2000–2009, the current decade (sometimes known as the 2000s or by other names) runs from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2009. The decade has been dominated by several wide-ranging topics, including international trade and a growing concern over energy supplies, the explosion in telecommunications, concerns with international terrorism and war, an escalation of the social issues of the 1990s, and the agreement among scientists that global warming is occurring. [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/302204_warming02.html]

Economic developments in the first half of the 2000s focused on the explosion of Asia and South America's economic and political potential, and its impact on the world market. India’s economy has become technologically integrated with those of the world’s more developed nations. China has experienced immense economic growth, and has obtained the status of a world power. Many fast-growing economies throughout the world, especially in Asia, have been a major factor in the rapidly increasing demand for fossil fuels, which—along with fewer new petroleum finds, greater extraction costs, and political turmoil—forced two other trends: a soar in the price of petroleum products and a subsequent push by governments and businesses to promote the development of "green" technology. A side-effect to the push by some industrial nations to "go green" and utilize biofuels has been a decrease in the supply of food, and thus an increase in the price of food, which in turn is threatening the world's poorer nations with a shortage of food. [ [http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/hunger/general/2008/0303foodcrisis.htm Global Policy Forum, Are We Approaching a Global Food Crisis? ] ] Though the outcome remains unclear, as of late 2008 these earlier economic trends were posed to be overshadowed by a possible worldwide financial crisis precipitated by an earlier crisis in the housing market in the United States.

Technological advancements have been as revolutionary and diversified as previous decades. In the field of digital electronics, advancements have been considerable. Computers continue to advance rapidly, in western countries the spread of broadband Internet approaches ubiquity, and email has become for many a necessity rather than a luxury. Mobile phones, digital cameras, digital data storage, and digital audio players [cite web | url=http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/05/steve-jobs-live-apples-the-beat-goes-on-special-event/17 | title=Steve Jobs live -- Apple's "The beat goes on" special event | author=Ryan Block | date=September 5, 2007 | work=Engadget | accessdate=2008-03-10] became widespread during the 2000s. The development of social networking websites have also given people the opportunity to easily keep in touch with others from anywhere around the globe. Use of internet commerce has also become widely popular, with travel reservations, stock trading, and retail shopping not only taking place online, but also taking place without an intermediary agent; online commerce has become the era of self-service.

Many major political developments in the 2000s have revolved around the War on Terrorism, which was triggered by the September 11 attacks in 2001 and led directly to the war in Afghanistan. The Iraq War, ostensibly part of the United States' War on Terrorism, has generated extreme controversy around the world. Questions regarding the justification for this war have led to a loss of sympathy for the United States that was generated by the original 9/11 attacks. Tensions in the Middle East have also escalated because of the 2006 Lebanon War, as well as the most recent conflict involving Russia and Georgia. Conflict has also arisen over the nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.

Social issues which became more pronounced included issues pertaining to gay rights, in particular the issue of homosexual unions. Same-sex marriage was legalized by some major developed nations, and in others, varying degrees of civil recognition were granted to gay relationships. However, such unions continued to meet resistance in many countries and in most U.S. states. Other social issues of worldwide concern during the 2000s have been gender equality and human rights. In the United States, the subprime mortgage crisis, health care and gun control have at times been prominent issues.

Global warming, while originally seen as an environmental matter that did not effect the economy by many, has evolved into a major economic and political issue. While scientists evaluate the origins and severity and climate change, politicians and economists debate the cost and efficacy of public policies to address it.

Names of the decade

"See: 2000s Name Problem"

In contrast to the decades from 1920 to 1999, which are called "the Twenties", "the Sixties", and the like, the 2000s have no universally accepted name. Some refer to the decade as the "twenty hundreds" while others may refer to it as the "two thousands". In written form, this could appear as "the '00s" or "the 2000s". But writing "the 2000s" or simply "saying" "the two-thousands" can cause confusion, since this could refer to the entire 21st century or even the entire millennium.

Determining a name for the decade has been problematic, especially in the United States. In 1999, anticipating the upcoming awkwardness, a U.S. group calling itself "Project Naughtie" ran a viral campaign in an attempt to popularize "the "Naughties" as the decade's name. [ [http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/1999/11/32769 | WIRED | Here Come 'The Naughties' ] ] The term involves a clear play on words, stemming both from the idea that "naught" means "nothing" or "zero" and the fact that "naughties" sounds both like "nineties" and "naughty". A limited number of the media have made some use of the term as well, including the BBC (although adopting a more traditional spelling based upon "nought"). [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/02/99/e-cyclopedia/585224.stm BBC News | E-CYCLOPEDIA | The noughties: So where are we now? ] ] [ [http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/01/08/news/columnists/john_hunneman/20_38_121_7_06.txt North County Times/The Californian - John Hunneman's Knee Deep in the Hoopla column ] ] Both spellings have gained some currency among the legitimate press in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia, but there still remains no consensus on what term to use. Even the decades' trend tracking VH-1 has opted to not take any sides, calling their new show on the decade, "I Love the New Millennium". [ [http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/i_love_the_new_millennium/series.jhtml | VH-1| I Love the New Millennium ] ]

Other proposed names include::*"aughts", "aughties", and "double-aughts", from "aught", [ [http://slate.msn.com/id/2111435/ Timothy Noah, "Name That Decade"] ,"Slate", 27 Dec. 2004.] which, like "naught", means "zero" (aughts was one of the more popular terms in the early 20th century):*"nils" and "nillies", from "nil", meaning "nothing":*"2Ks", from the Greek term "khilioi", meaning "thousand":*"ōzies" and "the Twenty-Os", from the practice of calling the number zero "O":*"zeroes", "double zeroes", "oh-zeroes", "ohs", "double ohs", "oh-ohs", and "twenty ohs"

The United Nations General Assembly has declared the decade of 2001–2010 the "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World". [ [http://www3.unesco.org/iycp/kits/Resolutions%20UN/uk_57_6.pdf http://www3.unesco.org/iycp/kits/Resolutions%20UN/uk_57_6.pdf] "www3.unesco.org" Retrieved on 05-25-07 ]

ee also

*2000s in books
*2000s in fashion
*2000s in film
*2000s in economics
* 2000s in music
*2000s in sports
*2000s in technology & science
*2000s in television
*2000s in video games


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