x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Both sides cherry-picking UN flotilla report

The value of natural gas has been lost in the rush to go green, a mistake one reader argues should be corrected. Other letter writers comment on expensive sunglasses, student nutrition, Israel and Gaza, and lab-made meat.

The Turkish Mavi Marmara in Istanbul last May. A new UN report faults Israel for aggressive tactics in commandeering the ship, but as one letter writer notes, it also says Israel had legal precedent to stop it. (Reuters/Emrah Dalkaya)
The Turkish Mavi Marmara in Istanbul last May. A new UN report faults Israel for aggressive tactics in commandeering the ship, but as one letter writer notes, it also says Israel had legal precedent to stop it. (Reuters/Emrah Dalkaya)

The hyper-expensive sunglasses you touted (Fashion vision, September 4) are a fine example of "conspicuous consumption."

More examples are found in In Treatments (September 4), the story about expensive spa nonsense like aromatherapy combined with "sound treatment."

Who really needs the thinnest possible glasses with rare earth elements, etc, for Dh5,000?

To my mind, products and services such as these are just something to brag about.

I wouldn't even want that particular product, because I lose about three pairs of sunglasses every year.

Susan MacLeod, Abu Dhabi

Find 'green payoff' in natural gas

Awaiting the big green payoff (September 3) was a well-researched article on a timely topic, and one that debunked some fairy tales about "clean tech".

Renewable energy deployment, ballyhooed in times of high oil prices since the 1960s, has proved elusive, as witness the corn ethanol debacle in the US, the about-face on EU subsidies and the recent shutdown of major clean tech ventures in Silicon Valley.

The problem lies in gross optimism and lack of custom design.

For instance, GCC clean tech projects focus on vertical, high-rise development derived from dense western cities, instead of on the local model of horizontal (scattered community) design, and thus may face problems.

Investors have lost a bundle. But there is a simple, available and almost-clean investment flying under the radar - natural gas, which, incidentally has low prices right now.

Athar Mian, Canada

All must help with student nutrition

I refer to Campus food leaves a bitter taste and Sound diet begins at home, say educators (both September 4).

It is high time we addressed healthy eating for all, and did so in a holistic way.

Yes, education on sound eating choices must begin at home but must be continued in school and college. Youngsters spend so much time away from home that school canteens must display initiative in making changes and innovation in what they serve.

Most canteens have outsourced their services to third-party caterers, so there is a need to work with them.

Also, parents at home should cook family meals as often as possible and inculcate the love for cooking.

Family mealtimes can be made fun with humour and sharing the day's stories.

Tasty food can be dished out if we are committed to work together at every level.

Sandhya Prakash, Dubai

Cherry-picking UN flotilla report

How interesting that both sides are selecting just certain parts of that UN report on the MV Mavi Marmara attack (Turkey to take Israel to court over Gaza flotilla, September 4).

The Turks and others have, in their responses, systematically dismissed the finding that the blockade is legal.

But meanwhile the Israelis and their friends grasp at that part of the report, and ignore or minimise the brutal killings aboard the flotilla ship.

It is also noteworthy that many of those who are so loudly indignant about the flotilla killings have long remained silent about the recurring larger-scale killings of Muslims by other Muslims in several countries.

Simon Tremblay, US

Lab-made meat not very appealing

I am a dedicated carnivore, but I would rather become a vegan than eat pale artificial "meat" like the substance described in your story Burger to go? That'll be Dh1.5 million, please (September 3).

Of course the price is high because this disgusting lab-created "in-vitro meat" is still being developed. I truly dread the day when it gets cheap enough to turn up in our markets.

Humans evolved on a mixed diet of meat and fruit and vegetables; I really believe that that's what most people want still. I am all for feeding the hungry and maximising the Earth's resources and all those virtuous things, but not at the expense of eating such nasty-sounding stuff as this.

John Kinsella, Dubai

Dead Sea is worth a close look

I loved the article Travelling with Kids: Jordan's Wadi Rum is a bumpy ride in a hire car (August 27).

But I am sorry that the writer and his son spent so little time at the Dead Sea. This is an amazing place which may become one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature, representing Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

Olga Pul, US