TIMELINE PART 5
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The first successful heart transplant occurs in the Netherlands. [In the real world 1967]
An earthquake in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, kills eighty seven thousand people.
The Eclipse Comet is discovered during a total solar eclipse. It has a curved tail about thirty degrees long and is visible with the unaided eye in the Southern Hemisphere.
The first genetically engineered organism, a bacteria, is created by scientists at the University of Versailles in France. [In the real world this was done in 1973.]
An earthquake strikes [Olympia, in Washington state of the USA].
Six thousand people die in an earthquake in the north-west of South America [Ecuador].
French and Dutch settlers clash in Australia over mining rights. As the clashes escalate, war is declared between France and the Netherlands. What becomes known as the Australian War begins.
The first practical Echo-Location by Radiant (ELOR) system [RADAR] is invented by a team of scientists in the Union working at the University of Southampton. [In the real world 1936]
The liquid fuelled rocket is invented by Pierre-Samuel Dewaere in Quebec. [In the real world 1917]
Ottoman astronomer Ilhan Cevherí, working at Damascus Observatory, discovers a new, ninth, planet [Pluto, in the real world discovered in 1930]. This is quickly named Cevherí, after its discoverer.
A Eighth Zulu-Matabele War occurs after skirmishes along the border.
Dutch forces advance on the Australasian continent. However, French forces advance into Dutch Malaysia.
The advanced nations of the world quickly begin to use ELOR [RADAR]for sky defence and sky traffic control.
Nearly three thousand people are killed by a pyroclastic flow when the previously inactive volcano of Mount Harrington [Mount Lamington] in Georgsland [Papua New Guinea] erupts.
Five hundred people are killed by ash flows from the eruption of Hibok-Hibok in the Philippines.
The Fourth Zulu-Tswana War occurs after skirmishes along the border.
Amniocentesis begins to be used for pre-natal gender determination, with parents sometimes aborting children of the 'wrong' (usually female) gender.
The Alyesko-Siberian Federation develops the first of a series of vast military and cargo ships built out of reinforced ice. These become quite widely used, particularly in the colder parts of the world. [These are equivalent to the idea of 'Pycrete' ships from the real world; more information can be found at Wikipedia, The Royal Navy and Combinedfleet.Com.]
French biologist and ecologist Yves Turbayne devises what becomes known as Bioteleology to explain how life as a whole fosters and maintains suitable conditions for itself by helping to create an environment on Earth suitable for its continuity [in the real world this is known as the Gaia hypothesis and was first published in 1975].
Years of tension between Zulu Modernists and the Traditionalists come to a head as Modernist mutineers slaughter Traditionalist soldiers in their barracks. Violence spreads across Zululand and the Zulu Civil War begins.
French forces take over Dutch Malaya.
The availability of the contraceptive pill and the increasing sexual freedom it brings leads to a sexual revolution and a world-wide movement for sexual equality. [In the real world 1960s and on] Results from biological research support this idea, though deep-rooted prejudice prevents it taking root in some places, and Salic law still applies in many of the worlds monarchies.
The Australian War ends with some border adjustments in Australia to the advantage of the Dutch. However, the Dutch have lost their Malayan possessions.
After the various uses of bio-weapons during the twentieth century, with international agreement the Conférence Permanente De Militaires Du Monde (Permanent World Military Conference, known as the CPMM) is convened in Versailles with the intention of controlling their development, deployment and use.
After long negotiations, an international agreement, the Versailles Agreement is hammered out that bans the use of bio-weapons as too uncontrolled and too dangerous, with severe penalties on those who break it.
A powerful earthquake destroys most of the island of Kefalonia, in Ottoman Greece, killing hundreds of people and causing major damage on the islands of Zante and Lefkas.
Many nations begin research into chemical and other forms of non-biological, but equally destructive, weaponry. Nerve agents are the first such weapons to be widely produced.
Militaries also begin to develop bigger and better 'normal' weapons. These include fuel-air explosives, and also research into more radical types of explosives, such as nuclear weapons.
Funding for medical research into the nullification of the bio-WMD threat also increases.
