Timeline for
Was a Time When
(Return Home)

As I constructed the scenario that formed the basis for Was a Time When, I had to develop a consistent timeline on when things would happen to this world in the next 88 years. It had to be reasonable while compacting the life of Sam Hardy into the remains of this century.

Some say the timeline of my story happens too fast and is it is not possible for things to go as bad as I describe in so short a time. They may be right, but when I look at history and what I have seen in my lifetime, I see changes that took place in much shorter timeframes.

This timeline amounts to a prediction of what will happen in the future and when. I make my predictions, but admit that they may not work out that way.

There are two kinds of events listed in this timeline: there are events from the story as they relate to Sam's life, and there are world-wide events that affect the world Sam lives in. The latter events can be expected to occur, but their actual date of happening may be different from what I project. I made them happen in the story to match with Sam's life experiences.

Date Event
April, 2010 Micando oil-well blowout
Fall, 2012 USA economy sinks into depression. Remarkable manipulations by Fed kick this can down the road.
June, 2014 Neu-flu outbreak begins in Bangladesh
Nov, 2014 El Sinore earthquake in southern California force migration from stricken zone of Sam's great-grandparents to Oregon; shipments of oil from Mexico are halted
Mar 15, 2015 Sam Hardy is born in Fresno, California
May, 2015 Sam's parents move to Sacramento; gasoline reaches $8/gallon
June, 2016 Neu-flu pandemic reaches USA; Hardys receive vaccine; 2B+ die worldwide
July, 2018 California stops maintaining secondary roads because of expense of asphalt and concrete
Fall, 2018 Pineapple Express storms begin to pommel northern California. See NorCal storms of 1964
Jan, 2019 Floods throughout northern California and Sacramento delta
Feb, 2019 6.9M on Concord Fault destroys levees in Sacramento delta, creating Sacramento Sea
Fall, 2019 Iran becomes a net importer of petroleum and petroleum products
June, 2020 Gasoline tops $10/gallon; government imposes fuel rationing; California stops maintenance on all roads and ends any new road construction
Oct, 2020 Carbon rationing started by government
Apr, 2021 Sam's family help on Grandparent Boone's farm north of Sacramento
Aug, 2021 Government admits effects of global warming have been underestimated; more sea-level rise is expected and ocean currents are erratic; worsening drought expected for California along with horrendous winds and huge rainstorms
Sept, 2021 Sammy enters public school; he and teachers reach an uneasy truce
May, 2023 Sammy visits great-grandparents Sam and Alice Hardy in Oregon and hears of the true state of the world and how it has gotten there
Apr, 2024 Sammy leaves public school and is self-taught at home
July, 2025 Goods from China are not arriving at Wally World
Sep, 2025 Sammy begins on-line gambling and starts trading Carbon Ration units to raise money
Oct, 2025 California declares bankruptcy; USA, Mexico, and Canada begin formation of North American Federation under control of Party of Social Authority (PSA), an outgrowth of Tea Party and Occupy movements of 2012
April, 2026 Russia takes control of Europe
June, 2026 Greenland coastline is bare; sea-level up 30cm since 2000 - predictions for another meter by 2050; over 500M displaced along coasts around the world; Mega-droughts in China and India have starved 1B; Midwest grain production drops even more
July, 2026 Populations in China and India fall below 1B each; Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh drop into fundamentalist barbarism
Aug, 2026 Slow moving category 4 Hurricane Gracie destroys New York and its burroughs. In 2012 Sandy previewed Gracie
Mar, 2027 Pig-flu begins in Africa and kills another 1.5B over the next three years. Grandparents and Great-Grandparents Hardy die in the pandemic.
Aug, 2027 South American Federation formed
Sep, 2027 Royal family loses control of Saudi Arabia; USA and Chinese Navies fight in Persian Gulf for control and half of each are sunk; Medina and Mecca are closed to pilgrims
Jan, 2028 Population of Africa has fallen 80% from start of century; world is consolidating
