Pull out your calendar, grab a pen, and take notes on this (very) incomplete list of world events you should watch out for this year.
New regulations: A series of new state laws that were previously passed come into effect this year. Most notable? 26 states and Washington, DC, will increase their minimum wage (and CA and parts of NY will specifically increase it to at least $ 15 / hour). Additionally, a major new California law that requires more living space for breeding pigs and other farm animals came into effect yesterday. Critics argue this will cause bacon prices to rise – other researchers, however, have concluded that any price increase will be modest.
Space: 2021 has been monumental for the space industry, from the launch of the James Webb Telescope to Jeff Bezos splashing an emotional William Shatner with champagne. But 2022 could overtake it.
- NASA is launching two extremely powerful rockets as part of its goal of returning astronauts to the Moon in 2025.
- SpaceX could launch its Starship rocket into orbit. This is the spacecraft that will transport NASA astronauts from their capsule to the lunar surface.
- Blue Origin, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic will step up their space tourism efforts by selling more space rides to wealthy people. Virgin hopes to begin commercial service this year.
- This cool looking space plane, Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser, could send cargo to the International Space Station.
Sports: Besides the usual activities of the national leagues, 2022 will give us two major international sporting events.
- Beijing will become the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Olympics when the Winter Games begin there in February. The United States and some of its allies are not sending diplomats to compete to protest the Chinese government’s human rights violations.
- The World Cup will take place in the unusual month of November as it would be far too hot to play football in host country Qatar during the summer. Many critics have objected to accommodation in Qatar; The Gulf state has been accused of mistreating the migrant workers who built the football stadiums and bribing FIFA officials to secure the hosting rights in the first place.
Diffusion: Netflix will look to accelerate the slow growth of last year with new seasons of its biggest hits, including Strange things, Bridgerton, and The crown. HBO will attempt to redeem the Unredeemable – Season 8 of Game of thrones-with a prequel, Dragon house. Amazon Prime Video will release its much anticipated and very expensive the Lord of the Rings series, while Disney + will provide us with more Marvel and Star Wars content that we’ve been so hungry for.
Music: One of the highlights of the year in music will certainly be ABBA Trip concert in May, where Swedish pop legends will perform in a specially constructed London arena using digital avatars. Good luck finding tickets for this “immersive digital concert experience”.
- Still in music, we’ll likely see the return of festivals like Burning Man and Coachella, which were canceled for the past two years.
- Some notable album releases: Lizzo, Mitksi, The Weeknd, Avril Lavigne (!), And maybe Kendrick Lamar.
Global Politics: South Korea, France, Hungary, the Philippines and Brazil are among the countries holding crucial elections this year. The American midterms will take place in November.