The Zululand Civil War ends with the Modernist faction firmly in control of the country. They impose rigid controls on the nation to prevent further unrest.
Pope Leo XIII speaks out on contraception. He states that it is acceptable, though abortion is not, and should be considered to be murder.
In contravention of the Versailles Agreement, the Mexican government secretly hires a Louisianan corporation to develop a genetically-targeted disease to use against the Jewish population of Israel. This is an airborne Ebola-like virus.
The world's first baby to be conceived by in-vitro fertilisation outside the human body is born in Columbia. [In the real world this occurred in 1978.]
Clashes over fishing rights and territorial waters lead to a brief Newfoundland-Quebec War.
Comet Chapellier [Arend-Roland] appears, with a tail thirty degrees long and an 'anti-tail' pointing sunward, which is about fifteen degrees long. It is visible to the unaided eye.
Comet Grune-Chapellier [Mrkos] is discovered. This has two tails, one very bright and curved with a length of some fifteen degrees. It is visible with the unaided eye.
The first hoversled [hovercraft] is invented in Britain by Steven Biggin. It immediately begins to find use in some of the worlds more inhospitable terrain, particularly in the Alyesko-Siberian Federation.
A powerful earthquake in Alyeska causes a landslide that triggers the largest-ever recorded water wave at Lituya Bay, Alyeska.
There are a number of skirmishes as ships from Quebec and the North American Union states compete for the rapidly diminishing fish stocks of the North Atlantic.
The first programmable electronic computer is constructed by a team of scientists working at the University of Berlin. [In the real world these were developed in the early 1940s] They are not widely adopted, as Analytical Fountains (fluidic computers) are a more widely known and more mature technology.
A Ninth Zulu-Matabele War occurs after skirmishes along the border.
The first results of a long study of human DNA are published. Its results conclusively show that there is no scientific basis for racism as anything other than prejudice. Many racists reject these results.
The same scientific advances that show the lack of any scientific foundation for racism also undermine the Hindu caste system by, again, showing that there is no provable difference between people of any caste. This does, however, encourage the Hindu militias who remain in India following the Popes War who see any such suggestions as also undermining their religion, something to which they do not react well, and which leads to a persistent anti-science feeling among parts of the Hindu community.
It also undermines the class system when it is shown that most of the nobility, in Europe at least, is actually less genetically healthy than the lower classes.
Russia becomes the first nation to begin harvesting the organs of condemned criminals for transplantation. While this practise is rejected by many nations, several other countries also adopt this approach.
The city of Agadir, in Morocco, is almost completely destroyed by an earthquake that kills fifteen thousand people.
The most powerful earthquake ever recorded, the Great Chilean Earthquake, occurs. Tsunamis arising from it cause deaths as far away as Hawaii and Japan.
Rumours begin to circulate that at least one of the major nations of the world is engaged in a secret project to decode the entire human genome.
The first supersonic flight occurs in Sweden, using a rocket-propelled skycraft. [In the real world this happened in 1946.]
With an anti-Jewish disease, known as the Pogrom Plague, developed, the Mexican government uses it as the first stage of the Second Pogrom War, attacking Israel as the disease spreads. Unfortunately, although the disease is highly effective, it is not a total surprise to the Israelis, who retaliate against Mexico with chemical weapons and fuel-air explosives. Both plagues spread to Louisiana, Kaliforniya, the Caribbean and, thanks to air travel, around the world.
Comet Zumwald [Wilson-Hubbard] is visible to the naked-eye.
Over-fishing leads to the collapse of fish stocks in the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. [In the real world this happened in 1992.]
Serbia breaks away from the Holy Roman Empire in a nationalist revolution.
King Louis XIX of France dies aged eighty-seven. He is succeeded by his grandson (born 1928), who becomes King Louis XX.
The Pogrom Plague proves to affect non-Jews, and to mutate to affect people of other ethnicities too. Rumours spread that King Louis XIX succumbed to it.
There are number of instances of ship- and plane-loads of people starving to death while in quarantine, and one or two of such groups being fire-bombed to protect the majority of the population, regardless of whether the Pogrom Plague is present amongst them or not.
