x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Judging a dictator

One reader has already made up her mind about the guilt of former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak. Other letter topics include: clean fuels for the environment, death of 3-year-old boy and how to count calories.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is wheeled into a court house in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. The chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman, in Hosni Mubarak's trial accused the ousted Egyptian leader on Tuesday of imposing
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is wheeled into a court house in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. The chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman, in Hosni Mubarak's trial accused the ousted Egyptian leader on Tuesday of imposing "tyrannical rule" and devoting the last 10-years of his three decades in power to ensure his son would succeed him. (AP Photo/Mohammed al-Law) *** Local Caption *** APTOPIX Mideast Egypt.JPEG-007a9.jpg

I refer to Gagyung Kim's article Respect for foreign workers starts with not labelling (January 4). I was born and raised in the UAE; this is home for me. So I agree with Ms Kim this is a common phenomenon that needs to be addressed. The question is how.

Ms Kim is possibly hoping to raise awareness about racism. I have been employed for six years and unfortunately I have experienced preference of skin colour and background rather than merit and credibility.

I still consider UAE my home but I don't feel equal to others as I don't posses certain physical features. Some might win preferences based on looks, but the truth is that we are all conveniently veiled.

Naureen Kamal, Abu Dhabi

Good governance is all Libya wants

Your article Libya Moving from chaos to constitution (January 5) was good to read.

Decades of dictatorship have ended and a new constitution is going to be drafted for the oil-rich nation. All that Libyans need is good governance and no corruption. I am confident Libya will be stable and prosperous in the near future.

K Ragavan, India

Correct common calorie confusion

The article Measuring up health-conscious meal delivery services (January 4) claims that one kilocalorie is equivalent to 1,000 calories.

That is not entirely accurate, but I understand the confusion.

When measuring units of food energy, there are both small calories (gram calorie) and large calories (kilogram calorie, which equal 1,000 small calories). But in the context of food, nutritionists refer to large calories, or kilocalories - the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1kg of water by 1 degree Celsius - simply as "calories". In the nutritional sense, then, kilocalories and "calories" are equal.

Otherwise, the writer's Thai chicken would have been 590,000 food calories, a little too heavy for anyone's taste.

Marjoleine Buker, Dubai

Cleaner fuel offers feasible solution

If the objective of developing more efficient supply chains is to reduce carbon emissions or to become more environmentally-friendly, the solution does not lie in complex algorithms; it begins with cleaner fuels.

I've had this discussion with many of my friends in the energy industry and the conclusion is that oil is still and will be the predominant source of energy for the next 100 years and beyond.

First, it's about the economics. On average, it costs $5 (Dh18.3) to produce a barrel of oil. That figure could rise to $10 to $15 depending on location.

At today's world prices of $100, that's a deference of $85 to 95 per barrel, which by all comparisons is a very healthy margin and motivation for oil companies and oil producing countries to continue with oil exploration and production.

After all, it's the windfall revenues earned from oil that have brought some countries into the modern world. The only alternative that comes close is geothermal, which is limited to only certain parts of the world.

Second, there is no shortage of oil on the planet; it's simply a matter of getting to it. For example, the Arctic holds an estimated one fifth of the world's reserves. With the northern passage becoming more accessible due to the melting of ice, oil companies at this very moment are considering exploration.

Oil companies such as BP have already developed the technical know-how and experience to drill in deep waters, not to mention expertise in enhanced oil recovery. Countries such as Brazil have recently found vast reserves, which they are eager to monetise.

So until the oil runs dry or countries muster the political will to curb production drastically, the supply chain models will have to look for other means to achieve environmental sustainability.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

No mention of loss of life "damages"

The article Emirati driver who killed boy, 3, jailed for two years (January 4) mentions that the driver had no insurance but does not mention if "appropriate" compensation - as if that is possible in the loss of a child and lifelong injury - was made in the case.

Donald Glass,Abu Dhabi

Mubarak's crimes are well known

I refer to the article Prosecution: Mubarak clearly authorised shoot-to-kill policy (January 5). I understand defence lawyers will try to find loopholes to free Hosni Mubarak or reduce his sentence.

But for me, it is straightforward: as a president, did he order the killing or did he allow it? In either case, he is guilty as charged.

Mohammed Shukri, Sharjah