Last Updated: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:47 pm (KSA) 09:47 am (GMT)

Lebanese don snorkels to protest global warming

Lebanese youths carry a banner bearing the logo "350", to call for carbon emissions cuts to 350 parts per million (ppm)
Lebanese youths carry a banner bearing the logo "350", to call for carbon emissions cuts to 350 parts per million (ppm)

Hundreds of Lebanese, many wearing snorkels, held demonstrations Saturday in key archaeological sites nationwide to mark an international day of protests about global warming.

Protesters gathered at Roman ruins in central Beirut, in the ancient eastern city of Baalbek and along the coast, carrying placards bearing the logo 350 to call for carbon emissions cuts to 350 parts per million (ppm).

Organizers expect up to 800 people to take part in the day-long protests which are due to culminate with a "green carpet" screening of "The Age of Stupid," a drama-documentary-animation film on climate change.

 It's not the first time Beirut will have gone under water, but this time it's going down because of climate change, and not earthquakes 
Wael Hmaidan

A high-profile list of guests will attend the screening, with many expected to arrive on foot, skateboard or by bicycles, organizers said.

"One of the many actions happening in Lebanon is that people wearing goggles and snorkels are gathering to warn that Beirut will again be under water," said Wael Hmaidan, of the IndyACT group organizing the protests.

"It's not the first time Beirut will have gone under water, but this time it's going down because of climate change, and not earthquakes," Hmaidan told AFP.

The Mediterranean city of Beirut has been hit by earthquakes throughout its history. A major quake and a tsunami in 551 AD is said to have flattened the city and killed 30,000 people.

"This is the biggest environmental day of action in history of our planet, and it's definitely a historic day," said Hmaidan.

Saturday marks 50 days until world leaders meet in Copenhagen to thrash out a new climate change treaty.

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