A very interesting idea I stole from another forum. What do you think the world will look like in 50 years? Here I offer some of my predictions:
The Major Players:
Dark Blue: Anglo-American Union
over the course of the next 50 years the relationship between Britain and the US will continue to deepen to the point that political union becomes feasible, and the desire to balance the growing power of the (still friendly) EU and the (not so friendly) Sino-Russo axis in the east and the venezuela-bolivian alliance in the west. Another layer of federalism will be placed over all the major Commonwealth members and the US, with the capital in New York (probably not, but darn if I don't hold the hope of New York becoming the capital of the world :P).
Needs no introduction. A major bloc in its own right, remains friendly with the AAU due to continued hostility from Russia/China. It will fight hard to get the Ukraine in and use it's agricultural power to create ethanol (I don't think people would feel comfortable eating Ukranian wheat for another few hundred years).
The second most powerful economy on earth behind the AAU. Shares responsibility for economic/military aid to Korea and Taiwan with the AAU and Japan in order to help contain China.
Dark Red: Russia
Likely to become a state capitalist dictatorship, Pinochet style, though a return to soviet style rule is not out of the question. In either event autocracy will be the order of the day, as well an alliance with China in order to oppose the EU/AAU. Rexpansion into central Asia is certainly a possibility, especially in the case of Kazakhstan which contains the Cosmodrome, Russia's most important space launch facility.
Red: Venezuela/Bolivia Alliance
A south american communist bloc to make Cuba look like small potatoes. Tied economically to the Ruso-Sino axis.
Though closely allied with the AAU, is too great an economic power to be considered their satellite.
Dark Grey: China
China has some very serious problems looming in the future. It's econmic growth is unsustainable, the one child policy and lack of women will lead to a catatstrohpic decline in population, and the growing middle class is not going to like being told what to do with thier new wealth. If it survives these problems, China will likely join in alliance with Russia in the face of growing encirclement as India rises, Japan continues to dominate economically, and both powers join with the AAU to support the smaller powers surrounding it, like Taiwan and Korea.
Light Grey: Brazil
Enriched by sales of Ethanol fuel, has grown to become THE major power in South America while locked in a three way dance of death with the V/B alliance and local AAU satellites Peru and Chile.
The future of Iran is actually quite uncertain. A second revolution is quite llikely for a number of reasons, and if that happens expect a religiously conservative democracy. If the regime survives, expect more of the same with a few trinket reforms to keep the people happy. In either case, it will have to become a Russian client state in the face of the collapse of oil, and will attempt to rush in to fill the void as the middle east inevitably begins to further break down.
Green: Major AAU Satellites
Korea: As china's economic growth slows, it will no longer be able to tolerate the parasite that is North Korea, resulting in it's final and complete implosion. South Korea will seize the opportunity to reunite the peninsula, at the cost of knifing their economy in the teh butt for awhile as the north is slowly rebuilt with aid from Japan, Inida, and the AAU. The China/Korea border becomes the new DMZ.
Cuba: Following Castro's death, his brother will not be able to maintain the communist regime. What ensues will be a democracy propped up by the AAU. Whether this democracy is homegrown or implanted by the CIA is a tossup.
Iraq: The AAU's other Mideast Bulwark against Iran (the first being Israel). Low level insurgency persists, though remarkably stable compared to the rest of the mideast.
South Africa: Opts against membership in the AAU, though is still closely associated with it.
Mideast: When oil ends, so will it. As soon as the oil money is gone the current regimes will implode, leading to another three way dance of death between the AAU and it's proxies, Russia, and Iran for dominance.
Switzerland: Will remain blessedly neutral.
In General, the biggest geopolitical shift will result from the end of oil and the rise of ethanol to displace it. Since Brazil already has significant infrastructure in place dedicated to ethanol production/distribution, it will likely become obscenely rich before other nations ramp up their own domestic production. However, I see the EU as being somewhat dependent on the AAU/Brazil for their own fuel, although to be fair I know little of European agriculture I don't think they'd be able to both grow enough food AND ethanol to meet domestic demand. Same goes for China, and depending on whether they emphasize food or fuel may accelerate or stave off the coming population crash. On a larger scale ethanol may well begin to tip the balance of world power, as if the agricultural nations of Africa can get their poop together they have the potential to dominate the ethanol market and gain the prosperity they have sought for so long.
The second major new factor will be competition between the AAU/EU and the Ruso/Sino bloc to colonize the moon. In 2056 it'll probably look somewhat like Antartica now: both major allainces will have their own lunar bases scattered about, though likely in such a way as to enable the formation of a lunar iron curtain in the future.