Despite long-running French attempts to prevent it, several central German states finally ally themselves into a small Central German Confederation, for trade and defence again the Union, the Holy Roman Empire and the Northern System.
Comet Dietrich-Smith [Seki-Lines] appears. It has a dense, bright tail some fifteen degrees long.
King George V of Britain dies. He is succeeded by his son (born in 1920), who becomes King George VI. With this accession to the throne, and because of his ancestry, George VI becomes King of all three of Britain, Hanover and Prussia, although this is a largely ceremonial position. With his accession, the combined royal family is renamed the House of Hanover-Hohenzollern. As with King Louis XIX of France, there are rumours that King George V succumbed to the Pogrom Plague.
Acting under the Versailles Agreement, various other nations including New Israel finally declare war on Mexico, and the country is devastated as the Second Pogrom War is brought to a swift and brutal end. With most of Mexico in rubble, several of its southern states split off to form the new nations of Yucatan, Chan Santa Cruz, Baja California and Chiapas.
Ash flows from the eruption of the Agung volcano in the Dutch East Indies [Indonesia] kill nearly twelve hundred people.
Perhaps influenced by French advice, Pope Leo XIV speaks out on the environment, and the need to protect it.
King Louis XX (who, it later turns out, is a secret smoker himself) lifts the French ban on tobacco. Although still banned in public places, people can now legally smoke in their own homes.
Outbreaks of the Pogrom War-related diseases continue to recur across the world from time to time.
In the aftermath of the Pogrom War relations between Israel and New Israel become closer and friendlier. With New Israel seen as a safer nation, a trickle of emigration from Israel to New Israel begins, and grows, despite efforts by the Israeli government to stop it.
The French Navy begins to enforce anti-whaling and other ecological rules, such as the preservation of fish stocks, at gunpoint if necessary.
Despite the best efforts of the French, there are still some problems with the collapse of fish stocks, and some whales are endangered.
It is noticed that world-wide weather seems to be getting worse, with more and more violent storms, as well as global temperature rises, the retreat of glaciers and ice caps, and some slight rises in sea level. [This is the Greenhouse Effect, happening earlier here due to the earlier and wider-scale use of steam power coupled with a higher human population.]
The Good Friday Earthquake strikes Alyeska [Anchorage, Alaska does not exist in this world], killing more than five hundred people.
The first widespread algal blooms occur in several parts of the world, in rivers and at sea. These are eventually traced to run-off of fertilisers caused by their excessive use.
Although attempts are made to stop them algal blooms still occur to the present day.
Colombian oil tappers are found to be drilling into, and taking oil from, Hudsonian oil deposits. Protests by the Union go unheeded by the Colombian government, who claim they cannot do anything against the oil tappers. After an ultimatum runs out, Hudsonian troops cross the border to stop the oil tapping, and the Oil War begins.
An earthquake strikes Valentingrad [Seattle], in Alyeska [Washington state].
Comet Charron [Ikeya-Seki] is visible, to the naked eye and in daylight. It has a dense tail some thirty-five degrees in length and splits after perihelion.
At the insistence of King George VI of Britain, Prussia and Hanover, the Prussian and Hanoverian Salic Laws are abolished in those nations, giving both male and female royalty the chance to inherit the thrones of those countries.
A powerful earthquake strikes Tashkent, in Uzbekistan.
Scientists begin to propose that the human race itself is responsible for the global changes in climate, through the release of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere giving rise to a 'greenhouse effect'. They begin work to convincingly explain the changes, but are severely limited by the limitations on the available computing technologies. Because of this, research into more powerful computing technologies begins.
Because they are considered a possible disruption to the Natural Order, in France the Conseil de Conscience [Council of Conscience] takes control of the response to the possibility of human-caused climate change.
With all Colombian oil tapping facilities in Pennsylvania destroyed, the Oil War ends.
The first large-scale planting of genetically modified crops occurs in Columbia and Louisiana. [In the real world this occurred in 1994.]
An earthquake strikes Sicily, in Italy. Another strikes along the Persia-Afghanistan border.
