Tag Archive: climate change


Storm Zina: Its Implications

Hello all. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. As I’m sure you all know, we have been enjoying a considerable amount of rain and snow coming from Storm Zina. Given that a picture says a thousand words, let’s take a look below:

What I find interesting is not only the unusual amount of rainfall that we are getting, but how markedly different it is than last year, when we had a severe drought and needed to appeal to international agencies for water.

Have we forgotten about that so quickly?

While weather fluctuations are normal, ones that are this dramatic are symptomatic of responses to climate change. In sum: we will most likely experience drought again, and we need to be prepared for it. It’s bad enough that there are water distribution problems in parts of Beirut and Mt. Lebanon. But if we harvest the rain, some of our water needs will be addressed. Let us not allow this opportunity to pass us by!

While I have addressed rain-harvesting before, I am going to do so again. Simply put, one places a large container on the roof of their building, which catches the water. The water is then funneled through a filtration system, making it potable. Below is a diagram:

The water can then be used for household purposes.Naturally, this is a template, and a catchment system is designed to suit your needs.

I hear the sighs of many people, saying that it is too expensive to build, that their neighbors in the building will never agree to having it, etc. I will not argue, as I am not familiar with either your budgets or your neighbors.

There are some who are so happy to have this water that they are placing plastic barrels either outside or on their roofs, bringing the containers inside when they are full, and boiling the water in the kitchen to cleanse it. This way they can shower, which they cannot do usually. Quite a thought, Lebanon.

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I’m sure you’ve all noticed the severe drought that we’ve experienced this winter. Lebanon, normally a country that experiences regular rainfall, has experienced little to none this year. Indeed, we have not experienced a drought such as this one in 140 years. Last year, Beirut’s rainfall was an average 455 millimeters, and this year it is a mere 235 millimeters. Apparently there is a jet stream 11,000-12,000 meters above our little  country that is preventing cold storms from reaching us. 

Droughts are a natural occurrence, and we have had them before. We had droughts in the 1880s, in the early 1940s, in 1986, and in the mid-1990s. However, the amount of pollution and climate change that we are experiencing makes drought situations such as these difficult to fix. When we burn trash, tires, aerosols, and more, the rain-clouds shift, thereby reducing our ability to enjoy rain. At this point, our air is heavily polluted, and we do not dispose of our trash appropriately. While many do not think to associate burning trash with drought, there is a direct relationship between the two, and the result is obvious.

We need to improve our air quality, reduce emissions by way of production and excess car exhaust, and find better ways to improve our solid waste disposal. Otherwise, we will not recover from our critical situation. 

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!!!!