Speculations from the 2080 to 2089.
In January 2080, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, were abandoned. The Netherlands had been slowly loosing territory to sea level rise since the 2020s, and by 2080 more than half of the country’s land was submerged. Amsterdam, the capital, and Rotterdam had held out, but continuous North Sea storms and the overall decay of the Dutch state. Holland had lost 12 million of its population of 20 million. The Netherlands, which had had a significant Muslim immigrant population in the 2020s, now had a grand total of 60 Muslims, all living in Amsterdam. Most had immigrated to the United States, and a few had returned to their home countries. In January 2080, the Dutch Republic collapsed. It had existed for 498 years.
In April 2080, US president Michael Chang met with other world leaders in New York to discuss Mars. Scientists had stated that Mars could be terraformed over the course of 500 years to support human life. But it would be a planet wide effort. Chang and the other world leaders worked out a terraformation plan. The US would build two massive magnetron plants at Mars’s north and south poles to strengthen the planet’s magnetic field. All of the powers with territory on Mars would construct massive fossil fuel plants which would create a carbon dioxide and other green house gasses atmosphere to create a greenhouse effect on the planet. The planet would warm and the ice caps would melt, creating a massive northern ocean and southern sea. Vast amounts of nitrogen would be released into the atmosphere by space ships, and trees would be planted to create oxygen. The Mars Terraformation Project (MTP) was expected to be completed in the year 2580, but scientists were determined to finish ahead of schedule. The highest life expectancy in the world, at 97 in Japan, was not nearly long enough, and the oldest man in the world at the time, 140 year old Irishwoman Kathleen O’Connor (b. 1940), who had been the subject of 4 individual scientific subjects.
In July 2080, former US president Charles Exeter passed away at 93. He was born in 1986 and he was a democrat from Michigan. Exeter was not the most celebrated president, although his biggest defeat was not entirely his fault. He was deposed two years into his first term by Republican Union leader Calvin Royce (85) and Democratic Union leader Conor Flaherty (77). During his time in office between 2045 and 2047, Exeter tried desperately to keep the country together, but he ultimately failed.
In November 2080, the president election pitted incumbent democrat Michael Chang against conservative challenger Frank Silas. Chang won the election, and continued his polices on space, climate change, and immigration.
In February 2081, former leader of the Republican Union Calvin Royce died at 85 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He was born in Mississippi in 1995, and was an ultraconservative his entire life. He had taken control of the conservative half of the country during the Second Civil War, and was exiled to Mexico after the war ended. The former leader of the Democratic Union, Conor Flaherty, who was in opposition to Royce, had only harsh words in his obituary. Royce was buried in a tomb in Montgomery, Alabama, with much resistance by many locals black and white alike.
In May 2081, a bomb exploded on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The bomb did little damage and only succeed in destroying a robot and a few cars, but it showed that the US was vulnerable to attack. It was discovered that the bomb had been placed by a Belarusian terrorist who wanted to destroy America for destroying his country at the end of WWIII, even though it was Russia that dropped the bombs.
In the early 2080s, an enormous die off of plant and animal species due to climate change reached its peak. Since the 2010s, several species had been nearing extinction or had gone extinct because of humans. By the 2060s, 2070s, and 2080s, thousands had been lost because of human activity and climate change.
In September 2081, US president Michael Chang passed a bill through Congress that slightly restricted immigration from Europe and the Americas, while loosening immigration policies toward Asia and Africa. His conservative opponents claimed he was favoring Asians because he was a third generation Chinese immigrant himself, but he countered by saying he also loosened immigration from African countries. The reason for the restrictions on Europe were the threat of European terrorist attacks.
In January 2082, Ireland launched its first space station. Ireland was one of the few surviving European states, and it’s economy was largely dependent on the United States. However, Ireland was capable of space settlement, and Irish president Patrick O’Reilly knew that the future prosperity of Ireland depended on space colonization. The Ireland had planned a Lunar settlement mission for later that year.
In April 2082, peaceful protests in the US territories of Iraq and Syria gained national attention. The protesters, who were mostly Kurdish, declared they wanted to create an independent state in northern Iraq called Kurdistan. The Kurds had been a stateless nation for centuries, and they had finally gotten sick of being governed. Kurdistan actually extended well into eastern Turkey, and a separatist movement gained strength there too. The Turkish government attempted to suppress the secessionists, but US president Michael Chang took notice of the protests, and decided to act. President Chang convinced Congress to create a new semiautonomous territory by the same name. The Kurdistan Act appeased the protestors. Kurdistan was not the only US territory feeling devolutionary pressures. A growing number of native Hawaiians felt that Hawaii should be an independent country, and created a political party within the state promising that they would lead Hawaii to independence if elected. They didn’t win any elections, but the party’s very existence showed the stresses on American power.