Even though the science is not yet proven beyond doubt, as a precaution the governments of France and the Union begin a joint research programme into ways to ameliorate the effects of human-caused climate change.
As time passes and the evidence for human-caused climate change becomes increasingly incontrovertible, this programme gains more and more funding.
As part of their response to the increasingly likely possibility of serious human-caused climate change, France and the Union begin investing in technologies to ease or ameliorate its effects and encouraging the same around the world.
In northern Peru, sixty-seven thousand people are killed by an earthquake.
Comet St Denis-Tessier [Bennett] is visible to the naked eye from February until Mid-May. It has two tails, the longest being about twenty degrees long.
Comet Tessier [White-Ortiz-Bolelli] is visible from the Southern Hemisphere.
Heriberto d'Ataide do Monte of the University of Rio de Janeiro proposes the use of DNA as a powerful means of computing. Research begins into implementing this as a technology.
The Fifth Zulu-Tswana War occurs after skirmishes along the border.
The use of pre-natal gender determination to abort children of unwanted (usually female) gender begins to cause problems as skewed sex ratios in some nations begin to produce populations with a deficiency of women.
As they become aware of this, most affected nations begin to legislate to ensure that these skewed sex ratios and the problems arising form them are eliminated. Despite this, royal families often continue having only male children, and secret gender determination persists across the world.
French researchers develop cheap desalination technology. This begins to be used to green many deserts, particularly in North America, Mexico and North Africa.
Over-use of irrigation in many areas leads to increasing soil salinity and decreasing crop yields.
Many nations begin attempts to develop drought-resistant and salt-resistant crops.
The city of Managua, in Union Mosquitia [Nicaragua] is almost completely destroyed by an earthquake that kills more than ten thousand people.
The first reports emerge from Russia of criminals deliberately infecting themselves with an incurable, slow-developing disease [perhaps Herpes] to prevent their organs being harvested for use in transplants. Although it does prevent the use of their organs, this tactic does not prevent them from being executed...
The joint French-Union research programme to ameliorate the effects of human-caused climate change produces its first result - a form of genetically engineered fast-growing, rot-resistant bambou that is capable of growing in a wide range of environments. It is intended to be able to turn atmospheric carbon dioxide into useful bambou. Although successfully growing on experimental plots, concerns over its becoming an ineradicable weed limit its use.
Comet Dannenberg-Gale [Kohoutek] appears from November 1973 to January 1974.
The transistor is invented by Jonathon Black Crow at the University of New York, in Hudsonia. [In the real world this was invented in 1947.]
Genetically modified crops begin to be grown in Europe, though they are banned in France by the physiocratic policies of the French government.
The joint French-Union research programme to ameliorate the effects of human-caused climate change produces a modified form of modified bambou, intended to extract carbon dioxide from the air. Although sterile it can still spread by way of runners, but this is considered an acceptable risk. The bambou begins to be used in France and the Union in public gardens, with the public also encouraged to grow it.
A powerful earthquake in Tangshan, Long China, kills more than four hundred thousand people.
Comet Gale [West] appears and breaks apart as it grazes the Sun, splitting into four or five pieces. It has a reddish tail some thirty-five degrees long. It is quite bright and is briefly visible during the daytime.
Governments begin to encourage industry to discover ways to make profitable use of the glut of bambou that they foresee arising from the growth of the new carbon dioxide-absorbing varieties.
As time passes other forms of Engineered bambou are produced for a variety of purposes, for example decontaminating industrial sites, or stabilising mine spoil tips.
An epidemic of a disease in cattle and, later, humans, that becomes known as Brain Rot begins in Columbia. Investigation links it to cows being fed cow-based food. Changes to the diet of cattle begin to eliminate this problem. [This is the equivalent of real world CJD and mad cow disease.]
The first experimental sea farms begin operating.
An earthquake strikes southern and eastern Europe.
Investigation of the Brain Rot finds that it is an entirely new type of disease caused by protein 'mutation' [prions]. Other similar diseases are also found. Some scientists raise the possibility of entire new types of biological weapons based on these, though such research would be banned under the Versailles Agreement.
