Speculations from 2050 to 2059.
In 2050, America was at a crossroads. One road was divisiveness, conflict, and collapse, the other was unity, reconstruction, and prosperity. It all hinged on what President LaFarge decided to do. LaFarge began to reform the American government. He also began tax reform, immigration reform, and military reform. He cut back the military drastically, mothballing most of the navy and air force, and cutting back the army budget. This was met with mild criticism from members of the Conservative Party. LaFarge repealed all of President Steinburg’s, President Hendrix’s, and President Exeter’s policies. He replaced them with middle of the road, compromise policies.
On June 17, 2050, a German cruise ship, the SS Eichen Dak, was struck by a smaller Brazilian frigate off the coast of New Jersey. The ship sank after 4 hours, taking 70 with it. The disaster was a big blow to Germany, which was not doing well.
In 2051, US president Benjamin LaFarge finished tax reform with Congress. Immigration reform was also completed. In March of that year, a bomb planted by anarchists exploded on the nation mall. Within a week the 3 archaists responsible had been captured. To set an example to those trying to break apart the nation, he had them executed in front of the capitol.
By 2051 the nation was fully reunited, but it was at the bottom of a steep curve. Thanks to President LaFarge, the curve had plateaued. But China, India, and even Japan had surpassed the United States as superpowers. Japan wasn’t even a superpower. LaFarge was only responsible for stopping the tailspin, he didn't need to bring the country back to its former glory. But yet, he tried. He supplemented the economy and convinced companies like Google and US robotics to move factories back into the US for a small tax cut. He welcomed in foreign companies to built their factories in the US. LaFarge loosed tight labor laws to make business in America more profitable, trying to stimulate the economy. It worked to an extent, and the American economy began to return from the abyss.
In 2052, President LaFarge’s term was coming to an end. LaFarge, when elected by Congress, was limited tone term, not that LaFarge wanted to be president for mare than four years anyway. He had done all he could, and he may have saved the nation from collapse. But things were still bad, and the country needed someone to lead them “out of the valley of the shadow of death”.
In September 2052, a war broke out between India and Myanmar. India won within a month, and Myanmar became an Indian protectorate.
In the summer of 2052, major riots in Detroit brought a bad situation to a head. President LaFarge sent in the national guard to quell the situation. The gangs of Detroit declared war on the national guard and the police. The result was Detroit being burned to the ground in September 2052 in the midst of a major battle between the national guard and the gangs. The city wasn't rebuilt swiftly.
In November 2052, the presidential election pitted conservative Isaac Owens against democrat Daniel Calverton. Calverton won. Calverton took office in January 2053. President Calverton immediately set to work trying to right the country. He finished the reforms President Benjamin LaFarge had started, and began new ones. President Calverton gave tax breaks to clean energy companies, and revitalized America’s export regulations, giving shipping companies incentives to lower export and raise import prices, making it more profitable for companies to build factories in America. Chinese companies began outsourcing jobs to America. With immigration stable from LaFarge’s term, President Calverton could focus on everything else.
On January 19, 2053, a massive earthquake shook the city of Seattle. The 8.1 magnitude earthquake, caused the collapse of the waterfront pier district into Puget Sound and the collapse of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 45 people were killed and billions of dollars of damaged were caused by the quake. The Seattle waterfront was rebuilt with sea level rise and earthquake defenses.
In 2053, US president Daniel Calverton, like LaFarge, used business incentives to get companies to reinvest in the US economy. President Calverton also started a flood defense company with close ties to the federal government. The company was headed by a friend of Calverton, and the company, which was quite large, hired within the United States, giving the economy another boost. Although even though one company cannot make a real dent in the economy, the fact that it was doing well gave investors confidence to invest in it and elsewhere. Calverton’s method of propping up the economy worked, and the US economy started to grow. Slow at first, the economic boom began to accelerate, bring the country up with it.
In 2053, and for the rest of the 2050s and into the 2060s, a mass exodus from Las Vegas dropped the city’s status and wealth. The city had been suffering from a drought for years, the city’s water supply had dried up in 2040, and the city went into a tailspin. In 2040 Las Vegas had population of 605,155, and in 2050 it had a population of 419,069, and was continuing downward. By 2053, Las Vegas was poor, dry, and broke, like Detroit in the desert. Only four of Las Vegas’s signature casinos were still open, Caesar’s Palace, Venice, the MGM Grand, and the Luxor. The famous fountain of Caesar’s Palace was dry, and the water in Venice was recirculated rainwater. The MGM Grand had built a new hotel in Los Angeles to replace their hotel in Las Vegas, which was scheduled to close in 2060. Venice was barely surviving. Luxor was the only hotel and casino doing well in the city. Desert sands were beginning to accumulate in Las Vegas’s streets, and small dunes began to form next to buildings ad abandoned vehicles.
