Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Have you ever fanned yourself in summer and asked why it’s so bloody hot? During those sweltering moments, do you think about those awesome skiing trips you used to have in Faraya, and wondered why our skiing season is shorter and shorter? What happened?

Climate change.

 Climate change is the permanent change in weather patterns over significant periods of time. Our extensive use of fossil fuels used to run our cars, trucks, and factories all create an extra-thick greenhouse gas layer around the Earth, making our climate hotter. As such, our ice-caps are melting, and our sea levels are rising. We get less snow, hotter summers, and changes in our eco-system, animal behavior, and vegetation.

 Think about our snow-capped mountains. Last year’s skiing season barely lasted six weeks; half of it’s usual duration. It looks like it could get worse, too. The threat from climate change expected to cut snow cover by 40 percent by 2040. Here’s why: Lebanon expects maximum temperatures to rise 1 degree Celsius on the coast and 2 degrees Celsius inland by 2040, according to government calculations. For those who think that this is a simple elevation that won’t affect us much, think again. Owing largely (but not exclusively) to climate change, Lebanon is expected to fall into a water deficit by 2015. That’s less than four short years. What do you think will happen to us by 2040?

Tick tock, tick tock.

Courtesy of climate change, ground water levels have fallen, springs and wetland areas have dried up. Indeed, many of our rivers  no longer flow. This is because of our emissions of fossil fuels and land degradation (deforestation, landfills, pollution, etc.).Take a look at one of our once plentiful water springs in the Bekaa:

Our water resources are drying up, Lebanon.

Indeed, our majestic cedars could be in danger due to climate change. Believe it or not, Lebanon’s cedars are now on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Red List” as a “heavily threatened” species. Snow is a must for the tall evergreen cedars, which have a natural range from 1,200 to 1,800 meters above sea level. If there is no combination of rain, snow and frost for several consecutive days, the seeds of the cedar won’t be disseminated.  In the summer, they need mist. Changing these conditions for extended periods of time could lead to the extinction of our most beloved tree and national symbol, the cedar.

So what are we to do? We need to reverse this trend. It is not an easy task, but we can do it. Firstly, we need reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use. We  can do this by investing in renewable energy to generate electricity. It’s cheaper, cleaner, and definitely more reliable…our electricity cuts off 16 hours a day! When it comes to transportation, we can reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use by car-pooling, using public transportation, and walking when we can. When it comes to electronic devices, we can limit the amount of fossil fuels dedicated to them simply unplugging electronic devices when they are not needed. When we no longer need these devices, we can give them to Beeatoona for recycling!
 
 Lastly, we need to reforest our nation to help reverse climate change. Reforestation helps clear the air of the greenhouse gases we have produced and also has a cooling effect, leaving us with a cooler, cleaner, and far more beautiful environment.     
 
My fellow Lebanese, this is our country, home, and nation. It is up to us to take care of it. Do you want to see the country that you love and hold dear go to ruin? I hope and pray to God not. We can do it, Lebanon!!!!
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