French scientists find that French crops are being contaminated by pollen from genetically modified crops in neighbouring countries. France strongly protests this, but by now the damage has been done.
Comet Deitz [Wild 2] is discovered.
The large-scale planting of genetically-engineered crop plants begins outside of North America. [In the real world this is occurring now!]
A massive heatwave strikes Europe, killing tens of thousands and causing crop failures and widespread fires. [A result of global warming.]
First nuclear reactor for electricity generation, built by a combined Franco-Ottoman team, goes on-line in France. [1954 in the real world.]
The first mammal is cloned by a team at the University of Versailles in France. [In the real world this happened in 1996 with the cloning of Dolly the sheep.]
Five thousand people are killed by an earthquake in the Kingdom of Naples [southern Italy].
The eruption of Mount Volkhov [Mount St. Helens] in Alyeska kills hundreds of people.
The first oral contraceptive for men is marketed in the OSU, based on research carried out there and in France. It is not a great commercial success. [In the real world such things are just being developed in the early 2000s.]
A joint Franco-Ottoman team announces the decoding of the entire human genome, a previously-secret project that has taken some 25 years and a vast amount of resources to complete [in the real world the Human Genome Project took some 13 years to do the same with far fewer resources, mainly due to the more advanced computer technology of the real world, finishing its work in 2003]. There is a great deal of interest as to the national motivations for spending so much time and effort on this project.
Ash flows from the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico kill nearly nineteen hundred people.
A Tenth Zulu-Matabele War occurs after skirmishes along the border.
Comet Yearout-Giles  is discovered, and is at perihelion until March 1986.
A massive heatwave strikes Europe, killing tens of thousands and causing crop failures and widespread fires. [A result of global warming.]
The first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is successfully tested by the Union in Sierra Leone. [In the real world late 1950s.] Other nations begin working to catch up with this development.
The Union announces the successful completion of its own formerly-secret human genome-decoding project.
Comet Skoetz-Deas [Brorsen-Melcalf] appears, with a green coma and tail. It is only visible in telescopes.
Intercontinental ballistic missiles soon prove to be an expensive technology, too expensive to be used routinely in war, and the technology languishes in favour of military skycraft which are more flexible and more accurate. Only France and the Union build a small number for use as what is effectively intercontinental artillery. Even these are not terribly accurate, leading to warheads which function like giant shotgun shells, or which carry chemical payloads. [Without a need to deliver nuclear warheads, there is much less need for ICBMs in this world than in the real world.]
Over time it becomes clear that a number of technological advances in the last twenty years or so have been spin-offs from one or other of the human genome projects.
With the infrastructure in place to do so, and a desire to recoup some of the vast investment made in sequencing the human genome, the Franco-Ottoman and Union research teams begin sequencing the genomes of other life forms, in particular those of commercial significance.
Two powerful earthquakes strike Mexico City, killing more than ten thousand people and devastating a significant part of the city. It is the worst disaster in the history of Mexico City.
Twenty-five thousand people die in mudflows caused by the eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia.
The first experimental DNA computer begins operation at the University of Paris in France [see also ArsTechnica.com]. Its design derived from and expanding on the most advanced Synthesising Fountains, it is a large and complex machine, more like a chemical plant than a real world computer, with mixing and separation vats around a small central reaction chamber, and requires human involvement in the programming and interpretation stages of its work. However, it is an amazingly powerful processor. Its first task is to assist with understanding the changes in climate that appear to be occurring in the world.
Carbon dioxide emissions from volcanic Lake Nyos, in West Africa [Cameroon], kill more than two thousand people.
Fifteen hundred people are killed by an earthquake in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Halley's Comet reappears with a tail twenty degrees long.
DNA computers soon find spin-offs in other fields of science, in particular in the field of cryptography.
The first pig genetically modified to have organs immunologically compatible with this of humans, for use in transplants, is born. It is the first of many.
Prenatal genetic testing combined with IVF begins to allow the selection of children with specific traits. In many countries this is combined with eugenics programmes as a means of further improving the human race.
