Sky bar on a budget

I’m always fascinated by construction workers, up in these skyscrapers, miles above the rest of us.

taking a breather Beirut street photography

taking a breather

Their nonchalance is striking. We pay to climb monuments for a lesser view. When I see the shacks they live in at the foot of these megalomanic projects, I’m glad they get to have lunch up there.

Green without the spin

Electricité du Liban sign building rationing

Electricité du Liban sign rationed

As penance for my ungreen survival methods, I spent a day at the Renewable Energy Trade Fair and Beirut Energy Forum at the Metropolitan Hotel on 30 September 2010.

So much ink has been spilled over green energy across the western world that terms like low-carbon technology, fuel substitution and energy efficiency are wielded like weapons to divide and conquer multinational companies and reluctant governments alike. In Europe, green has grown from an eco-geek passion to a powerful monster able to stir into action the region’s biggest legislative bodies and set a new orientation for the economy.

But in Lebanon, green is barely on the radar. That means it hasn’t even reached the fad level yet. No, it isn’t even a bit cool to separate your trash into three bins, put them in your 4×4, spend an hour in traffic to cover a couple of hundred meters, and drop them off at a recycling point. Recycling trash is for the impoverished here, and  Read the rest of this entry »