In 2082, sea levels reached 5 feet above 2000 levels. By 2082, hundreds of cities had been lost to sea level rise. New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Venice, Bremen, Dhaka, Bangkok, Banjul, and large parts of other cities like New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Philadelphia, Oakland, Houston, Galveston, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dubai, Alexandria, Jakarta, Manila, and Rio de Janeiro were lost to rising seas. Many beaches had been eroded or submerged, so people looked to lakes, rivers, and pools to swim. Milwaukee replaced Miami Beach as a favorite coastal destination, and New Yorkers went to the shores of Lake Ontario instead of the Jersey Shore and coast of Long Island.
In July 2082, the crisis point from European immigration to North Africa had been reached. The Christian pockets along Africa’s Mediterranean coast had reached critical mass, and the inevitable Muslim push-back began. In the Christian zones, Sharia Law was removed or ignored. Uncovered women were attacked by Muslim extremists, and the christians fought back. Car bombs planted by Christian terrorists killed tens of people, and the North African governments began restricting the rights of Christian immigrants. By 2082, entire North African towns that were formally Muslim had become Christian enclaves. Tangier, Morocco, Bouria, Algeria, Beljaia, Algeria, and Bizerte, Tunisia, were all Christian majority towns. In Algiers, several large Christian settlements were turned into ghettos by the government. In Egypt, large English neighborhoods in Alexandria and Cairo also made the government uncomfortable. In Turkey, large numbers of Bulgarians and Greeks flooded into western Turkey. Istanbul’s Christian population exploded, and several parts of European Turkey became majority Christian. Cities like Istanbul, Izmir, and Antalya had an influx of Christian immigrants. On the “Islamic front”, the boundary between Islam in the north and Christianity and animism in the south, had been slowly moving northward since the 2060s, and had finally stopped just north of Nigeria’s northern border. In the 2070s, Islam, Christianity, and the indigenous religions of Africa were at peace. The only conflict was in Somalia, and that was not a religious war.
In December 2082, the Irish Lunar colonization mission reached its objective. Several Irish settlements were set up on the Moon. The Lunar settlements had a total of 1,400 people, and they were growing. Ireland was just one of many countries with Lunar settlements, and it wouldn't be the last.
In March 2083, an underground movement that had begun in the 1890s showed itself. The anarchist movement, which had reached its initial peak in the 1920s, returned full force to America, Canada, and East Asia. The movement had been virtually dead since the 2020s, and had been reinvigorated by a new generation born between the 2050s and 2070s. Spurred by what they saw as the decadence of American society caused by government excess, they sought to destroy the US government brick by brick. This message was reinforced when a pipe bomb exploded at the US Capitol in the House of Representatives. 8 people were killed, including rep. Tony Accra (D)(New Jersey), rep. Bob Felix (C)(Nevada), rep. William Kannabec (D)(Nevada), rep. George Larson (C)(Texas), rep. Isaac Kelly (D)(Connecticut), rep. Benjamin Carlisle (C) (West Virginia), rep. Hakeem Abajubi (C)(Wisconsin), and rep. Ryan Mahuakohi (D)(Hawaii). The attack shocked the nation, and it was only the beginning of a string of anarchist attacks.
In June 2083, US president Michael Chang attempted to pass another tax reform bill through Congress. The Conservative Party had taken control of both houses of Congress in the 2082 midterm elections, and the bill was rejected. President Chang vetoed the veto, and a long political battle that would lead to a separation of the Democratic and Conservative parties.
In August 2083, Galveston’s day of reckoning came. With a massive hurricane, Hurricane James, bearing down on the city, residents invoked their pact with the federal government. In 2063, Galvestonians made a deal with President Jose Gonzalez to evacuate and not rebuild if a major storm leveled the city, but if the storm didn't do major damage, Galveston would be allowed to survive. The city of 58,000 had weathered several minor storms and even a category one hurricane in the 20 years since the pact, but Hurricane James was a category 3 and Galvestonians were unsure of their city’s fate. The storm hit and destroyed the western half of Galveston Island, and it flooded 6ft (then 1ft) high downtown with 15 feet of water. When the winds died down and the waters receded, most of Galveston was in ruins. Still, a large section of the city survived. The city’s population dropped from 58,000 to 16,000, most of the residents moved to Houston. Galveston was only a foot above sea level, its sea wall had become a shallow wharf. The 16 thousand Galvestonians held fast to their island, and it would not be for several decades until the last of Galveston was abandoned.