The first intercontinental mail rocket is launched by the Union, carrying packages from Hanover to Sierra Leone. Like ICBMs, mail rockets prove too expensive and inaccurate to be useful.
The first nuclear powered ship goes into service with the French navy.
An earthquake in North-Western Armenia kills twenty-five thousand people.
Massive heatwaves strike Europe and North America, killing more than a hundred thousand people and causing crop failures and widespread fires. [A result of global warming.]
An earthquake in Kaliforniya kills several hundred people.
Comet Vignaux [Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko] appears.
The first artificial satellite is launched from Mysore, in French India. [In the real world 1957]
The first human is cloned in Quebec. He is the clone of the ageing and otherwise childless King Victor Amadeus VII of Savoy. [In the real world this has not happened as of 2005.] Unfortunately from birth the cloned Prince Charles Albert proves to have a number of serious mental and physical defects.
Scientists in the ASF clone a woolly mammoth from genetic material reconstituted from that found in a number of frozen Siberian mammoth corpses.
A powerful earthquake in Russias Persian Tongue [North-Western Iran] kills fifty thousand people.
An earthquake in the Philippine Islands kills sixteen hundred people.
Comet Turpin-Vacher [Austin] appears.
By the present day there are more than a dozen human clones around the world. In some places they are not considered human. There are major ethical issues, especially as all of the clones born so far have been found to suffer from various medical problems. Many nations have the technology to make human clones, but in most nations they are banned.
King George VI of Britain, Prussia and Hanover dies. He is succeeded by his daughter (born in 1948), who becomes Queen Louise I, the first Queen of Britain, Prussia and Hanover since the Salic Law was revoked.
The first chimpanzee genetically modified to have organs immunologically compatible with this of humans, for use in transplants, is born in a laboratory in Sierra Leone. However, as a side effect of the genetic modification process it soon proves to be more intelligent than a normal chimp, though not to a human level. The massive ethical problems this raises causes a widespread ban on the production of any more such creatures.
Several of the worlds less ethical governments, including Quebec and Zululand, begin to experiment with human genetic enhancements.
The first weather satellite is launched from Mysore, in French India. [As opposed to 1959 in the real world.]
An eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines kills two thousand people via roof collapses and disease.
A massive heatwave strikes North America, killing more than a hundred thousand people and causing crop failures and widespread fires. [A result of global warming.]
Adding minor physical enhancements generally proves to be successful, though people with them also generally have medical problems too. Human mental enhancements, very controversial in most of the world, have so far been entirely unsuccessful, leading to madness and other mental problems in those given them. Experiments in mentally enhancing animals by adding human traits to them have been more successful, with enhanced dogs, dolphins and elephants being developed despite a good deal of ethical objections from around the world. However, going beyond the human, mentally, cannot yet be done successfully.
The first nuclear-powered submarine is launched by the OSU.
Genetically modified super-wheat begins to be planted in North America.
Brazil bans human cloning on religious grounds. The rest of the Comunidade Portuguese soon follows.
The French government attempts to extend the remit of the Conférence Permanente De Militaires Du Monde (Permanent World Military Conference) to include a ban on the genetic modification of humans. This attempt fails.
The Union launches its first weather satellite from its launch facility in Sierra Leone.
Comet Haynes [Swift-Tuttle] appears.
An earthquake in Eastern Anatolia [Turkey] kills more than five hundred people.
Genetically modified super-wheat later becomes a problem as it proves to be almost impossible to remove from an area once it is planted there, and particularly when it spreads beyond where it is desired. [See 'Exit Mundi'] Similar modifications to other food plants are generally abandoned, though rumours of equally indestructible 'war weeds' being developed by various militaries continue to surface from time to time.
Despite rivalry over their space programmes, France and the Union share weather data from their respective satellites as part of their national and joint programmes for climate change amelioration.
Nearly ten thousand people are killed by an earthquake in Peishwa [Maharashtra], India.
Comet Sudera [Shoemaker-Levy] is discovered, and is found to be on a collision course with Jupiter.
