*The term “politics” in the title is not used in its universal or global sense, it only designates what is described as politics taking place in the Lebanese political scene.

Energy security is a fundamental element of the national security of any nation. Wars were fought and are currently being fought by many countries to secure energy sources and ensure their abundance in a sustainable manner at least for the foreseen future. The corner stone of any viable (before being competitive) economy is having a clear and rigid policy concerning energy security; because it affects everything from the industrial sector of the country, to tourism, to the transportation sector and trade, to satisfying energetic needs for households etc. Briefly it is the oxygenated blood that puts a country in motion and keeps it alive.

But what the Lebanese are doing in this regard? The answer is nothing. They are keeping themselves under the mercy of the volatile price of the oil barrel and never think of anything else to overcome this problem. The national electricity company is losing more than one billion dollars per year although the price of one kwh is the highest in the world and the service provided to the customers is the worse. This industry makes profits in all other countries but it loses billions here. Nothing is done and energy is a crucial issue that must be a priority; they insist on having fossil fuel energy plants and no one ever thinks of other alternatives that are suitable for our situation even though they exist. Other solutions are out of question because politicians benefit from the profits that oil importers make, corruption once again rules and we all pay the price. I also put a huge responsibility on professional bodies and specialists in the sector who just sit without doing anything as if they are not concerned by the subject.

I can’t pretend to be an expert in the field but I have studied a couple of courses related to energy systems and I know that there are many alternatives that can bring a solution to this problem. And renewable energy is one of them, the state of the art of the technology is effective and promising and is making success stories world wide, Germany has plans of gradually getting rid of its nuclear power plants in favor of renewable energy sources including Wind turbines and solar plants, UK has a promising plan for relying on wind energy, Denmark is too and it’s a leader in the industry, and Norway, Canada and the United states. Brazil has its own way for renewable and sustainable energy, they are planting thousands of hectares of sugar canes that are transformed into ethanol a bio fuel that is cheaper and pollutes less than other fossil fuels, and India has similar plans too.

The whole world is thinking and working to become self dependant and to find solutions to its problems while here all what they think about is how to take an extra chair in the council of ministers or how to prevent others from taking that extra chair.
There are many solutions that can be taken into consideration and can be realized to ensure that we will not be under the mercy of fossil fuel prices, those solutions include off shore wind farms, solar plants (we have around 300 days of sun per year), hydroelectric power plants can be expanded too, and the existing plants running on fossil fuel can be improved to raise their efficiency from around 40% to 80% using combined cycles where the steam coming out of the turbine and holding 60% of the energy of the fossil fuel is reheated by solar energy and used to drive the turbine once again instead of going to total waist. Feasibility studies should be done and solutions should be investigated but for sure it won’t happen in Lebanon, maybe we don’t need to have a competitive industry that can bring quality at a competitive price which will be a major boost to the Lebanese economy. Or maybe we don’t need to decrease the cost of the energy bill per capita in order to increase the buying power of the Lebanese individual which will mean a boost to the economy wheel as a whole, and will mean a significant improvement of the life of all Lebanese especially poor people who pay same as rich people concerning this matter. All those things that I’ve mentioned previously are not important, what is important here is greed, political power and authority and the stupid Lebanese people blindly follows although they are agonizing to make a living in their own country.

I chose to talk about energy security to illustrate with facts but there are many other issues that are urgent and must be tackled immediately however politicians here are nothing but children fighting over biscuits and candy bars, they are not policy makers and that’s why I made a difference between politics and Lebanese politics, because true politics create points of strength and combine them to make a nation stand on its feet and walk, while politics here is far away from that despite the fact that we so much need it after coming out of 15 years of civil war and multiple invasions from the outside. I wonder when the Lebanese people and their politicians will start thinking beyond Lebanese politics and perceive politics as management to find solutions and advance instead of authority, power and the ecstasy of being in power.


poshlemon said…

I think the Lebanese politicians are not fit to be considered policy makers because they are actually busy trying to find a common ground. I believe that if the confessional system of Lebanon remains as such and the constitution is not ammended, there will be no room to actually focus on policy making.

On the other hand, I have firm faith in the ability of Lebanese politicians to show a readiness to be policy makers. However, these politicians should be fresh and new, from us, the people. We should make the change too. Like I said once, we really need a strong and loud activist group that encompasses all the Lebanese, especially the youth.
Rany said…

I agreed with you on a lot of things and for many times but here I disagree with you except for the need to change the confessional system to have a room for actually focusing on policy making.

My opinion is that Lebanese politicians are not fit to be considered policy makers just because they are Lebanese and not anything else, they are Lebanese which automatically means that they have corrupt brains.

Ya reit they are trying to find a common ground. Nobody actually gives a damn about finding a common ground, everyone has his own ideolgy and vision and wants to adapt Lebanon and the rest of the lebanese to his own thoughts and visions, gheir heik ma bye2balo.

The only thing they are doing is the minimum to avoid the spark of the civil war because all of them are war lords and they've experienced how ugly war is.

I have no faith at all in the ability of Lebanese or their politicians to show a readiness to be policy makers whatsoever.

You talk about fresh and new politicians from the people and the youth, but the problem is that the people and the youth are even worse than the politicians, remember the events of the famous Tuesday and Thursday of last January, who was rioting and performing sectarian racism and political fanaticism other than the youth and the people. The Lebanese politicians are a mirror of the Lebanese people they came out from it they didn't come from Mars and replacing them will bring others who are just like them. And the Lebanese youth are just like the lebanese proverb says: 3a2leton jawztein bkherej. :)

So I'm afraid that if you're going to make a strong and loud activist group that encompasses all the Lebanese you will find yourself alone in it!! well I'll be there supporting you for sure but the number of people in our group won't be even comparable to the number of supporters of the stupidest MP in the parliament, you know the MP who doesn't do or say anything and no one knows that he even exists.
poshlemon said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
poshlemon said…

most probably you are right. It looks like an almost dead end. But I think there is a big base of youth who are ready for a change; they just need the guidance and they need to learn that choices in Lebanon are not just restricted to two sides. Many of our youth lack the political education and sometimes any education at all. There are no campaigns that aim at resolving such a problem. This is one problem in many that needs to be tackled very soon.

However, I know many young activists(our age group), who are very involved in the Lebanese politics and who have an outlook similar to yours and mine. I think change will come, but slowly. I am not utopic at all.

I don't know. It's very confusing, as always.

Popular Posts