Tag Archive: drought


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. 

Advertisements

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I’m sure you’ve noticed that we have received very little rainfall this winter. While  droughts naturally occur from time to time, ours is exceptional. Here’s the interesting part–there is no discussion as to why it is occurring.

Deforestation is heavily related to drought. This may sound strange, but trees are largely responsible for water regulation. Plants and trees release water into the air, a process called evapotranspiration. Without plants and trees, there is little evapotranspiration–less water is being released into the air, which means less evaporated water is being turned into rain. Lebanon, once over 30% forest, is now below 13%. Our rainfall has changed accordingly.

My fellow Lebanese, our country is experiencing crisis at all levels. Politically, economically, socially, environmentally–you name it, we’ve got it. However, we cannot continue to develop haphazardly. We need to find a way, Lebanon.

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you have been following the news regularly, then I’m sure that you are well aware that the international tribunal pertaining to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik el-Hariri is underway. I am sure you are aware of the car bomb explosion in Hermel which killed 5 people. I’m sure you are aware that our economic growth is at 1% when it should actually be at 6% or higher. I’m sure you know all of this. We are flooded with such news every day.

However…has anyone noticed that we are experiencing a drought? Moreover, has anyone noticed that this drought was predicted years ago? 

Usually, Lebanon is one of the few countries that experiences regular rainfall during winter. This year, it has only drizzled a handful of times. This means that our crops are not going to produce a fruitful harvest. While we used to be able to provide enough food for our own people, we might not be able to do so this year. Typically, water-harvesting or rain-harvesting safeguards against these occurrences, but we have not been doing so. We will experience food shortages (much less be able to export our products) sooner than we ever expected. 

My fellow Lebanese, our poor choices of policy have led us here, with no safeguard against drought. Our improper farming methods having lead to more unwanted consequences: soil erosion, depletion of underground water resources, and water pollution. We do not utilize appropriate irrigation techniques, we over-use pesticide and fertilizer to a degree where our land becomes infertile, and more.  Our once abundant land is now in danger, and we are not even paying attention to it. 

Fortunately, there are ways which we can fight this. We need to improve water management, carefully monitor our use of fertilizers and pesticides, and ensure that our agricultural land is being used appropriately. Lebanon, just because this emergency is quiet does not mean that it is any less urgent. We are in danger, my fellow Lebanese.