Massive heatwaves strike Europe and North America, killing more than a hundred thousand people and causing crop failures and widespread fires. [A result of global warming.]
After protests fail to stop the research going on there, French skycraft bomb the Sierra Leonean research facility producing semi-sophont chimps. This is claimed to be for moral reasons. For a while France and Union teeter on the brink of war, but both step back with the French paying a substantial indemnity to the government of Sierra Leone.
The first cases of humans catching pig diseases from organ transplants are recorded.
Skycraft pilots flying over northern Siberia report the mysterious appearance of a number of giant holes in the tundra there.
An earthquake near Los Angeles, Kaliforniya, kills five hundred people.
Comet Sudera [Shoemaker-Levy] approaches Jupiter. As it approaches the planet it breaks apart into a line of small comets, nicknamed 'the string of pearls', before each one impacts Jupiter in turn.
French skycraft bomb several biological research facilities in Quebec, Columbia and Louisiana. This is claimed to be for moral reasons, as they were allegedly performing research into the genetic engineering of human beings. For a while the nations teeter on the brink of war, but the three North American nations step back from war with France, all of them claiming that the facilities were being run by a conspiracy of 'rogue elements' of their respective governments.
The first human being, Sandra Biggin, is launched into space from Sierra Leone by the Union in a heavily modified mail rocket. [In the real world this happened in 1961]
France begins to experiment with the 'farming' of vat-grown genetically engineered nutritionally-complete algae as a high-density, if dull, food for the masses.
For the first time in recorded history, sufficient sea ice melts in the summer to open the North-East Passage and allow ships passage through the Arctic Ocean. [A result of global warming.]
Investigation by scientists from the ASF finds that the tundra holes appear to have been caused by methane being released from warming permafrost, a side effect of global warming. [Much as appears to be beginning to happen in the real world.]
As something of a space race begins, the French build up their space launch facility in Mysore, in India, with secondary ones in French Guyana and Melinda in east Africa while the Union builds up its facility Sierra Leone.
Taking advantage of the opening of the melting of the Arctic Ocean in summer, merchant shipping begins using the North-East Passage to carry goods to and from Europe and Asia more efficiently than was previously possible.
The Great Hanshin earthquake strikes Japan. More than ten thousand people are killed and five hundred thousand left homeless.
An earthquake at Neftegorsk, on Sakhalin Island in Long China [Russia], kills some three thousand people - almost all of the town's population.
A powerful earthquake in Northern Persia [Iran] kills some four thousand people.
Tsarina Marina II of Russia dies of old age and is succeeded by her adoptive son, who becomes Tsar Valentin IV.
Massive heatwaves strike Europe and North America, killing more than two hundred thousand people and causing crop failures and widespread fires. [A result of global warming.]
The first manned French space launch ends in disaster as their pilot, Frenchman Jules de Gennes, dies in orbit due to a life-support system failure.
Rumours of fungal or parasite-based weapons that eat their victims from the inside out, or that control their minds to some bad end begin to circulate. [These are using engineered versions of organisms such as those described here.]
An earthquake at Takhar in Afghanistan kills more than two thousand people.
Another earthquake in Afghanistan kills nearly five thousand people.
Tsar Valentin IV, considering that the Northern System is weakening compared to France and the Union, wishes to add Sweden to the Northern System. After friendly overtures towards this end fail, Russia conducts a campaign of increasingly unreasonable demands against Sweden, demanding their accession to the Northern System. When Sweden inevitably refuses these demands, Russia and its allies declare war. No other nation stands with Sweden in this as what becomes known as the Incorporation War begins.
The forces of the Northern System press into Sweden from all directions, and a major invasion fleet builds up in the Gulf of Finland. Sweden's colonies are stripped away by the Russians.
Scientists in the ASF begin planting experimental genetically engineered bambou across the Arctic. All resistant to arctic cold, some are engineered with versions of genes from methane-eating bacteria, while others provide homes for symbiotic colonies of them. The new types of bambou are intended to turn both methane and carbon dioxide from the air around them into massive rot-resistant bambou trunks.
