Spring 2008 Vol. VI, No. 3
From the Editors
Dear Alumni and Friends,
In February 2008, 500 children from across Beirut attended a screening
of An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film on global warming starring
environmentalist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and former US Vice President
Al Gore. The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation Project (LCECP) organized
the film screening, which was covered by The Daily Star, as part of the
Energy Efficiency School Promotion Campaign. It was encouraging to see
that Lebanese children are learning about environmental issues at an early
age. Everywhere you turn in Beirut, the region, and increasingly, the
world, green initiatives are sprouting up. We thought it was time that
MainGate take stock of what’s happening with the environment in Lebanon,
and evaluate AUB’s role as a consumer, educator, and advocate for environmental
We found that graduates from AUB’s Interfaculty Graduate Environmental
Sciences Program (IGESP) are heading straight into the not-so-green world
to make a difference. Professors from just about every faculty are examining
the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we cultivate, and the
bugs that are eating our trees. And while it’s true that we don’t yet
know the full extent of the environmental damage caused by the July 2006
war, AUB professors are able to provide an initial assessment based on
two years of research (see “It’s War on the Environment”).
So—is AUB green? Well, we recycle. We’re cutting waste. We’re constructing
environmentally sensitive buildings. We have a beautifully landscaped
campus that prioritizes native, low maintenance plants. We’ve even experimented
with an electric truck that does its best to make it up the steep slope
of middle campus. Now it is up to each of us to learn about our environment
and do our part to keep it safe and clean. Just start somewhere.
As always, thanks for your ideas and letters, and stay in touch.
Ada H. Porter and Ibrahim Khoury
A plastic bag takes 10-20 years to break down in a landfill. Get
a reuseable shopping bag.