An overall phrase to describe 2001 will be that things are getting shaky. Earthquakes increasing in frequency and intensity, and storm damage continues so that
insurance companies will begin to falter and fail if not bolstered by government intervention. The weather is becoming more erratic so that any attempt to pretend
that crop shortages are not occurring, worldwide, is no longer possible. Food prices will rise or there will be shortages in the stores, unless governments step in
with price freezes and forced disbursal of goods to the populace. Starvation, already occurring in many countries, will increase, but the starving will have less of a
voice as time goes on, and be increasingly ignored.
Economic impacts are beginning to bump into each other, one causing the other, so that the economic result is beyond a recession and threatening to become a worldwide depression. The economic drain from disasters affects individuals and their ability to work, villages and cities and their ability to provide services, and corporations that are dependent upon customers. Disasters can result in increased opportunity, but only if a source of aid is available, and when aid is withdrawn, or not provided, disasters become an economic drain. Aid between countries is being cut off, with little fanfare in the donor countries so the populace will not become alarmed. Businesses dependent upon their investments in Third World countries will then fail, once again creating a shaky economic environment.
When the response of a given government is less than what the populace has come to expect, there will be protests or riots, depending upon the culture. Strong arm tactics will increase, jailing the protesters and creating curfews or travel restrictions. Since a common tactic to distract a restless populace is an outside threat, governments of many countries will saber-rattle, pointing the finger elsewhere and making threats and demands. This will not lead to war, as none of these countries would gain by war, in that the whole world is affected by the economic and crop disasters. There is no prize. So the demands made, one country upon another, to correct what is seen as a cause elsewhere, will be loud, but not followed by actions other than those of a paper dragon variety - all noise, but no substance.