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  • 10. Kiribati

  • Home to one of the largest protected areas in the world (the Phoenix Islands Protected

  • Area), Kiribati is the epitome of a tropical paradise. Independent since 1979, Kiribati

  • consists of a series of atolls and reefs with a smattering of little islands perched on

  • top. The temperatures are a pleasant low 80s, coconut and breadfruit trees abound, and the

  • waters are a lovely blue.

  • If you feel like booking a vacation in Kiribati, however, you had better make it snappy. Owing

  • to rising sea levels, two of its islands have already been lost to the waves (Tebua Tarawa

  • and Abanuea), and the rest are threatened. While a few of the islands are expected to

  • remain above water in 2115, what is left won’t be able to support the agriculture needed

  • to maintain a national population.

  • The situation is desperate enough for President Tong to begin evacuating the islands already

  • (a process sped up by Cyclone Pam). Official appeals have been made to Australia, New Zealand

  • and Fiji to accept Kiribatians as permanent refugees.

  • 9. The Netherlands

  • It’s easy to imagine tropical nations disappearing into the Pacific. What is less easily imagined

  • is the loss of a European Nation to climate change. Never-the-less, this is not only realistic,

  • but in fact quite probable. Known as much for its dikes as for being the place to go

  • for legal drugs and prostitutes, much of the Netherlands is below sea level.

  • Unlike Kiribati, it is not simply rising sea levels that threatens the Netherlands. An

  • extremely modern nation with a powerful economy, the Netherlands can well afford to continue

  • expanding its dikes upwards to keep rising seas out. The real problem is that the same

  • dikes that can keep the sea out can keep flooding in. With half the nation at or below one meter

  • above sea level, the Netherlands has been constantly fighting to keep its head above

  • water.

  • In 1953, A massive storm slammed into the Netherlands and neighboring Belgium. Floods

  • as deep as five-and-a-half meters deep swept the southern parts of the country. Only the

  • careful use of a ship to plug a dike prevented the flooding of North Holland, the second

  • most heavily populated province. With many scientists predicting that previouslysafe

  • Europe could soon be struck with frequentHurricane Katrinalevel storms, we’d

  • book our Amsterdam holiday today if we were you.

  • 8. The United Kingdom

  • What many people often tend to forget is that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is not the

  • Queen of England, she is the queen of the United Kingdom. As early as Roman times attempts

  • to unite the north and south of Britain had failed (resulting in the building of a wall

  • between Scotland and England) and later English attempts had done little better. The death

  • of Queen Elizabeth (the first one) in 1603 however led to parliament handing Scottish

  • king James V the crown of England as well. In 1707 the now 100 year old merger of the

  • kingdom was formalized asthe United Kingdom of Great Britain”.

  • These days, however, one of the most successful empires in history is facing a real possibility

  • of dissolution. The union of the two kingdoms began to show cracks as early as 1853, when

  • advocates began calling for Home Rule. In 1934 Scottish nationalists formed the Scottish

  • National Party, which has, of late, been a champion of Scottish independence (and separate

  • membership in the European Union).

  • Referendums calling for the dissolution of the United Kingdom have come up in Scotland

  • roughly every 20 years since the 1970s. The first failed on a technicality. The second

  • was wildly popular, and finally established the home rule that had been debated for nearly

  • 150 years, but did not actually dissolve the union. The most recent (2014) failed by a

  • narrow margin, but only six months later the SNP swept the parliamentary elections on a

  • wave of reaction to the narrow failure of the referendum. With 56 out of 59 seats possible

  • and opinion polls showing growing support for another attempt, it seems likely that

  • the United Kingdom will be no more by 2115.

  • 7. Canada

  • Canada was the unhappy offspring of the Seven YearsWar. While Great Britain and France

  • were busy making a mess out of Europe from 1754-1763 their colonies in North America

  • were having a pleasant, and related, brawl of their own. The end result was the addition

  • of New France’s fishing holes to the British Empire. Unlike Scotland, where the two nations

  • acted like loving newlyweds for a while, French Canadians always approached things more like

  • an unwelcome arranged marriage.

  • Though becoming British in 1763 it wasn’t until 1840 that serious attempts were made

  • to properly un-Frenchify them. French Canada was merged with the rest of Canada, with their

  • main population becoming the province of Quebec. The French didn’t think much of this idea,

  • but went along with it, mostly out of fear of being invaded by the expansionists in the

  • U.S. (Reasonable, given its history with Mexico).

  • In the post WWII world, the U.S. stopped seeming to be the threat it had been, and the French

  • Canadians haven’t really felt a particular need to keep cooperating. Starting in the

  • ‘60s a significant percentage of Quebec has been calling for sovereignty, led by the

  • Parti Québécois. The most recent vote on the issue failed by only 1% of the vote. With

  • almost a quarter of the Canadian population, most of the Atlantic ports, and total control

  • of the St. Lawrence waterway, the loss of Quebec could lead the rest of Canada splitting

  • up under pressure from regional differences and 1st Nation sovereignty movements.

  • 6. Taiwan

  • Taiwan is in an interesting position. While many people are aware of the fact that China

  • insists Taiwan is still a part of China, what they don’t tend to recall is that Taiwan

  • says the exact same thing. The only real debate between the two is which government is the

  • legitimate one, the pre-WWII Republic of China government seated in Taiwan or the post war

  • People’s Republic of China in Beijing.