In 2054, the President Calverton’s policies bore even more fruit. The United States’s GDP pulled ahead of Japan’s, making it 3rd in the world. Although the US military had been greatly scaled back, the superpower status of the US was unofficially restored. But the United States still faced many challenges, from Russian terrorists in Vladivostok to sea level rise washing away the coastline.
By 2054, sea level rise had destroyed several countries. Kiribati, the Maldives, the Bahamas, and the Netherlands had all been flooded by rising seas. The governments of all of these countries except the Netherlands had collapsed, and the Netherlands was on thin ice. Millions of Dutch refugees fled the Netherlands in the 2050s and decades following, small numbers to Germany, and Belgium. The bulk of the immigrants went to the United States and Canada. New York City received the highest number of Dutch immigrants. Many settled at the southern tip of Manhattan, creating a neighborhood called “New Amsterdam”. In the 1600s, there was a Dutch colony in the same spot with the same name.
In the Bahamas, a resort that had been abandoned in 2040 would become the center of piracy in the Caribbean. The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, next to the Bahaman capital of Nassau on New Providence Island, was used from only 2 years after its abandonment as a stopover for drug traffickers and as tenements lived in by locals fleeing rising waters. The upper floors of the resort were kept in good condition by their wealthy permanent residents. The towers were not exactly tenements, only the lower floors were poor and ungainly.
On August 26, 2054, an enormous hurricane, Hurricane Samuel, formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Category 5 Hurricane Samuel headed straight for New Orleans. The city’s flood defenses were overwhelmed. New Orleans was 100% flooded and 30% erased. The city had been in a steep decline since the 2030s, and large parts of the city had been permanently flooded. In 2030, the city had a population of 610,000, and in 2050 it had a population of 340,000. After the storm, only 90,000 people remained. New Orleans was no longer a major American city, and was largely ruins. Many residents relocated elsewhere in Louisiana, others moved to Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, and up the Mississippi, as well as Michigan, Chicago, and New York City. Miami would face a similar fate in only two years.
In 2055, President Calverton declared that the United States was back to its former glory, and it was. The economy was booming, immigration was steady and fair, unemployment was very low, mostly because of jobs in the Climate Change defense sector and green energy sector. By 2055, the United States was in the midst of a revival, and it wasn't even at its peak. The United States was closing in on India’s position as the world’s second greatest power.
By 2055, Canada had become a major world power. Climate Change had caused a warming of Canada’s “Great White North”, and settlers were beginning to move north, with opposition from the native Eskimo peoples. The US State of Alaska was also receiving a lot of immigration, especially from Asia.
In September 2055, former US president Paul Ryan passed away at 85. He born in 1970 and was a Republican from Wisconsin. He was remembered for the construction of the Great Wall of America, which was built between Paul Ryan’s term as president from 2017-2021.
In 2056, US president Daniel Calverton decreed that the Gulf Coast region was not viable for permanent residence, and implored remaining residents to leave. Many did, moving to the upper Midwest, Great Lakes region, Rocky Mountains, and even Alaska. The Prime Minister of Canada, William Patterson, lured many Floridians with promises of almost free land in northern Canada.
On August 30, 2056, a hurricane, Hurricane Esmerelda, made landfall in Miami Beach. The Category 5 flooded the entire city of Miami, and 100 people were killed. There was no panic of nuclear apocalypse this time, the Turkey Point nuclear facility has been decommissioned 2 years earlier. The Everglades, a large swath of swampland covering much of south Florida, was completely wasted away by the storm, leaving Miami vulnerable to storms from the west. The city, which had had a population of 634,000 in 2030, and a population of 396,000 in 2050 saw a steep drop in population after the storm. The city had been in decline since 2030, but the city went into a tailspin after the storm. The population went from 392,000 to 302,000, and continued dropping. Many Miami residents fled to Orlando, or other cities up the east coast. Miami became even poorer, it was Detroit at the beach.
In November 2056, US president Daniel Calverton was up for reelection. He went up against Conservative challenger Quincy Driscoll. Calverton defeated Driscoll by a margin of 70%-30%. President Calverton continued with his reforms and programs.
In 2057, the sea level reached 3 feet above 2000 levels. The rising seas had claimed many lives, and many places. The New Jersey shore was being abandoned. Sea level rise had eroded of submerged the beach, leaving buildings exposed. Storms, nor’easter’s and hurricanes, had washed away or flooded most costal towns. The story was the same up and down not only America’s coasts, but coastlines of the world.
