Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. For those of you who don’t know, tomorrow the United States will be hosting the G8 Summit at Camp David. Yes, it’s between May 18th-19th, 2012. It is going to be a two day affair between the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, and Russia. Naturally, they’re going to discuss their own political and economic interests. But there’s more.

The G8 countries are going to be discussing energy and water shortages as a single issue that warrants emergency action. Part of the reason for this is that scientists from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India,  Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa have been pushing for a better political  response to the provision of water and energy.  It’s about time, too. In 30 short years the Earth’s resources will have to support an estimated 9 billion people.

Fossil fuel, nuclear power, and hydropower are still the primary source of our energy. How this relates to water is that all of these methods rely heavily on the supply of water for cooling,  running steam turbines, or in the case of hydropower, direct power generation. By that same token, enormous amounts of  energy are used in pumping, purifying and desalinating water. Rarely is the use of either energy or water efficient.

The question now is…how does this affect Lebanon?

My fellow Lebanese, we are due for a water shortage in 2015. That’s a mere three years. And what are we doing about it?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Our electricity generation plans include placing two ships in the sea that will wreak havoc upon our marine environment. What are we doing about it?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

When discussing environmental matters with others, I often get different versions of the same response. It goes something like this: “Why are you worried about the environment? Everyone is worried about the violent spillover from Syria into Lebanon. We want to survive!”

I can’t help but think that we have similar priorities. We. Want. To. Survive. If our environment continues to deteriorate, we won’t be able to.

My fellow Lebanese, we need to push for more efficient energy and water policies. At the level of the citizen, we also need to conserve water and be wise about its use. The entire nation worries about its survival. This is a silent threat to it. We have three years until we are faced with a water shortage that we are unprepared to deal with.

Tick tock. Tick tock.

In sum, let’s try our best, Lebanon. Let’s try our best to improve our energy and water consumption, for our own sake and that of the country. We can do it, Lebanon!!!

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