Bjorn Lomborg's article If you think efficiency reduces our energy use, think again (January 4) has been floating around the web since last month. He's a bright guy, but his assertion that "Efficiency doesn't reduce consumption; it increases it" is a greatly oversimplified generalisation.
The "energy rebound effect" does not hold universally true, not even in a majority of instances. If your clothes dryer suddenly became 10 times more energy efficient, you probably would not wash 11 times as many clothes per day.
Rebound sometimes appears when price elasticity of demand is extremely strong, eg, when lower costs associated with efficiency lead to faster economic growth. Rebound assumes that the inefficiency alone was holding back demand for some service.
I don't know about the UAE, but here in the United States we could use some economic growth about now. Energy efficiency is a good way to achieve it.
Denis Dubios, United States
Late warning averted disorder
Regarding Lawyer warns liquor licensing laws 'apply to all' (December 27), the lawyer's warning seemed like a last minute attempt carried out in order to try and cut back on public intoxication and rowdiness prior to New Year's Eve.
This was the first time that Dubai actually closed off portions of the city, surrounding Burj Khalifa, so that spectators could crowd around and enjoy the fireworks. I'm sure the authorities were just trying to avoid a Times Square-esque drunk-fest. Not only is this interpretation of the law inconsistent with convention, but it would also present enormous impracticalities for travelers and tourists.
Does the government really expect tourists to register for a liquor licence prior to or on arrival in the country?
Z DJ, Dubai
More dancing, less violence
As a long time ballet enthusiast, I have been excitedly awaiting the release of the film, Black Swan. Now I am given to understand that the film won't be showing in Abu Dhabi.
Can someone please explain to me how a mild psychological thriller that is set in the world of classical dance is not in the theatres while the most violent films, filled with death and carnage, are?
JW, Abu Dhabi
Bravery in marriage
I read Is the institution of marriage large enough for multiple wives? (January 6) with interest. A good article Rym, well-written! Your relative sure is a wise woman, may Allah bless her for her big heart.
F Baasleim, Dubai
A fare deal for drivers?
With reference to the article Tawasul 'within its rights' to sack taxi drivers (January 6), I am tempted to offer a summary of the situation.
It would appear that Tawasul initially set the drivers' target and the drivers duly met the target they were obligated to achieve.
If a company has trouble keeping enough vehicles on the road and decides in response to reduce the driver's commission for reaching their targets, forcing them to work longer, that doesn't appear to be fair or good business practice.
Problems with the availability of taxis are not caused by the drivers themselves. They should not have to pay the price for this.
Andy P, Dubai
An inspired encounter
Some meetings fade away quickly, whereas others are experiences worth cherishing forever.
In October last year, after taking my usual lunch break at the Dubai International Financial Center, fate directed me to a lane of traffic where I saw a car with no tinted windows on my left.
At just an arm's length away, I came across a most inspirational personality: Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid, with his son, Sheikh Hamdan. The signal turned red and like any UAE citizen I immediately said, "Salam". They rolled down their windows and began to talk to me, in a kind, most impressive manner. It was a real pleasure and I sincerely pray that his success is unending.
Aysha Azeem, Dubai