Trickle down trash

Illustration by: Ivan Debs

The destructive nature of the Lebanese never ceases to bewilder. While we claim to be the most civilized nation in the Levant, we have managed to slowly hollow out our mountains, toxify our rivers, turn our seaside into landfills, and contaminate our air with heavy metals and cancerous fumes—and we do not even care. With perennially selective vision, we turn a blind eye to the floating decapitated cows’ heads, human feces, and plastics, and just dive straight in among them.

To observe this willful blindness, all one needs to do is go and watch our fishermen on Beirut’s Corniche reeling in their dinner from the murky sewer water. These images rightly belong to far less developed nations, but now this reality is ours.

There has been a stunning degradation in our civil behavior. While Lebanese brag about how clean their homes are, they have total disregard for anything beyond their doorstep.

Why would they care? Successive governments have failed to develop policies, strategies, or indeed any plan that will preserve the only truly valuable national asset that we have—our nature. These same government officials are the first to acquire licenses to chew up our mountains, or bicker over garbage contracts to fatten their pockets while they tan in ostentatious villas built on public coastal land.

All this did not happen overnight. Ours is a decadent culture contaminated by more than 40 years of increasing ignorance and deteriorating awareness and leadership.

The garbage is up to our necks and it will drown us—unless we open our mouths, taste the scum­­, and renew our calls for an environmental policy that is quickly developed, implemented, and reinforced. One that is free of loopholes, self-interest, and corruption, and one that must make amends for years of contemptible negligence toward our natural environment.

2 Comments

  1. Guest said:

    The eventual outcome of multiculturalism. We are the future of how every European country will start looking like, from the streets of London to Paris in 50 or 100 years time.

    Not because of any racism but because of the very fact that multi religious and cultured societies integrated within the law system of a nation, or crawled into one, will result in a far easier divide and conquer of an otherwise “One voiced” people, this will be used by the corrupt institutions and governments to further their agendas and provide enough stalling to break down the mountains in favor of construction mafias, pollute the waters, keep arms and militias, power cuts and so on.

    For every one educated and “civilized” Lebanese the “opposition” hosted by the government factions will be able to muster 50 uneducated, uncivil, blind followers overwhelming the civilized man or woman and calling it the will of the people or majority.

    At this stage Lebanon is a lost cause.

  2. Nelida Nassar said:

    Many NGOs are present in Lebanon is there one concerned with the garbage and its impact on the environment, food, health of the Lebanese?If one exists already what is it accomplishing? If not time for the civil society to create a non-profit to educate the Lebanese about all the risks of using plastic and other non-degradable materials. Only education and a common will have the potential to solve this toxic problem.

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