The speculations that follow are just that, speculations, Influenced by scientific predictions and actual projected events. These that follow are events that have already occuredd, between the years 2000 and 2009.
In the year 2000, the world was, as it always has been, quite turbulent. But then, life on most of the planet was peaceful. The United States of America, the world’s greatest and only superpower, was riding on a wave of optimism. The president at the time, William Clinton, or Bill Clinton, had been a influential figure in the previous decade during his presidency. A democrat, he had been elected in 1992 and took office in January of 1993, ending the one term presidency of George H.W. Bush, a republican. After weathering multiple scandals, Clinton emerged stronger than ever. In 2000, with Clinton’s presidency coming to an end, and a new Millennium upon the world, the United States was optimistic. In November 2000, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, son of former president George H.W. Bush, faced off with democrat Al Gore for the presidency. After a stalemate in the race, the Supreme Court decided in favor of George W. Bush.
The United States, with a population of 282.2 million, was undergoing a demographic shift of monumental proportions. The white population stagnating, while the black population was growing slowly and Hispanic population growing rapidly. Whites still accounted for over 70% of the population, but the minorities were growing.
Worldwide, the population was at 6 billion, it had reached that number sometime the previous year. The bulk of the growth was occurring in Africa and South Asia, in the old third world.
The good times in America were about to come to an end, though, in an terrible attack orchestrated by a man then in relative obscurity. On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist hijacked 4 planes. They flew two of them into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City, which collapsed in a matter of hours. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon, the HQ of the US military, in Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington, DC, the American capital. The fourth plane, rumored to have been destined for the US Capitol building, crashed in western Pennsylvania when the passengers fought back against the hijackers. The muslim extremist group Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Ladin. The Pentagon was repaired within a year, but in New York, the World Trade Center was not swiftly rebuilt, but a long project was begun. The project included several new towers, as well as a memorial. The tallest of the towers was not begun until 2006.
9/11 was a major turning point in not only American history, but world history. That year, new president George W. Bush embarked upon a war to destroy those who had attacked the United States. The US launched a campaign against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. 2 years later, Bush launched another campaign in Iraq, to eliminate dictator Saddam Hussein. Within a year, the government had collapsed and Saddam was dead, but the country was thrown into turmoil as US troops tried to manage an occupation. Islamic militants that had been fighting the US in Afghanistan began to attack US troops in Iraq.
In the United States and around the world, the Internet, which had been created in 1991, was revolutionizing the way we shared ideas and information. Another new invention, the cell phone, was also taking off.
In the US and EU, immigration had become a serious social issue. In the United States, long a beacon for immigrants from around the world, immigration from Latin America, especially Mexico, on the United States’s southern border. In Europe, immigration from Islamic nations in North Africa became a major source of social friction. The nations of Europe, which were not cultural melting pots like the US, especially resisted what many though of as an Islamic takeover from within. The Empires of Europe had collapsed to their nuclei, and any further intrusion by anyone from anywhere, even their former colonies, could cause a nation to nuclear, destroying itself and destabilizing the region. This situation was far from at hand in Europe, but a certain resentment of the fallen European Empires lingered. In the US, the source was different but the fear the same. Many American’s feared “Latinization”, that America would become poor and Hispanic, as they defined the term. America’s Hispanic population had been growing steadily for some time, and was in 2004 about equal with that of the black population, 13.5% of the total American population. President George W. Bush was a conservative, and tried to reform the immigration system to restrict immigration from Mexico. Another event in 2004 was the passing of the aged former President Ronald Reagan, considered one of the best American presidents by many for his actions during his two terms between 1981 and 1989.
On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake rocked the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. Shortly after, an enormous tsunami slammed into the coastlines of Indonesia and Thailand, killing thousands. A few hours later, the tsunami had crossed the Indian Ocean, and impacted Sri Lanka, India, and the east coast of Africa. In the end, hundreds of thousands died and the damage done was immeasurable.
Nations of the “Global Core”, the rich nations of the “1st world”, from Europe to Northern North America and parts of East Asia, were all suffering from postindustrial ailments. In The United States, Canada, and Europe, immigration was the main issue, and in southern Europe, Japan, and South Korea, low birth rates and aging populations were the main problem. The war in Iraq, spearheaded by the United States, with some aid from the United Kingdom and France, was part of the post-industrial nations reliance on foreign imports, namely Arabian oil and Chinese technology. The war in Iraq was said to be a war for oil, not spreading democracy, by many liberal democrats in the United States. Unfortunately, there was some truth to their statements.
In 2005, with foreign wars raging, popular culture exploding over the internet, and immigration as well as other political issues spilling over in the United States, few suspected the nature of the next great disaster to strike the country. In the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, a settlement sprawling across the low-lying Mississippi River Delta. Much of the city was below sea level, with few storm defenses. Early 2000s New Orleans was a recipe for disaster. In late August of that year, a massive Hurricane named Katrina formed in the Gulf of Mexico. The Hurricane slammed into New Orleans. The storm surge flooded 80% of the city and killed hundreds. The city of almost 500,000 was brought to its knees. The Lower Ninth Ward, a poor, mostly black neighborhood just east of downtown was especially hard hit. The city rebuilt slowly, and massive new flood defenses were out into place. Still, Hurricane Katrina was a sad vision of the future.
In 2006, former president Gerald Ford, a Republican who had finished Richard Nixon’s term after his resignation in 1974, died at the age of 95.
The fighting in the Iraq war had been over in a year, but 3, 4 years later US troops were still their. The United States was also still actively combating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Americans began to seriously question the war, and opposition to president George Bush began to grow. By 2007, Bush had a low popularity rating, and all almost all of his policies were unpopular. Republicans became increasingly unpopular because of their policies and the wars. In 2008, the first black president, democrat Barack Obama, was elected by a large margin over Republican candidate Senator John McCain. President Obama, who was also a senator, was elected on the promise of hope and change. After taking office in January 2009, president Barack Obama began winding down his predecessor’s long and costly military campaigns.
At the end of George W. Bush’s term in 2008, a financial crisis struck. The recession soon became the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s.