In January 2084, US president Michael Chang met with Irish president Patrick O’Reilly, Scottish Prime Minister Hugh MacArthur, Welsh Prime Minister Harold Conwy, German Chancellor Wilhelm Heinz, Norwegian President Lief Osjiec, Danish President Danzig Harrower, Swedish President Sverge Ijisslmer, Finnish President Sam Finni, and Polish President Max Korakov. The topic: the future of Europe, and how to make it much less bleak. These countries, along with Baltic States, were the only countries left in Europe. Every other nation had collapsed or broke up. The meeting concluded with the Europeans agreeing to stick together with American help.
In April 2084, an Irish settlement expedition reached Mars. The population of the largest settlement, New Galway, was only 80, but the populations of all of the settlements were rapidly rising. Ireland’s population of 12 million was starting to get crowded, and the country needed an outflow.
In July 2084, Venice, Italy, was hit by a large storm. After the storm passed, the death toll was counted as zero. The low death toll was not due to a successful evacuation or the lockdown of storm defenses, but because there were only 800 people still living in the city. Since the 2010s, people had been leaving the city in large numbers. Venice was a city of canals and low-lying squares, it was especially vulnerable to sea level rise. Since the 2040s, St. Marks square had been permanently submerged except a low tide. Venice was not the only city even in Europe to succumb to sea level rise. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bremen, Antwerp, London, and St. Petersburg had all been severely flooded, and several were almost completely abandoned.
In October 2084, the US presidential election pitted democrat Akbar Hakeem against conservative Harold Shultz. Shultz won the election by a small margin, ending 32 years of democratic rule. President Shultz took office in January 2085 and immediately began implementing conservative policies.
In February 2085, former Democratic Union leader Conor Flaherty died at 81 in his Montreal apartment. He was born in Culver City, California in 2003, and was ultraliberal all his life. He had ruled the Democratic Union during the Second Civil War, and was exiled to Canada after the war. Flaherty was buried in a tomb in Rancho Cucamonga, California. His life, like that of his arch enemy the late Calvin Royce, was not celebrated.
In July 2085, Chinese president Ki Lihau ordered in invasion of Somalia. The unexpected invasion seemed to be a blatant land grad by a country flexing its muscles as a superpower. US president Harold Shultz put heavy economic sanctions on China, but China was not heavily reliant on US exports, and the sanctions did little. For about a year before the invasion, China had been subtly building up its military, especially its navy and air force. In response to “the Somalian Annexation”, US president Harold Shultz began a military build up of his own. This led to tensions with China, which in turn would lead to disaster.
In November 2085, Las Vegas, Nevada was hit by a massive dust storm. The storm buried the city streets with up to a foot of sand. Las Vegas was a ghost town, with only 300 residents, mostly living in the penthouses of abandoned hotels. The storm only accelerated the city’s destruction. Small sand dunes formed up against buildings, cars, anything that obstructed the wind. The great fountains of Caesar’s Palace and the canals of Venice were filled with shifting sands instead of cool waters. Las Vegas was slowly but surely being reclaimed by the desert. Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia until 2032, had a similar problem. Riyadh had a population of zero; it was only inhabited for days at a time by nomadic traders. The city was being steadily buried. Unlike the Mojave Desert, which was barren but hard ground, the Arabian desert was a desert of enormous, shifting sand dunes. The city was buried in up to 20 feet of sand at the peaks of the dunes. The downtown skyscraper district looked like twigs in the mud. Riyadh, Las Vegas, Timbuktu, Calama, and Kabul were all lost to the desert.
On January 14, 2086, the Chinese made simultaneous surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor-Honolulu and Kodiak Island-Anchorage. These attacks were unexpected and clearly a declaration of war. Two days later US president Harold Shultz declared war on China, and sent the surviving parts of the Pacific fleet (most of it) into the Pacific to fight the Chinese. Australia, Indonesia, Germany, Poland, Turkey, and India entered the war on the side of the United States, while Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Mongolia entered on the side of China. The Fourth World War had begun, and it would not go as well as planned for the United States.
In April 2086, a Chinese invasion force took the islands of Oahu, Kauai, and Nihau. Another invasion force took several of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, as well as Kodiak Island, the northern HQ of the US Coast Guard and home to the North Pacific fleet. Several ships were lost, and the aircraft carrier USS Charles Exeter was sunk at anchor. These invasions were met with heavy US resistance, and the war in the Pacific quickly became a stalemate. Several ships in the Atlantic fleet were sent from Norfolk, Virginia to Hawaii and Alaska. The USS William Clinton (2044), Barack Obama (2052), Paul Ryan (2059), Martin O’Malley (2064), Elizabeth Pearson (2076), and USS Enterprise (2024). These aircraft carriers, along with several destroyers and even a 140 year old battleship, the USS New Jersey (stationed in Camden, NJ) were to provide assistance to the struggling Pacific fleet.