Sep, 2029 Sammy's Grandparents Boone move in after farm fails for lack of water; Sammy at 14 had grown to 6'4" and weighted 146; Grandpa Boone discovers Sammy's Internet trading and reports to Dad who tells Sammy to stop because of upcoming police raids of Black Marketers
Oct, 2029 Sammy's parents receive notice of fully paid 4 year scholarship to UC Davis for Sammy with option for 5 years of graduate work; his winnings had paid off
Jan, 2030 Sammy enters UC Davis and moves to coed dormitory and choses triple major of atmospheric science, chemical engineering, and economics
Mar, 2030 USA has moved to wide range of energy supply by necessity; oil is capped at $225/bbl and electricity at $0.50/kwhr
Jun, 2030 Sammy moves back home after social pressure about his tail and commutes 20 miles by bicycle; he learns more about the causes of the current situation of the world
June, 2032 Sammy graduates and enters grad school in chemical engineering with hydrocarbon specialty; still believes an energy solution can be found
May, 2033 Sammy meets Abby, a 15-year old majoring in languages, and they move in together at her parents home but move to own apartment the next year
Sep, 2034 Many still deny climate change or are unwilling to make changes; forest fire destroys dead forests around Lake Tahoe; sea-level rise is approaching 1m; drought is destroying farming in Midwest; communications is still good
Jan, 2035 Riots in China bring out troops; half of population is killed; riots and starvation in other Asian countries reduce populations in some areas by 80%
Nov, 2035 Reports of dengue fever in Tiawan and Japan; winds and freezes destroyed crops in Europe and Russian Army took total control
Feb, 2036 NAF imposes censorship on bloggers and news media
Oct, 2036 Sam is informed the NAF Army says he must go to Meeker, CO to complete his doctorate; Abby's parents want them to be married and have kids; Sam agrees to first request, cannot agreed to a child. part
Nov, 2036 Sam and Abby head to Meeker via Gillette, WY in 2034 E-coupe pulling trailer with all their goods; auto was guaranteed to get 98 mpgq with H2 drive; trip across Nevada brutal with bad weather, but they make it to Salt Lake City; subsequent trip is less eventful, and they reach Meeker first week in December
Dec, 2036 Rains are falling in Sacramento and Sam tells his folks to get out
Feb, 2037 Sacramento is washed away in floods after Pineapple Express weather system drops rain continuously in the valley and mountains for three months; forty feet of snow fell in the mountains and was then melted in less than three days by warm rains from the south; over 130,00 people perished from the floods
May, 2037 Sam is ordered to keep quiet about his doubts of success in finding a way to extract shale oil without expending more energy that is returned; he returns to his experiments
July, 2037 Water is running out in the Midwest. NAF orders farmers to sell 40% of grains as foodstock, outlaws exports of grain to rest of world.
September, 2037 Drought in southern California force migrations to east and north. Gangsters rule those who stay in the LA basin.
July, 2038 New Madrid fault ruptures as it did in 1811 with a 7.9M earthquake. See Memphis 7.9 (Revised) and Broken River for details. The USA economy is broken by this event.
December, 2038 World population estimated at 4.6 billion, down from 7.5 billion in 2016. 3 billion have perished. Carrying capacity of earth estimated at 3.5 billion, meaning even more must die.
January, 2039 Sam and Abby start planning to leave Meeker and return to California. They purchase antique RV for a million dollars.
February, 2039 Director announces SynFuel Lab has failed and is closing down. He gives Sam his Doctorate diploma Sam in officially a PhD.
April, 2039 Sam and Abby head to California in their motor home. They drive amongst the long-haulers over rough roads. Decide to go along US Highway 50 to avoid population centers like Salt Lake City.
May, 2039 Deputy in Ely, NV, encourages Sam to stay around, but he and Abby move on. In Eureka they adopt a dog, Hilda. In the town they found everyone dead from the pandemic of a couple of years ago.
May, 2039 Upon reaching Austin, Sam finds the transmission hose has broken. He does repairs and they explore the town. They find many useful things and save a team of horses and donkeys.
May, 2039 As they attempt to leave town, Sam meets three bikers on their Harley's. They turn out to be his cousin Marsha from Iowa and her children, Jack and Jill. They join the troup and help move on to the west.
