In an open letter 20 retired French generals warn of possible civil war because of the building tensions between Muslim and non-Muslim French communities. Reporting this the BBC devoted roughly half of their article to whether Marine Le Pen – possible next president – would gain political advantage from her endorsement of the contents of the letter, but did not address whether the generals are correct in their assessment of the sociopolitical conditions in France today, and the possible consequences.
Interestingly, the generals are not the first to predict Europe could descend into major civil unrest as a result of racial and ideological tensions. A situation assessment based on 3 degree warming by 2050 (certain if too little action is taken) scenario predicts that in Europe,
“The environmental pressures will accentuate the migration of peoples to levels that effectively change the ethnic signatures of major states and regions. In Europe the influx of irregular migrants from Northern Africa and other parts of the continent will accelerate and become impossible to stop, except by means approximating blockade. There will be political tipping points marked by the collapse of liberal concepts of openness, in the face of public demands for action to stem the tide. As the pressure increases, efforts to integrate Muslim communities into the European mainstream will collapse and extreme division will become the norm.
The beginning of these trends are present now. But severe climate change will cause them to become far worse. One of the casualties of this process may be any prospect for the cultural, much less the political, integration of Turkey into the European Union. Even if Turkey were to be admitted, the increasing reaction of Europeans against Islam may alienate the Turkish people, thereby destroying the hoped-for role of Turkey as a bulwark against radical Islam. At severe levels of climate change, civil disorder may lead to the suspension of normal legal procedures and rights. The precedents for dealing with large, unwanted minorities have already been set in Eurasia under fascism and communism. Under conditions marked by high levels of civil confusion and fear, political leaders and movements will emerge who might not resist these solutions.”
The Third Degree: Evidence and implications for Australia of existential climate-related security risk. July 2019 David Spratt and Ian Dunlop.
Not quite the same as the generals predicted, and I would tend to lean towards the extreme right coming to power and major civil unrest rather than ‘civil war’ simply because established governments have control over the military, intelligence gathering, and law enforcement. Still, it’s not something I’d wish on the younger generation whatever their skin colour or religion, and all the more reason to do all we can to prevent such a situation arising.