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Terra 2070



Here's the world that the UNSS Utnapishtim left to bring 10,000 representatives of humanity to Ea.
NOTE (13-11-22): This map was conceived and drawn before the recent pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which therefore do not feature in the scenario.

2020s: In the "Culture War" flares of the 2010s and early 2020s, the extreme political blocs branch off on their own; by the end of the decade all that's left of the major parties are the bland centrist bureaucrats, as well as a multitude of unelectable hyperspecialized parties. American economy and politics is increasingly isolationist: many overseas military bases are dismantled; the UN establishes a secondary headquarter in Geneva, which soon becomes more important than the one in New York.
   Ethiopia begins building an extensive dam system on the upper Nile. Negotiations with the downstream countries break down; eventually, the dams are bombed by the Egyptian air force. War spreads to all northeastern Africa, with significant interventions of Nigeria (on the Ethiopian side) and Saudi Arabia (on the Egyptian side). The whole region is devastated by the Nile War; in particular, Ethiopia collapses, and riots in Saudi Arabia threaten the monarchy.
   In the aftermath of the Nile War, military government are propped up by the African Union to keep order in the devastated countries. The peacekeeping forces are largely provided by the countries of the East African Community. A mysterious man known as Muntu tours the archaeological sites of Africa preaching a religion founded on the common origin and nature of humankind. He is claimed to perform miraculous healing and to supernaturally escape death, converting his attackers to the new faith.
   Poland and Ukraine form an alliance ("Intermarium") against the aggressive policies of Russia in the east. The alliance is soon extended to many other countries of eastern Europe.
   Sea level rise and saltwater infiltration start making the soil of Bangladesh impossible to farm, and many regions will soon sink. Tens of millions of Bengali people scatter in the world. Europe, North America, and East Asia are hit by a refugee crisis far worse than a decade before. Agriculture also suffers worldwide; billions are spent to protect cities such as Miami, Rotterdam, and Venice from flooding. Sumatra, South Vietnam, and Louisiana suffer greatly.
   By the end of the decade, permanent ice has all but disappeared in the Arctic, and the Indonesian rainforest is mostly gone. Space programs keep growing quietly, with manned missions by India, Brazil, South Africa, and South Korea. Genetic therapies are available for several diseases, including AIDS.

2030s: Warming in the Russian Far East exposes large traits of mining and farming ground. Since the Russian population is declining, the government provide incentives for foreigners to work that land. Millions of Chinese workers, fleeing the desertification of northeastern China, establish themselves there.
   After many years of increasing economical and cultural integration, the countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi join to form the East African Federation. Much wealth is brought in by the construction of an international space launch site on the Equator. The religion founded by Muntu, Umoja, is growing in popularity, though the Prophet is eventually killed in a terror attack in Geneva in 2034, along with 77 others.
   The demographic shifts compounded by the Bengali Diaspora put strain on European politics. The United Kingdom withdraws from the continent altogether, threatening nuclear retaliation against any "breach of sovereignty". It offers to extend such protection to Ireland in exchange for its farming land. Japan and Australia do the same, although the latter is much less successful.
   As oil becomes increasingly expensive to extract, and its use is phased out of most technology, many oil-exporting nations collapse. Saudi Arabia crumbles into anarchy, and will be put under "temporary" UN administration. Nigeria falls apart. A socialist revolution sweeps Iran destroying the islamic government. Dubai survives, reinventing itself as a new center of electronics and computer engineering.
   In these years, the idea of the Exodus starts to spread. The first manned mission to Mars occurs, as well as many unmanned ones to the Outer Solar System, though there is little practical followup. A Suzhou corporation called Penglai is the greatest private backer of the missions (and many other growing technologies, including cryonics and geoengineering). A military coup in North Korea effectively places the country under Chinese control.

2040s: The European Union gives way. The "core" territories restructure themselves as the much tighter European Federation, while the southern countries create the Mediterranean Forum with Turkey and North Africa. Italy and Spain find themselves torn - quite literally - between the two. Umoja becomes popular in the Forum, while Catholic traditionalism sees a certain increase in popularity in the Federation.
   Fed by Indian and Chinese investments, certain African countries undergo extreme economic grow and industrialization, developing into key financial and technological centers. Senegambia, Eswatini, Igboland, and Somaliland become the "African Lions". Dubai is sometimes counted as one due to its close economic and diplomatic ties.
   Many island nations of the Pacific, such as Palau and Kiribati, start disappearing under the waves. After much political browbeating and bribing, the UN establishes a Pacific People Resettlement Area in the Australian inland, in a region already crowded by Bengali refugees. Umoja grows here as well. Inspired by the tragedy, a great movement for the protection of native peoples threatened by climate change sweeps the world, with particular appeal in Canada, Siberia, Sahel, and the Amazon.
   The military junta ruling Pakistan after the recent coup attacks the troubled Iranian regime in the attempt to unite an increasingly fractured country. The war is brief, but it sees several biological and tactical nuclear attacks, eventually ending in the breakdown of Pakistan. International action pushes for a tighter control of WMD by the UN to prevent future horrors as those of the Iran-Pakistani War.
   As traditional Protestantism fades away from US culture, Mormonism grows in popularity as the "true" American religion. Worsening droughts in the Southwest and hurricanes on the East Coast lead to repeated emergency states with rationing of water and electricity. History's first large-scale biological terror attack, involving a modified strand of anthrax, occurs in San Francisco in 2046; the perpetrators remain unknown, but are suspected to be a radical eco-primitivist organization.
   Liu Jinshan, CEO and cofounder of Penglai, is the first person in history to own more than a trillion US dollars in private assets. The strongest proponents of interstellar colonization are Liu herself and Joseph Jacobson, a prominent Mormon preacher. The first AIs with greater computational power than the human brain are produced, though none seeks to simulate a complete mind. A woman with brain cancer is awakened from 6 years of cryoconservation to undergo an experimental treatment; the former is successful, the latter not as much. Embryo selection is widespread, and "designed children" with fully customizable genome are slowly becoming available.

