x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Clinton's work is not complete

The US secretary of state has important work to do at a meeting in the UAE before she leaves office, a reader says. Other topics: traffic and climate change.

I am writing in response to Hillary Clinton in for talks on terror (December 7).

As Mrs Clinton will be leaving the position of US secretary of state next month, a cynic might say this is just a stopover on a "farewell tour" from a lame-duck minister.

However, the issues at stake are extremely important, and I hope much is achieved in terms of defining responsibilities and ensuring cooperation on counter-terrorism operations in this region.

Besides, if current polling for the 2016 election is correct, we may have the pleasure of seeing the future president of the United States in our nation this week.

Jake Michaels, Abu Dhabi

The time for action on climate is now

In Climate a real cause for concern (December 7), letter writer P McGann is justified to say: "In years to come, some child will ask: 'What did you do about climate change when you had the chance, grandfather?' The reply will be an ashamed silence."

However, the way things are going in the world now, the shame will be that we did not properly prepare for inevitable climate change and extreme weather events.

History is littered with examples of once-prosperous societies that died out because they could not cope with the changes that happened around them. I believe world leaders are focusing on stopping the climate change that might happen decades in the future, and this is irrational.

International Climate Science Coalition chief science adviser, Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, says: "Governments need to recognise that the really dangerous climate hazards are natural events and change, and to prepare more fully to adapt to them when they occur."

As nearly all independent observers have now concluded, a new approach is needed to address climate change. The best (indeed, self-evident) no-regrets solution is that nations should prepare for and adapt to the onset of damaging climate-related events and change as and when they occur, however caused.

Instead, most of the negotiations in Qatar were focused on vainly trying to stop what might happen decades in the future, instead of what is happening right now.

Tom Harris, International Climate Science Coalition, Canada


The headline UAE will help curb climate change (December 7) is much too optimistic.

The article largely explains that the UAE and Gulf countries will not make any commitments regarding their carbon emissions.

Even if it is obvious that the US and China have to make some effort, it's always easier to finger point at others rather than doing your fair share.

The UAE has the money to support any efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The nation's vehicle fleet is made up of fuel guzzlers, and I've yet to see anything done to change that.

Pierre Vernhes, Abu Dhabi

Stubborn Israel is the main problem

I am writing in reference to International pressure mounts on Israel (December 5).

Sadly for this region, and the world as a whole, Israel has stubbornly refused to budge on the issue of the settlements.

In fact, its attitude has only hardened since the United Nations voted to grant non-member observer status to the Palestinians.

Short of America getting tough with its ally, it's unlikely that anything will persuade the Israelis to abandon their strategy.

Keith Grogan, Dubai

Tailbacks concern tunnel commuters

The headline 'Confused' drivers cause congestion at opening of Sheikh Zayed Tunnel (December 6) misses the point.

I spent 45 minutes in the tunnel last week and I believe it was the poorly conceived entry and exit points in the tunnel that caused the problem.

The exits to Mina and the Corniche are problematic.

Traffic coming off Reem Island has effectively lost its ability to enter Salam Street due to the permanently closed ramp and is now being forced to travel through the Sea Palace intersection, which was backed up for more than a kilometre on two mornings last week.

I rely on using Salam Street to get to work, and my commute time has doubled since the tunnel opened.

Michael Cowan, Abu Dhabi


I have no doubt that the Salam Street tunnel will eventually make my daily commute easier.

However, I am curious to know why there was bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling along Salam Street on the morning after the tunnel opened.

Perhaps it was a matter of bad timing on my part, or curiosity on the part of other drivers who wanted to check out the new addition to our road network.

Whatever the case, I hope the situation sorts itself out soon.

Peter Jones, Abu Dhabi