Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Between June 20-22 of 2012 will be a follow-up on the 1992 Earth Summit. The objective of the Earth summit was to engage governments in the conservation of natural resources (water, coal, oil) as part of measures of national well-being, and not only economic measures such as GDP, FDI, and the like. It called for governments to participate eco-friendly policies. This year’s summit will call on 3,000 scientists, environmentalists, economists, corporate executives, and policy-makers.

My fellow Lebanese, never before has our Earth been in such a state of emergency. There are more human beings than ever before, and this number is predicted to increase. There are 6.3 billion people in world, 3.5 of which are living in urban spaces. By 2050, the urban  number itself will be an estimated 6 billion. That’s almost double the urban population in a mere 35 years. This translates into enormous challenges pertaining to water  stress, pollution, energy sources, and animal species. This is largely due to poor urban planning and ever-increasing demands for food.

The question we’ve all been waiting for is…what does this mean for us?

My fellow Lebanese, we are due to face a water shortage by 2015. When I discuss this with other Lebanese, they are quick to point out that we had a wet winter this year. But tell me, did we conserve any of it? We do not manage our resources well. Now, in the face of energy crisis, we are resorting to environmentally unfriendly ways of generating electricity. It is obvious that these policies are short-sighted and are the result of political bickering rather than genuine considerations as to what is good for our nation.

My fellow Lebanese, what the Rio Summit means for us is that we have to reconsider the policies by which we govern our resources, and change our personal habits as well. The demand on resources is enormous, and it’s more than our Earth can handle. As such, I ask that we think globally but act locally. Let us work on methods of water conservation and management. Let us invest in sources of renewable energy. Let us recycle our garbage, and engage in reforestation projects and initiatives. All of these can be done on private levels. Evening turning off the tap when brushing your teeth could make a difference.

When we talk about our country, we discuss politics, shrug our shoulders, say “this is Lebanon” and behave as though we’re passive victims in the state of our country. Well, we are not. We are active participants in its deterioration when we don’t take care of it. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are engaged in a quiet resource war for our survival. Let us do what we can to win it, live well, and rehabilitate our country. We can do it, Lebanon!!!

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