On October 10, 2057, former US president Barack Obama passed away at 96. He was born in 1961 in Hawaii, and was a democrat. He lived in Illinois for much of his life. President Obama, the first black president, was not the most celebrated president by the end of his two terms between 2009 and 2017, but history revealed him to be a pretty good president.
By 2057, the city of Venice was virtually abandoned. At its height in the 1950s Venice had a population of 158,000. In 2010 it had gone down to 58,000. By 2050, it was at 10,000, and in 2057, it was at 7,000. Venice had become a village, its churches under filled, canals underused and overflowing, and its squares underwater. Venice was largely a city of ruins, like Ephesus or Cuzco. In fact, many cities were in ruins, inhabited by few. Las Vegas, New Orleans, Tampa, and Miami were on all their way to ruin.
In 2058, the United passed India’s GDP, but it still had weaker military. But that was about to change.
On July 8, 2058, the navy destroyer USS Seattle was sunk by Chinese land artillery off the east coast of Taiwan. The new Chinese president’s, Li Laungchao responded with “you got to close to our shore”. Daniel Calverton declared war on China, and immediately began rebuilding America’s military. He pulled mothballed navy vessels and air force jets into service. Pearl Harbor became the forward HQ of the US military.
The US navy won a string of early victories in the North Pacific, while the US air force was hammered back. Then in September an aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, was sunk off of Hawaii. Nearly half the crew were killed, it was the second worse loss in the entire war.
By December 2058, the United States had surpassed India and become the world’s second greatest superpower. Only China, the nation America was at war with, was more powerful. It seemed that China would win the war in the Pacific, but America had a secret weapon. Since the early 2000s, a large area of metal transformers in a remote part of Alaska had been minutely influencing the weather, all it could do was make it rain for a short time. But by the 2030s, HARP was capable of making monsoons if conditions were right. The program was put on pause during the 2040s, but was put back into action in the early 2050s. By 2058, HARP could make a monsoon anywhere, anytime. The system came into effect to late for Las Vegas, but eased the pressure on Phoenix. HARP could do more than just make it rain. The system could steer and intensify hurricanes and create thunderstorms that produced tornadoes. It could also keep the rain away, plunging a region into drought. The US military could control the weather.
In 2059, a Russian businessman from Vladivostok, a US territory, made it his mission to rebuild Russia as a democracy. Russia was in ruins, its cities poor and under no governance. 48 year old Mikhail Koranic began financing his plan with supplements from his high salary. Koranic was an investment banker, and money flowed into his bank account. He brought his plans to several other wealthy businessman, and they agreed to work with him to bring his plan to fruition.
On April 30, 2059, the Battle of Micronesia was the biggest US loss in the war. The naval battle claimed 12 American ships, including 7 destroyers and 1 aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush. Although only 10% of the crew were lost, the loss of another carrier was a big blow to the US navy. The Battle of Micronesia was the last major Chinese victory. The US army invaded Manchuria, in northern China, from US held eastern Siberia. In 2059, the US deployed HARP. In Beijing, it rained. It rained for 2 weeks straight. Beijing’s storm drains were overwhelmed, and the city was flooded. Although the city was located on a slightly inclined plain, the streets channeled the water, causing maximum destruction. Typhoon after typhoon struck eastern China, causing major destruction. The United States turned the tide of the war against China. HARP was used to churn up massive storms around the Chinese fleet. The Chinese navy was defeated by the weather, not American ships.
On September 26, 2059, a massive hurricane, Hurricane Gregory, slammed directly into New York City. Large swaths of every borough were flooded, and 95 people were killed. The city lost power for days. In the wake of the storm, the city rebuilt, but the city needed defenses.
On October 6, 2059 the first Lunar colony was established 450 miles north of the Apollo 11 landing site by the United States. The settlement, called Luna City, named after the moon itself, had an initial population of 80. The settlement, which was a collection of airtight living modules arranged in a hexagon, with a central, also airtight courtyard. In the years after the initial landing, Luna City grew to over 1,000 people, and several other American settlements were established on the moon.
On October 22, 2059, a massive earthquake rocked Palermo, Sicily. The earthquake destroyed large sections of the ancient city. The Sicilian president, Francisco Retello, was killed in the earthquake. Sicilians were forced to take mob money to rebuild. But they did rebuild, and Sicily recovered slowly.
In 2059, the Detroit Renaissance began. Neighbors, tired of the gang violence and poverty, began bettering their neighborhoods by starting to heal wounds with the police, rebuilding burnt buildings, and getting a truce in the gang wars. The national government took notice, and with federal help, the Detroit Renaissance began.