x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Green energy, cloudy climate

As this year's World Future Energy Summit has illustrated, clean energy solutions abound, one reader writes. But another suggests the climate change crisis is less urgent than most scientsts argue. Other letter topics today: drink-driving, Yemen's elections and Israel's foreign policy.

Readers argue that renewables like this solar tower at Masdar City are critical to the future. Amy Leang / The National
Readers argue that renewables like this solar tower at Masdar City are critical to the future. Amy Leang / The National

This is a very disturbing trend (748 licences suspended for drink-driving in 2011, January 18). As the article indicates, the trend of total alcohol-related cases in Dubai over the past three years has been relatively flat. I find this totally unacceptable since I'm a road user with children; drink drivers pose a threat.

So what could the authorities do to curb the number of drink-driving incidents?

First, the burden should not rest solely on the authorities but it begins with the driver. Every driver must recognise that they are endangering not only their lives but the lives of innocent men, women and children when they drink alcohol and get behind the wheel. No family wants to receive a call that their loved ones were killed in an accident caused by a drink driver.

Second, restaurants that serve alcohol should also bear some of the responsibility if a drunk patron gets behind the wheel. Taxi service is very efficient and cost effective and it takes very little effort to hire one.

Finally, if all else fails, the authorities might have no choice but restrict the distribution of alcohol as has been done in other GCC countries.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai


How fast is the climate changing?

The front page article 'Time running out' on climate change (January 18) explains very well why we must switch to renewables in order to avoid disasters on our planet.

This year's World Future Energy Summit is significant as it is hosted by Masdar. It is great to see Abu Dhabi directing resources towards the promotion and endorsement of renewable energy.

It is the duty not only of policy-makers but also of each and every human being to work for the innovation that will transform our traditional fossil fuel economy into a diverse combination of renewable and sustainable energy.

This is especially critical as the global demand for energy continues to climb.

Countries will not shut down all their coal-fired power plants and close factories overnight. But renewable sources such as solar, wind and biofuel can begin to offset pollution from carbon fuels - as we are reminded during this year's energy summit.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi


It's hard to believe Dr Rajendra Pachauri, who once said Himalayan glaciers will disappear in 30 years.

But worse than the predictions are the proposed solutions. Scientists like Dr Pachauri want legally binding agreements to pay boatloads of money to stop the prophecies from coming true.

Every year these so-called climate experts beat the same dead horse. "Sign this agreement or we're all toast," they say. We should only sign when these technocrats stop flying to these conferences and start walking to them.

Name withheld by request

Promise of solar power explained

Great analogy - solar power is in its infancy stage and soon will reach its full potential. Thanks for sharing this story (Solar energy just needs a little help until it gets rolling, January 17).

Articles like this are always packed with useful information and a pleasure to read.

Maryam Fotouhi, Abu Dhabi

Yemen's elections must go forward

Yemen's opposition coalition and UN-backed power transition plan is sound and should proceed (Yemen opposition rejects request to delay presidential election, January 18).

I hope that the conflicts involving Houthis and Salafis will end soon and that both the militants allied to Al Qaeda and the security forces suspected of violence and crime will face prosecution.

It is unrealistic and unacceptable to delay the presidential elections due to rising tensions in the country, especially given how important Yemen is to regional stability.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

Israel is driving the US policy train

Israel, not the United States, is Iran's enemy (US military commander's visit to stop Israel strike on Iran, January 18). An Iran with nuclear weapons will disrupt Israel's cruel and outrageously exercised Middle East hegemony.

All of the United States' Middle East wars have been against its interests, yet they were successfully advocated by the Jewish state. Again against US interests, Israel has involved Washington in increasingly overt operations against Iran. Spies and American military drones in Iranian airspace are the most recent revelations.

Who did this? Israeli politicians, the Israel lobby and other organisations have corrupted the politicians and electoral system.

Justice and the future of America demand that they stop being the arbiter of foreign policy.

John Wilcox, US