Seconds in the Future. Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Feeble Turtle Duck
Well, everything depending on anti-freeze would break. We would need to use Iodine as antiseptic again (ouch.)

Every preserved organism in biology and medicine would go bad.

Every Industry using Alcohols as solvents would have serious problems.

Chemistry would pretty much start to break down partially as a serious group is suddenly missing.

NASA Budget would explode as apparently there is extrasolar alcohol.

or do you mean just Ethanol :)?
LMage: NO ONE ASKED FOR YOUR WITCHCRAFT THREE
 10 Morwen Edhelwen, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:53:07 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
@MCE : Yeah, worldwide Prohibition if it suddenly stopped being easy to make.

I have the sudden urge to sing I'll See You In C-U-B-A.

edited 22nd Aug '12 3:57:57 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
 11 Clarste, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:56:08 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
Other than the aforementioned problems of no longer having a cheap fluid with certain physical properties, people would just turn to different drugs. The only reason alcohol is so relatively popular is that it can be made from pretty much anything with sugar simply by letting it spoil in certain conditions, so different cultures have all independently discovered it.

edited 22nd Aug '12 3:56:52 PM by Clarste

 12 MCE, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 3:58:47 PM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
This is beginning to sound like one of those Be Careful What You Wish For things, come back zinc! I mean alcohol!

edited 22nd Aug '12 3:59:00 PM by MCE

 13 3of 4, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:01:25 PM from Five Seconds in the Future. Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Feeble Turtle Duck
The thing is, whatever would prevent alcohol from being made would have huge repercussions on chemics alone (assuming it extends to EVERY CH 3-CH 2-OH structure alone, if we're only talking about ethanol. If it takes every carbon chain with a -OH group.)...

edited 22nd Aug '12 4:03:27 PM by 3of4

LMage: NO ONE ASKED FOR YOUR WITCHCRAFT THREE
 14 Matues, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:01:56 PM Relationship Status: Reincarnated romance
No fair.

I haven't even had a chance to get drunk yet!*
The rain in Spain tend to drain the brain of sane.
 15 Drunk Girlfriend, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:02:02 PM from Castle Geekhaven
@MCE: Yep. It's one of those things that nobody really thinks about.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 16 Zersk, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:04:10 PM from Columbia District, BNA
o-o
People will bottle water and call it alcohol and attempt to sell it to people? :p

edited 22nd Aug '12 4:04:31 PM by Zersk

ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᖅ ᓈᒻᒪᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ
 17 Ira The Squire, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:21:00 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
The thing is, whatever would prevent alcohol from being made would have huge repercussions on chemics alone (assuming it extends to EVERY CH 3-CH 2-OH structure alone, if we're only talking about ethanol. If it takes every carbon chain with a -OH group.)...

That would mean the end of life as we know it since -OH groups are needed for protein to fold properly. No -OH group = enzymes in wrong shape and non-functional = cell metabolism cannot be maintained and cells die.
I AM A DALEK!!

The human body is obscene. It must be replaced!
I'm an Irene!
It would turn terrible due to violence. Sadly.

If it never existed in the first place, life would be far better.(same with other purposely harmful addictive stuff)

Anyway, while I would not mind... I know tons of people would just go over to Smoking, Drugs, and violent habits instead. This is something that needs to be slowly eradicated.(in hypothetical, I do not believe a dry planet would be needed) More regulation would be awesome, however.
 19 Zersk, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:48:02 PM from Columbia District, BNA
o-o
Ira: So no alcohol = life as we know it not being possible? :o
ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᖅ ᓈᒻᒪᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ
 20 Matues, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:49:11 PM Relationship Status: Reincarnated romance
So.

No Alcohol.

Everything Dies.

Fin.
The rain in Spain tend to drain the brain of sane.
 21 Drunk Girlfriend, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:51:11 PM from Castle Geekhaven
WOOO PARTY! tongue
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 22 Ira The Squire, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 4:58:56 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
@ Zersk: Very likely not in the scenario where all -OH groups disappear overnight.

edited 22nd Aug '12 5:00:09 PM by IraTheSquire

I AM A DALEK!!

The human body is obscene. It must be replaced!
 23 pvtnum 11, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 5:23:51 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
Something like 3/4ths of the world's alcohol production is for industrial usage, DG alluded to that.

If alcohols vanished, it would leave a trememdous impact on industry, trade, chemical manufacturing and so on. Cleaners, solvents, and so on.

That some less alcoholics would suddenly be sober would also happen, but you'd be pretty much shutting down our entire chemical industry overnight - the repercussions of that would be horrific.

If the problem is "we have a drinking problem", the solution isn't to make all alcohols disapper.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 24 Deboss, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 5:36:04 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Industry would be more effected than casual use. Casual use would probably switch to weed or something equally harmless.
 25 Qeise, Wed, 22nd Aug '12 5:43:09 PM from sqrt(-inf)/0 Relationship Status: Waiting for you *wink*
Professional Smartass
Wouldn't affect my personal life, since I generally don't drink alcohol.

For the purposes of this thread, and what I think OP was getting at, it would be more convinient if we change the scenario from "Alcohol vanishes" to "alcohol becomes more poisonous than it currently is, making it impossible to keep down". Industrial use still allowed, but it's impossible to drink.
Laws are made to be broken. You're next, thermodynamics.
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