2050s: Russian national energy companies are violently expelled from the warming regions in the east. Chinese and Bengali immigrates ally with movements for native rights in agitating for independence. After a brief civil war, the Siberian Republics break away from Russia. Their staunch opposition to global warming mitigation quickly makes them rogue nations. The government of the Lena Republic, in particular, is accused of deliberately setting peatbogs on fire to release carbon into the atmosphere.
   As many times before, the wealth of coastal Chinese provinces fails to extend inland. After failed expeditions to secure Siberian territory, China falls apart. The mainland reorganizes itself by Neo-Maoist principles, while the coastal Eastern Republic (actually a rather loose confederation of provinces) embraces free market and multiparty democracy. Tibet and Uyghurstan break away, though the former remains in China's political orbit. The surprisingly bloodless (for Chinese standards) conflict ends with the Shenzhen Pact recognizing autonomy but keeping economic ties between the Chinese states, as well as other countries.
   The Four Europes have taken form. In the north, Scotland and the Scandinavian countries are united in the Nordic Alliance. In the south, European and North African countries grow culturally and politically closer in the chaotic Mediterranean Forum. In the east, the well-armed confederation of Intermarium turns its wariness westward. In the west, the European Federation starts thinking about enlightened monarchy as a counterweight to nationalist populism; some press for the progressive Grand Duke of Luxembourg to ascend to the throne of Europe.
   Most of North Africa has collapsed into war. Thanks to progresses in solar energy production and transmission, burning desert is now a precious resource. The Mediterranean Forum enthusiastically intervenes; many Berber tribes earn a living as mercenary armies attacking or protecting the solar stations, and sometimes carve out their own independent kingdoms. The situation in Saudi Arabia is hardly better; since the 2030s, the Holy Cities have changed hands dozens of times.
   Despite the 2050s being the most violent decade of the 21st century, world population passes ten billion people in 2057. By this time, Umoja counts over 50 million believers. Methane clathrates in former Russia begin outgassing. The UN passes a resolution on geoengineering: special "guns" are built in the Russian and Canadian Arctic to inject sulfate particles in the upper atmosphere. The first functional nuclear fusion reactor is built in Europe in 2055.

2060s: Revolutionary groups in Nunavut, whose population has vastly grown from climate-induced poleward migrations, seize control of the sulfate guns and declare independence from Canada. As of 2070, the political situation is still ambiguous.
   Decades of centralization of powers in the person of the US President, combined with the constant emergency state, have resulted in an almost imperial position. President D'Agostino eventually decides to split the USA in five "autonomous areas" according to rough ethnic and cultural lines: Northwest/Pacific (technocratic, ecologically conscious, and strongly influenced by Asia), Southwest/Nortena (mostly Hispanic, profiting from solar energy), Central/Heartland (mostly white and Mormon), Southeast/Atlantic (mostly black and Umojan), and Northeast/Union (the seat of power, the most culturally conservative).
   UN Protectorates become a common feature of the international order. The warzone in North Africa has been pacified as the so-called "Solar Mandate" (providing most of the energy of Europe). Other directly UN-controlled areas include former Saudi Arabia, Jammu-Kashmir, parts of Nigeria and Somalia, what little remains of Bangladesh, and the Resettlement Area in Australia. Amazonas, created to protect the surviving rainforest in western Brazil, is mostly autonomous; the "Security Mandate" in northeast Africa (essentially the wrecks of the Nile War) is controlled indirectly via the African Union.
   Construction of the UNSS Utnapishtim begins in geostationary orbit in 2062. By 2068, construction is complete; loading and recruitment are underway. Methane eruptions increase in intensity, threatening a sudden increase in global temperature by several degrees. The rise of Umoja threatens many traditional religions; climate migrations create sharp divisions in many countries; the world is divided between unstable alliances; the new United Nations may pit themselves against the very concept of sovereign nation-states; a generation of "designed children" is coming of age, creating new rifts and revealing unforeseen effects; mass destruction is easier than ever. Earth is once again on the brink.

(basemap from's "Worlda maps" archive; coastlines partially modified according to the +1 and +7 meters sea level rise maps by Zauberfloete21; format inspired by RvBOMally's alternate history maps)

Edit (11-01-19): added points 39 and 40, changed Argentina's population from 50 to 65 million to take climate migration into account.
Edit (14-02-19): added West Russia to "The Others" list, made Azores blue, corrected grammar in "Ex Uno Plura"
Edit (23-03-19): added point 41, expanded point 5, moved Greenland from Nordic Alliance to Nunavut, changed Southwest-Mexico border, renamed former USA
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ReneFutureGirl's avatar

I've studied this map countless times, and it's inspired me to think on a future Earth political map for my own story, which leads me to a question... How did you work out Earth's future political trajectory, as it is in your setting?