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Disgusting

Discussion in 'World Politics' started by vyo476, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    This might just be the most disgusting thing I've read all year.

    Ancient Lebanese city chokes under rubbish dump

    by Rana Moussaoui Fri Feb 29, 1:02 PM ET

    SIDON, Lebanon (AFP) - "Sidon's mountain" bears no resemblance to the green mountains of Lebanon. It is rather an immense landfill that dumps its trash into the Mediterranean, polluting the coast of the ancient Phoenician port city.

    The dump is just a few metres (yards) away from the tourist sites of the southern city of Sidon -- its crusader sea castle, ancient vaulted souk and Phoenician temple.

    The 30-year-old "mountain of filth" has steadily grown over the years, reaching today the height of a four-storey building and a volume of about 600,000 cubic metres (21 million cubic feet).

    "It's revolting. How can one mar his own country this way?" complained Mahmoud, a local restaurant owner.

    Earlier this month, a combination of strong winds and an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 on the Richter scale that hit Lebanon sent about 150 tonnes of rubbish blowing into the the sea.

    "Tonnes of rubbish cover the coral reefs and it is driving the fish and turtles away," said Mohammed Sarji, an environmental campaigner and president of the Lebanese Professional Divers syndicate.

    "Sometimes we find them dead having suffocated on plastic bags."

    According to Sidon mayor Abdel Rahman al-Bizri, toxic waste from the dump is taking its toll on sea life.

    "Sea life within a radius of 500 metres (yards) has vanished due to the toxic substances from the rubbish," said Bizri.

    -- 'We don't catch anything except garbage bags' --

    This is a real catastrophe for this picturesque port of 250,000 inhabitants whose very name is said to mean fishing and where many depend on the sea for their livelihood, including 400 fishing families.

    "We don't catch anything anymore except for garbage bags," complained Deeb Kaeen who heads Sidon's fishing syndicate.

    "And when a bag gets stuck in the propellers of the boat, it is an added catastrophe for us, compounded with the price of fuel," he said.

    The garbage does not only include domestic rubbish, but also chemical and industrial waste, as well as animal carcasses, which emit methane gas -- a substance that causes the greenhouse effect -- releasing a nauseating odour.

    "Illnesses such as asthma, pulmonary infections and problems with the nervous system are among the consequences of the dump's stench," said Wehbe Shouhaib, director of the Hospital of the South.

    Who is to blame? Bizri, who supports the Hezbollah-led opposition, said he proposed several solutions but they were "all rejected by the government" because of the deep political crisis gripping Lebanon.

    The country has been without a president since November because of the long-running feud between the Western-backed ruling coalition and the opposition supported by Iran and Syria that has caused political paralysis.

    "We suggested moving the dump to an abandoned quarry in a nearby village where we could sort the trash to dispose of the toxic waste and recycle that which can be recycled," Bizri said.

    Billionaire Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal has offered five million dollars to carry out the project, but the village refused to take in the rubbish.

    "The ministry of the environment has not given its approval," said Bizri. "The government doesn't want us to provide the solution. It does not suit them."

    An environment ministry spokesman told AFP that it was "not concerned" by the issue, saying it fell under the jurisdiction of the municipality.

    "No village will ever agree to receive toxic waste," said green campaigner Sarji, who has proposed transforming the dump into a public garden.

    But he conceded that the project has little chance of being realised in a country like Lebanon as it grapples with its worst political crisis since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080229/lf_afp/lebanonenvironment

    I'm not even sure there are words to express how disgusting that is. 150 tonnes of garbage blown into the ocean? How many banana peels and old tires is that? Blech.
     
  2. bewitched

    bewitched New Member

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    but they can make an effort to shoot rockets into Israel instead?
    there is a great problem in the Middle East with lack of incentive to do the right thing....seems. how about putting energy into fixing problems and consequences rather than letting them pile up? wow, what a concept!

    of course, some how the West will be blamed for their garbage problem.
     
  3. Izz

    Izz New Member

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    You have got to be the only person I know who can take 'lots of garbage, wow that's gross and unhealthy' and turn it into 'look out, the muslims are going to kill us all'.

    And yes, that's gross. Gross and sad.
     
  4. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    Certainly a shameful situation on probably several levels of government there. While it is often times difficult to take a landfill and make it safe again and put into public uses such as parks as is often done in the west, that sort of reclamation is certainly possible.

    Why one would locate a landfill next to a sensative area is beyond me, but I am not on the local decision making board there. I hope the Lebanese government at the appropriate level will do the right thing in this situation.

    As for Bewitched, well I am not sure any rocket in the Hezbollah inventory can make it the 30 or so miles from Sidon to anywhere in Israel.
     
  5. TruthAboveAll

    TruthAboveAll Active Member

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    vyo476 - Perhaps it's just my computer, but your link isn't working. It is incredibly sad and unfortunately way too common in diverse places around the world. We've got our problems in the U.S., but very little in the area of this type of practice. I've seen places like this first hand.

    bewitched - It is difficult if not near-impossible for us to understand all the differences in perspective and priorities of cultures alien to us. Often, even those who have spent significant amounts of time (Ambassadors, corporate employees, military, etc.) will find themselves ignorant of or baffled by certain local traditions or behaviors.

    IZZ - Thank you for your disclaimer in your signature. It is very helpful.

    Bunz - In general, good thoughts. However, what I said to bewitched applies. I don't think we can comprehend the socio-political structure of Lebanon, much less it's culture. If you can find one "expert" who can give clarification, you'll find another who will give opposing clarification. But you're right. A lot can be done to fix these problems, if the right people and right resources are brought to bear.

    Actually, Hezbollah rockets have caused many deaths in Israel. In the conflict in 2006 rocket strikes on Israel from the group inside Lebanon were quite common and tragic. Recently they have increased their rocket range, with Iranian help. Now they can strike almost anywhere within Israel's borders with their 185-mile range. Per a March 2, 2008 AP report here.
     
  6. bewitched

    bewitched New Member

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    I think all Americans are not alien to a culture that flew planes into the WTC on 911. it's not local, it's worldwide Islamic tradition and very clear.
     
  7. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Well, there's no Charley Brown in you, is there. However...

    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of a small mind."
    --Albert Einstein
     
  8. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    That garbage is nasty! Why don't the Lebanese haul it out and throw it over the wall into Israel? Dumping it in Israel would give them a place to put it, provide jobs hauling and throwing it--and rethrowing it as it was thrown back by the Israelis--and it would annoy the Israelis probably as much as the occasional rocket did. Besides that, throwing the garbage over the wall would be a nice philosophical statement about Lebanese attitudes towards Israel and their wall (I suspect that the Mexicans will be doing this to George's wall before long).:)
     
  9. bewitched

    bewitched New Member

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    oh, the poor innocent Lebanese in Gaza, they are so abused and tortured.
    here's a video of some fishermen in Gaza killing and eating an endangered species for it's aphrodiasiac qualities
    http://www.reuters.com/news/video?v...=VideoRSS&feedName=Environment&rpc=23&sp=true

    the real problem in Gaza is that Egypt doesn't want to deal with the scum and the Lebanese won't get off their asses and grow a brain to deal with their infrastructure. but let's blame Israel for everything.
     
  10. Meistro

    Meistro New Member

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    This is of course the tragedy of the commons at work - another failure of the state. Who owns the ocean? No one, so it is not protected. The answer is of course private ownership of the ocean - and allow the owner to sue any polluters. Still as it annoys the environmentalists - a sect more dangerous than the communists, fascists and even the religious right - I salute the people of Lebanon in this bold slap in the face of the green movement.
     

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