So, this turned into about ten pages of notes today…which is a bit much to type up in the part of today that I have left, so, I’ll do part of it tonight and post the remainder tomorrow morning. As with yesterday, please keep in mind that this is an early and incomplete look at the state of different world regions in this silly, fictional future I’m concocting—much of it will possibly be subject to change in the coming weeks.
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According to the UN projections that I dug up, the estimate global populations for 2047 fall—depending on whether you look at the low, mid, or high prediction ranges—anywhere between eight and eleven billion. Our current global population is now somewhere just over seven billion. For the purposes of this novel, I think I’m going to put us somewhere in the middle of the mid and high ranges at ten and one-third billion. That seems like a sufficiently large number to get people to start pushing off-world.
- Africa: On the rise socially and economically. Coherence comes about in the North among the Muslim nations—rendered more progressive by a series of youthful rebellions and the mutual annihilation of the Israel/Iran nuclear exchange—and the region is bolstered by the influx of Middle Eastern refugees and the lease of massive tracts of land to Asian bio-engineering firms for crop testing, and German solar concerns; putting the Muslim Cooperative in firm standing for employment, cheap energy, and plentiful (if not somewhat experimental) food. In the South and Middle regions, the continued decline of the AIDs epidemic, paired with a UN-supported series of social uprisings targeting the corruption, civil wars, and human rights violations of the region, has led to a fresh population boom and the steady re-development and education of troubled or isolated areas. Nations in the region are discussing the formation of a “South African Union,” and several have entered into trade and cross-immigration agreements with ex-Soviet Bloc nations, which seem to be proving beneficial to most parties. With the upswing in stability allowing access to a fresh, large work-force, much of the continent is finding itself under the eye of those Western corporations that were so eager to outsource work into India several decades prior.
- Asia: Asia is in a little trouble. While still on top in production and technology; India, China, and Japan now struggle under such massive populations that food and utilities shortages are becoming common. Large-scale unemployment and internal political struggles call to mind the United States in the early 21st century, and the record numbers relying on government aid—or going off of the grid and living bandit—in India and China continue to flummox and financially drain both nations considerably. The Indians and the Chinese have both entered into crop testing agreements with other nations, and the Japanese are pursuing the creation of large artificial islands, but near constant border disputes between the three, and other, surrounding nations, threaten to turn the region into a hot-bed of escalation and conflict.
- The West: Most of North America and Europe has recovered nicely from its various banking and economic crises, which is a lovely thought. The road there was paved with social unrest and political reformatting, though. More socially conscious and diverse governments have raised operating standards and increased regulation on banks and corporate entities—though these do not yet expand so well into space, thanks to loopholes in UN regulations—and work towards equalizing tax levels. Some radical conservative elements, as well as a blossoming Neo-Fascist movement, continue to interfere with, and distract from, the recovery process—both socially and politically—and in remote or lower income areas, race relations are as poor as they’ve been since the mid-20th century.
- The Middle East: Turkey and the Saudi Peninsula are much as they ever were, but much of the central landmass is an uninhabitable waste. Most of the population of Iraq, Syria, and Jordan fled the fallout into North Africa and Eastern Europe, and—while much of the land could be reclaimed with sufficient funding and effort—none but the most hardcore of scavengers and nomad tribes seem to want anything to do with the territory.
That’s it for tonight. I’ll go ahead and finish this up tomorrow. Today was kind of a big day.