Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. It’s been quite some time since I’ve last posted. In discussing the environment, it is easy to pick up where I left off, though. Environmental degradation and desertification are occurring rapidly, with no control in sight.

In wanting to discuss the environment with my fellow Lebanese, I am often told not to worry about it, but rather to focus on the Salafist expansion in Lebanon, the 625,000 (if not more) Syrian refugees who are here, the implications for Lebanon if the EU blacklists Hizbullah, and more. I’m told to direct my attention to the increasing number of explosions that have occurred here. To the possibility of a Sunni-Shi’ite war not only here, but across the region. While all of these are of concern, I cannot help but think that noticing that our country is becoming unlivable has its merits.

 “Lebanon the Green” is now covered in concrete, with no consideration for our once-green spaces. Beautiful pine trees have been uprooted to be replaced with empty concrete apartment buildings. We throw our trash in public streets. We dispose of our waste by expelling it into the sea.

What I would like to write about today though, is our use of pesticides and herbicides. We are using them to a degree that has led us to Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder–a condition where the bee population decreases rapidly. This disorder is largely due to chemicals used in agriculture and radiation from technology. We have these in over-abundance in Lebanon, and with no regulation at all.

This might not sound like a big deal, but this has massive implications for our agricultural sector and our food supply. If bees do not pollinate, we will not have healthy crops–neither for consumption nor for export. 

Is anyone paying attention to this, Lebanon? Yes, we are worrying about political events that are louder. We are worrying that the petro-dollars that funded our facilitated summer tourism are no longer here. Yet, our food supply is being taken out from under us. Agriculture, our second-largest sector of the economy (the first being tourism, which has sharply decreased), is also being taken out from under us. Is anyone paying attention to this?

Just a thought.