Turn your lights off. Unplug your appliances. The Earth needs you now.

Be prepared to be bombarded with ridiculous photos of Mother Earth weeping/herniating on several social media platforms because ‘Earth Day’ is upon us once again. Earth Day, an annual event coordinated by the Earth Day Network, is a day where activists demonstrate their support for environmental protection while slacktivists change their profile pictures.

(Image via Tumblr)

If you’re in Lebanon, picture this: all those days you were sitting in the dark, eagerly waiting for the clock to strike noon so you can plug your phone in, charge your laptop, watch some television, and turn the water heater on - you were participating in Earth Day!

With an average of three hours of power cuts in Beirut and up to twelve hours across different areas on a daily basis, we say to Mother Earth: "you’re welcome.”

You’re welcome because every day is Earth Day in Lebanon. We’ve even had “Earth Weeks,” and for a brief period in 1996, we had an entire “Earth Month." Of course what we save in carbon emissions via power cuts, we definitely make up for in trash crises and toxic waste.

Back in 2012, former President Michel Sleiman participated in Earth Hour 2012 by switching off the lights at the Baabda Presidential Palace, and urged the Lebanese citizens to follow suit. I am not sure if this was part of some elaborate joke or not, but I find it hilarious. Now that he’s out of a job, he should consider a career in comedy.

Earth Hour is beginning to feel a lot like taxing the poor. Are we going to impose “Hunger-Awareness Hour” in Eritrea next, where we tell them to cut back on meals for a few days to shed light on the food shortage problem in Africa?

Here are some alternatives we can try implementing in Lebanon: “Don’t Be An Asshole Day,” “Try Being On Time Hour,” or maybe “Try Not To Drive Like a Dick Hour” – a wonderful hour where we all take personal responsibility for the huge penis-shaped footprint we are leaving on this country and on our collective psyches.


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