In July 2086, former US president Benjamin LaFarge passed away at 96. He was born in 1990 and was an independent from Oregon. President LaFarge was credited with saving the United States from destruction by ending the Second Civil War and reuniting the nation under one government. LaFarge was appointed by Congress to one term between 2049 and 2053. President LaFarge is considered to be on of America’a greatest presidents.
In December 2086, a category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Owesi, hit south Florida, making landfall at Ft. Lauderdale. The storm killed only 10 people. This low death toll was due to the extremely low population in the area. Miami Beach had 700 residents, Miami had 4,600, Ft. Lauderdale had 6,200, and Hollywood had 3,200. Others towns and cities were nearly or completely abandoned. Florida City had 12 residents, Homestead had zero, Cutler Bay had 5 (one family), Doral had 114, etc.
In March 2087, the US was handed a major naval defeat. In the Battle of Maro Reef, the US lost the aircraft carriers USS George W. Bush, USS James Carter, and USS William McKinley. Several destroyers were also lost. This was the worst loss of the war for the United States. That month, all of Hawaii fell to China, and large swaths of southern Alaska, including Anchorage, were taken. The US military fought hard, but to no avail.
In May 2087, Chinese troops landed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Chinese troops did not make it very far inland before being stopped by US forces, military and armed civilian alike. Chinese forces also invaded Indonesia, India, and Australia, with lackluster results. On the cyber front, American hackers, as they had in all previous wars since the 2010s, entered Chinese servers and wreaked havoc. Chinese hackers did likewise to American servers. But the Americans did something they hadn't before. They targeted China’s robotics industry. They managed to ignite several robot uprisings in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tianjin. When the Chinese tried to do the same, the US fried their circuits.
In September 2087, US president Harold Shultz was shot by Chinese assassins. He was born in 2034 in Nebraska. He was succeeded by Vice President Xavier Owens. President Owens, an independent, continued many of president Shultz’s policies. He did, however, do something fundamentally different. President Owens worked closely with other allied leaders, holding frequent meetings with Australian Prime Minister Muhammad Bikar, Indonesian President Anjem Cho, Indian Prime Minister Adira Gandhi, German Chancellor Hans Ojes, and Polish President Viktor Maximian. They coordinated attacks on China. The United States also shifted some of its focus to fighting Brazil. The American aircraft carriers and battleships in the Pacific returned to Norfolk before attacking Brazil. Germany and Poland lobbed non-nuclear missiles at Nigeria while Nigeria used spies to plant bombs.
In February 2088, the US recaptured Hawaii and began advancing across the Pacific toward China. But, that year, Japan and Korea were forced into the war by China. They half-heartedly fought against America and Indonesia. Even when pressured by China, Russia refused to enter the war. The Chinese launched attacks on Vladivostok, and Russia bombed Tianjin. The undeclared conflict between the two nations escalated, but Russian President Vladimir Chekyek refused to declare war.
In June 2088, the Indonesians attacked Hong Kong, taking the island. The Americans attack the Brazilian cities of Belem and Recife. The Nigerians simultaneously attacked Germany and Poland by launching missiles and using planes to bomb cities. They also sent the Nigerian navy to Bremen, Hamburg, and Gdansk. Germany and Poland responded by lobbing warheads over the Sahara at Nigerian cities. the cities of Kano and Abuja were badly damaged. The German navy was largely destroyed while sparring with the Nigerians, but the Polish navy was able to make it to the Bight of Guinea and attack the Nigerian coast, which had been under assault since the 2020s by sea level rise.
In November 2088, the presidential election pitted incumbent independent Xavier Owens against democratic candidate Zita Netanyahu and republican candidate Reynold Harris. This was the only three-way race in American history. Xavier Owens won, the first time he had been elected. He continued his policies and his wartime strategy.
In January 2089, India pulled out of the war. Indians realized the war was not going well and decided to pull out before more major battles occurred on Indian soil. This weakened the allied effort, which was beginning to crack. The US had lost a string of battles in the Pacific. The aircraft carrier USS Chester A. Arthur (2030) was sunk off the coast of Nihau.
In April 2089, the Chinese were evicted from Alaska, but attacked Hawaii again. The Chinese attack was defeated, but the Chinese created a naval and air blockade around Hawaii. The battleship USS Missouri was able to escape, but the USS Iowa, which was also temporarily stationed there, was sunk off the coast of California, with San Francisco’s Golden Gate in sight. The ship was lost in an attack on San Francisco.
In October 2089, the Chinese pushed the Indonesians out of Hong Kong. The Australians and Indonesians repulsed Chinese invasions, but barely. The war had become incredibly unpopular in the United States, and with public opinion against him, President Owens was on thin ice.