Seemingly against all sanity, Sweden resists, and demands that the forces of the Northern System withdraw or be destroyed. This is ignored. In desperation, a Swedish submarine lies in wait for the invading fleet and explodes a very large and unwieldy nuclear weapon, the first ever detonated, under it. The Northern System fleet is destroyed, and the city of St Petersburg is flooded and contaminated with radioactivity. Another such weapon destroys a Danish army as they attempt to land at Malmö, contaminating significant areas of the Swedish coast.
Sweden demands the withdrawal of the Northern System and the end of the Incorporation War or other such devices will be detonated. With little choice, the Northern System does so. Sweden also demands the return of its African colonies and Finland to its control. The former is agreed to, but the latter is negotiated down to mere independence for Finland. With this, the Incorporation War, which becomes better known as the War of the Bomb, ends.
An earthquake in Anatolia [Turkey] kills five thousand people.
Two and a half thousand people are killed by an earthquake in Dutch Formosa [Taiwan].
The first geo-synchronous communications satellite is launched from French Mysore.
A generic cure for most kinds of cancer is discovered by a large team of French researchers at the University of Versailles.
The population of the world officially tops ten billion people. [A larger population resulting from more advanced biological sciences.]
Belated investigation by the intelligence services of various nations finds that Sweden has been discretely pursing nuclear weapons for many years in case of just such an eventuality. They obtained their uranium from the Dutch, from their mines in Australia. This supply of Uranium is quickly cut off, but the Dutch records of the uranium exports seem to have been 'accidentally' destroyed. Thus no-one knows how much uranium the Swedes have stockpiled, nor how many bombs they may have built using it.
The Conférence Permanente De Militaires Du Monde meets in emergency session in an attempt to come up with a policy to deal with this crisis. So far no consensus has been reached, and the emergency session continues.
The Present day.
Rumours of the existence of skycraft-portable nuclear weapons in various nations begin to surface. However, so far no nation other than Sweden appears to have detonated a nuclear weapon of any kind.
Massive heatwaves strike Europe and North America, killing more than a hundred and fifty thousand people and causing crop failures and widespread fires. [A result of global warming.]
Four hundred people are killed by an earthquake in El Salvador.
Zululander engineer Mageba Zwelethini proposes the theory that soon becomes known as L'Ordinateur Monde [the World Computer]. This puts forward the idea, combining the ideas of Bioteleology and DNA computing, that all of the life of the world in fact forms a vast DNA computer, performing some stupendous computing operation to some unknown end. Although dismissed as un-provable pseudoscience by many, this theory gains a significant following among more mystically-inclined people around the world.
The ASF government release a small group of the first young cloned mammoths into a reserve on the New Siberian Islands. In addition to recreating the species, the government of the ASF hopes that, being related to Asian elephants, the mammoths will eventually provide a domesticated mammoth population the help develop the very far north.
Clive-less world is likely to be conflicted in the future. World politics is polarising into Traditionalist and Progressive ideological blocs, and these have quite different views of the direction the world should take in the future.
Were the Traditionalists to win, which is less likely, they would wish to maintain the status quo, both in terms of politics, and also in terms of where the biological sciences take humanity. Unfortunately for them, it is very unlikely that they would be able to prevent progress and change even so, as otherwise they will be left behind scientifically and economically by the Progressive nations, and the growing effects of global warming will doom them.
If the Progressives win out, there is still a great deal of disagreement among them over the best way forward for the world, and for mankind. Some wish humankind to be left alone, although science may be used to its fullest to improve the world for mankind. Others wish to modify and consciously evolve humanity in different ways, from the idea of a 'policeman in every head' espoused by some hard-core supporters of the Panopticon movement, to the concept of creating god-like free 'superhumans' supported by some of the Tribalist movement, some of the leaders of Zululand, and many extreme Colombian libertarians. Others again, mainly from the Nayaa Rasta movement, wish to guide and advance the ecosystem of the entire world to a better future of which humanity is only a part.
Unless one group takes control of all of the world, it is quite likely that the human species will radically change and diverge into new groups over the coming decades, with the potential for racism and war that that entails.