The massive flow of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East towards Europe will not subside any time soon, and several factors will see the tide rise and the conditions and consequences worsen. From the NY Times: "Approximately 48,000 migrants arrived in Greece over five days last week, the highest rate this year..." These aggravating factors include:
- Plainly, there is no end in sight to the wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan. Somalia and Libya are in chaos. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other "stronger" regional powers are at least being threatened by internal insurgencies while being weakened by economic trends including damage done to the tourism economy in the former and depressed price of oil in the latter.
- Climate change is making whole swaths of the Middle East/North Africa uninhabitable. Yemen is running out of water. The countries of the Persian Gulf will be too hot for human life. Agriculture will suffer.
- Far-right political parties continue to emerge across Europe, impeding the acceptance of refugees. Where will these people go?
- And if they are denied entry, shelter, food, and protection, what will these hundreds of thousands of refugees do as Winter approaches? "If the numbers increase drastically or, worse, if there are more border closings, there would be an almost immediate backup that would quickly repopulate border camps within a week — some of them open-air, others consisting mostly of unheated tents."
- Finally, there is the disturbing prediction that what we are currently witnessing is only the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps there is no solution to stemming the flow of refugees, and in fact their numbers will only increase. Africa--not known for hosting competent governments or reliably expanding economies in general--is looking at having its population quadruple by 2100. If these people aren't adequately absorbed into their home states, you can be sure they will be looking to migrate North.