August, 2039 After traveling through the desolation of Reno and Truckee, Sam and his caravan arrive at Lake of the Springs. They find a bunch of losers.
February, 2040 The settlement at Lake of the Springs proves to have no backbone, and the next spring Sam's troup move on to join a gang called the Krips living near the Feather River. Tattoos are used for primary identification. [Note: I hit on this idea back in 2007 as a mark of distinction, but looking at today's world, it may have become passe'.]
January, 2045 Life is good with the Krips, but the California economy collapses when people refuse to use the US dollar as a currency. Liquid fuel is no longer available, and with no way to ship food, the economy becomes entirely local. A person caught stealing food from the Krips a second time is effectively executed. Near population centers it is total chaos. This problem has enveloped the whole world.
January, 2046 Food wars in the Middle East and Far East go nuclear. After two years, 25M had been killed by nuclear holocausts, but 5B had died from the resulting starvation and pestulance. The population of the earth drops below 1 billion by 2050.
March, 2046 Sam and his family leave the Feather River gangs and join a group called the Jakes along the Sacramento River near Redding. Their group was a tribal commune rather than a gang. They were more technologically advanced and use solar power and small steam engines. The world drifts back to an agrarian society.
August, 2049 Sam's family develops a new commune along Cottonwood Creek. Winds become more of a problem, and there are more people prowling about to find food. In the midwest the drought has changed the climate to that of a dustbowl.
February, 2050 Abby is killed in a food raid on Sam's commune on Cottonwood Creek.
March, 2050 Sam demands command of the Sacramento Jakes Tribe as Tribal War Chief. He prepares to wage a war against the scavengers from the south. He says opposing the parasites of a sustainable society is required, though others say it is ethnic cleansing and genocide. Cousins Jack and Jill are his primary leutinants.
April, 2051 Sam marches south with his army of 2,000 and cleanses the land of the parasites. By the next spring his army had pushed them to the northern banks of the Sacramento Sea and killed them all.
Fall, 2051 Relative peace returns to the northern Sacramento Valley. The population of North America stands just over 200 million, divided between savages from urban areas and farmers. Transportation reverts to horses and bicycles. Guns and computers are built from salvaged parts. The Internet still exists, with satellite communications as the backbone. Breakthrough medications disappear. Technology drops back to the 1910 level. Sea level has risen 1.5 meters since 1900.
Spring, 2054 The Sacramento River shows signs of drying up. Sam's tribe moves further north to the foot of Mount Shasta to find a more secure supply of water and to have more protection from the southern hordes.
February, 2064 All satellite communication is lost in a great solar flare and magnetic storm. All the electrical grid used by others in the NAF is destroyed, leaving those who depended on non-local power in the dark. An old wind-up shortwave radio is the only link to the outside world.
April, 2064 Claire, and young woman of the tribe, moves in with Sam and becomes pregnant.
July, 2065 Claire delivers Sam's twin sons, Jeremiah and Joseph. By 2065 childbirth is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do, and Claire dies four days later. Marsha and Jill take on the task of raising the boys. Sam is responsible for teaching the boys everything he knows and discovers they have inherited his mental traits.
April, 2076 Joseph is attacked by a savage and Jill's training in martial arts saves his life.
July, 2076 Sam teaches his tribe to celebrate Independence Day on the 300th birthday of the Declaration of Independence.
2077 Sam and Jill explore the Pacific coast to find a place to more their tribe once again. While on the trip they feel the earthquake from the rupture of the Cascadia Fault just off the coast of Oregon and Washington. They select the remains of Reedport on the Oregon coast for their new home.
The remainder of the story is left for you to find out by reading the book.