  • Regardless of the politics, the fact is that, in terms of actual operation, Taiwan is a

  • wholly independent nation, and has acted as such ever since Chang Kai-shek led his Kuomintang

  • government to Taiwan in 1949. Despite its own insistence it is not, it maintains diplomatic

  • nations with many of the world’s nations, it maintains its own military (purchasing

  • heavily from trade partner America), it has a democratically elected government that has

  • unchallenged rule over the island. It walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck

  • Still, the fact that both Taiwan and China insist that Taiwan is just part of China goes

  • a long way to removing the island’s nationhood. Events over time have further eroded this

  • position, such as the UN’s kicking Taiwan out and giving China the empty seat in 1971.

  • While there are some within Taiwan calling for an official declaration of independence,

  • the official government stance still calls for eventual reunion with mainland China,

  • and only 24% of the population responded favorably to independence during a January poll. As

  • such it is only a matter of time before Taiwan returns to the fold.

  • 5. North Korea

  • Just like China and Taiwan, North and South Korea both insist on an eventual reunion.

  • Unlike the first two, however, there is little doubt about how the second two will eventually

  • work out their reintegration. China and Taiwan are both powerful in their own right, with

  • strong economies, powerful technological potential, and stable governments. On the Korean Peninsula,

  • on the other hand, such parity does not exist.

  • North Korea, the result of the U.S.S.R. insisting on having control over the northern half of

  • Japan’s pre-WWII colony, is in the crapper. Of the 193 member states of United Nations,

  • North Korea’s per capita GDP comes in at 180th. The government runs entirely on the

  • principle of the cult of personality, with dictator Kim Jong-Un conducting near constant

  • purges of the top ranks to keep things under control. The only thing that North Korea can

  • boast of is a strong military, and the few high ranking defectors have spoken of coup

  • attempts by the military that have been ruthlessly kept out of the media.

  • Most pundits consider it to only be a matter of time before North Korea implodes under

  • a weight of suspicion and backstabbing. When that inevitable event occurs some time before

  • 2115, South Korea will be ready to take North Korea back into a united country and start

  • repairing the damage done by the Kim Klan, as happened when East Germany was reunited

  • with the West in 1990.

  • 4. Palestine

  • Palestine occupies a strange position on the family tree of nation-states today. While

  • most of the top powers of the world do not recognize it as a nation, more than two thirds

  • of the UN’s member states do. Palestine has a seat in the UN, though it does not have

  • a vote. Its government has shockingly little real power, as it often finds itself the subject

  • of Israel’s wrath thanks to unilateral actions on the part of radical groups inside its borders,

  • but it has recognized borders, a standing (if small) army, and a self-contained economy.

  • Unfortunately, Palestine is the weakest kid in a particularly bad neighborhood. Most of

  • the country is occupied by Israel as a buffer against terrorist groups. Jordan, sharing

  • the other significant border with it, is a stable nation, but has been struggling with

  • the instability in nearby Syria and Iraq. Jordan has been careful to be polite but standoffish

  • in order to avoid buying even more border trouble. Egypt has plenty of problems of its

  • own, and Turkey and Iraq are both having big trouble with ethnic separatists, so they are

  • the last nations to be jumping aboard any separatist support trains.

  • Given the combination of Israeli hostility and significant instability among the Arabic

  • states close at hand, Palestine’s severe governmental weakness is likely to result

  • in Palestine becoming a failed state. Portions that contain Israeli settlements will likely

  • wind up fully annexed in spite of international condemnation, while what remains could well

  • wind up falling under the control of a UN mandate, possibly regulated by Jordan. A Palestinian

  • state is highly unlikely to exist as a national entity in 2115.

  • 3. Sudan

  • South Sudan is the newest nation in the world. It is also likely to be one of the shortest

  • lived nations in the world. It was formed in 2011 after a referendum for independence

  • from Sudan passed with nearly 99% of the vote. That, however, was the one and only time anyone

  • seemed able to agree about anything.

  • Externally, South Sudan can’t seem to nail down any agreement regarding its border and

  • trade relationship with Sudan. When it left, it took all of Sudan’s oil fields, but Sudan

  • retained all the infrastructure to transport the oil away from those fields. Since then

  • oil revenues have stagnated owing to a failure to negotiate a profit sharing deal and both

  • nations have had small proto-wars over how to split up their resources.

  • Internally, South Sudan hasn’t had any better luck. 9 of its 10 provinces are suffering

  • armed conflicts as various tribal and ethnic groups fight one another, and all of them

  • fight a government having a civil war with itself. South Sudan is, at its heart, a microcosm

  • of all the problems an increasingly overpopulated world faces, and is unlikely to survive them

  • for the next ten years, let alone long enough to see 2115.

  • 2. Haiti

  • If ever there was a nation that had bad luck, it’s Haiti. Even before its war for independence,

  • it was a bad luck state. Consisting mostly of slaves at its start, Haiti has always suffered

  • from nearly every problem that’s killing the nations already listed so far. Haiti suffered

  • from ethnic cleansing (courtesy of neighboring Dominican Republic in the ’30s), has constantly

  • suffered from severe poverty and the accompanying armed revolts, and has been the object of

  • affection of nearly every natural disaster and disease imaginable. Then there are the

  • zombies.

  • All of these problems are now being compounded by the same climate change threatening Kiribati

  • and the Netherlands. Hurricanes are only growing worse as the oceans warm, and Haiti is ground

  • zero for any hurricane that doesn’t turn towards the East Coast of the U.S. Between

  • that, rising sea levels, desert generating deforestation, and earthquakes substantial

  • portions of Haiti are at threat of one mass destruction too many.

  • Seemingly doomed from the beginning, it is perfectly reasonable for Haiti itself to become

  • a zombie-like creature, not really alive, but not really dead. Unable to recover from

  • disasters economic and natural, Haiti may well eventually resort to turning itself over

  • to the UN or a better behaved Dominican Republic out of a desperate hope that they may be able

  • to keep something in that half of the island alive in 2115.

  • 1. Sealand