The decade witnessed unprecedented mass terrorist attacks around the world, made worse by US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. There were 18 incidents killing more than 100, vs 6 in the 2000s, including 9/11.** Since 2000, the number and severity of hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding have also increased as oceans warm. Both the increased terrorism and natural disasters are directly the result of unchecked imperialism.
Marijuana finally passed the legal threshold in the West, with 33 US states legalizing at least medical use. Holland decriminalized the sale of marijuana in 1976, but it remains illegal (i.e., not a corporate/ government boondoggle). Uruguay led the way for full legalization in 2014, joined by Canada in 2016, where corporations benefited from restrictions on personal cultivation. Mexico plans to follow suit. The US Congress is about to pass the MORE Act to decriminalize cannabis, expunging prior convictions and establishing a 5% federal tax to create an Opportunity Trust Fund to undo the damage caused by the War on Drugs, provide loans and assistance to small businesses in the pot industry. The issue of finances remains a thorn, as overtaxing will mean legal producers cannot compete with illegal producers, and governments will lose out, leaving the black market in tact.
Paralleling the public acceptance of cannabis are attempts to implement a basic income, both responding to the rise of the precariat, the new employment norm for unskilled and increasingly skilled jobs, already showing its value elsewhere, especially in the 3rd world.
Global warming and pollution from fossil fuels, both from burning and from transforming into plastics, in a disposal culture, finally produced a global movement of resistance that culminated in the largest world protest ever.
The media villains of the decade were Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China, coincidentally all strongly opposed to the US imperial agenda. Russophobia in the US and Britain became a (nasty) joke, with sanctions and trade wars defining US foreign policy under both Obama and Trump, despite Trump's promise and attempts to make peace with Russia and end 'regime-change wars', as Democrat hopeful Tulsi Gabbard argued, dragging the term into the mainstream media over fierce opposition. All three victims merely grew in stature, especially Russia.
*Slacktivism: supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment.
**Just taking those terrorist attacks where more than 100 were killed:
2010 Lakki Marwat Pakistan suicide bombing (105),
2013 Zamboanga City siege Philippines (220)
2014 Camp Speicher massacre Iraq (1,566), Peshawar school massacre Pakistan (148)
2015 Baga massacre Nigeria (150+), Sana'a mosque bombings Yemen (142), Garissa University College attack Kenya (152), Ramadan attacks in France, Kuwait, Syria, Somalia (403), Ankara bombings Turkey (109), Metrojet crash Russia (224), Paris attacks (131)
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).