I am sitting on the high-speed train going through New Indo-China, currently passing through Kathmandu (formerly Nepal). Despite being the UK ambassador for the World Health Organisation, with travel inherent in the job description, I’ve still not entirely gotten over my fear of flying, so I’m forever grateful for the technological innovations meaning I can take trains instead. This six-hour journey gives me ample time to reflect on the past twenty years- since I started my bachelor’s degree in International Development. Then, I would never have envisaged the state of the world as it is today.
I’m parched, so I’ve ordered a strawberry bubble tea, though my Mandarin really isn’t up-to-scratch. Thanks to the EU curricula reformations of 2022, future EU citizens will not have the same problem as I have- ‘Mandatory Mandarin’, along with another chosen European language, are taught from nursery until the end of compulsory secondary schooling (age eighteen).
I’m on my way to the tenth annual New Indo-China –Africa relations conference, where New Indo-China’s financial relations with Africa will be discussed and assessed. Basing my research on the huge successes of South American economic giant Bolivia (whose economy boomed in 2016 with the extraction of the ever-valuable lithium from its immense salt flats), who used the money to improve infrastructure, health, and education, I will be giving a talk on spending strategies for Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa, whose collective GNIs have doubled in the past two decades, through the harbouring of energy via solar panels in the Kalahari desert. Although ugly, these ‘solar fields’ feature in every hot, arid desert in the world. This has also allowed for the USA’s economy to continue to maintain itself with the vast Southern deserts, despite it being overshadowed in both power and population by New Indo-China (composed of all [except for Japan and North Korea] of Asia, given the namesake as a commemoration of the pain caused by colonialism, and as a reminder that any mass breach of human rights should never happen again).
Significantly, the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a celebrity was given to Angelina Jolie, commending her for the foundation of the CSDD (Celebrity Strike to Drop the Debt) movement of 2018-2019, where- as we all remember- for three months, 92% of non-political celebrities and athletes globally refused to make media appearances, including filming, recording, or playing sport for two months, from mid-November to mid-January. This halted life as we knew it in the West, caused mass hysteria in the media, and raised the profile of the campaign to a global extent. Christmas 2019 was dubbed as ‘the ghost of Christmas past’, with no new filming done, so television-watchers has to settle for re-runs from previous years. The power of the media was shown to its fullest extent, and in many countries capital was fundraised, with a cut of 46% of sales worldwide for Christmas spending. The money, albeit far from the totals of debt worldwide, was instead given to the countries that owed the money, in a stand to show solidarity amongst all humans, regardless of nationality. Valentines Day 2019, the date all international debts were cancelled, was hailed as one of the most important days in modern history, ‘the gift of love from one human to another’.
Another crucial year in the past twenty is 2024- the official end to the unofficial Four Year World Wide Water Wars (4W). Four years of global struggle, hyperinflation, widespread rationing, and a halt to any progress, economic or otherwise, was put to an end by the discovery of underground wells, kilometres deep, in Siberia, Russia (part of the Pan-Slavic Union).
This meant that as well as the world being thirsty no longer, with enough provisions for two more years, and allowing for the PSU to benefit financially for the first time ever, it also allowed enough time and resources to be freed that desalinisation research could be properly intensified, resulting in processes which are now sustainable.
This seems to prove Boserup’s 1965 theory, “necessity is the mother of invention”. (4)
Unfortunately, in the past twenty years, biodiversity has fallen by 14%, but reforestation and conservation projects have been steadily improving, since the switch to solar power several years ago. 4W resulted in a horrific billion deaths over the four years, and has acted as a warning for what depleting resources and overpopulation can lead to. I am hopeful that with a sustainable form of energy finally being achieved, and with the world debts being dropped, that this is a great starting point to begin to tackle issues that have otherwise been pushed aside by the prior causes: fighting poverty and corruption worldwide. Perhaps in another twenty years I will write again, and describe the successes of poverty reduction, or even elimination! Hopelessly hopeful? Maybe. But look how far we’ve come in twenty years!