x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Shale oil boom may be a threat

A reader says that fracking may be putting US water supplies at risk. Other topics: spying, rent rises, food waste and ESPN.

A reader says fracking operations, like this one in Colorado, are environmental hazards. Brennan Linsley / AP
A reader says fracking operations, like this one in Colorado, are environmental hazards. Brennan Linsley / AP

Opec report concedes threat from shale boom (July 11) demonstrates how desperate America is for oil.

Fracking is a process that is potentially dangerous to the environment and to public health.

There have already been some local environmental disasters but the news of them has not been widespread enough to get Americans behind a ban.

Right now, all people see is that America is producing its own oil.

Ask the folks of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, or Parachute, Colorado, what they see this process doing to their water supply.

With the way the US oil industry is controlling things, it will be a generation before communities around the US see the damage to themselves and their children and all the while, the fracking companies will be telling us that everything is fine.

Donald Glass, US

West hypocritical about snooping

I refer to your news report EU wants answers on US bugging its offices (July 1).

Europe is showing its farcical notion of anger about US snooping, but I believe this is for public consumption only.

In fact, at least some European governments have done the same sort of spying on their local populations - not to mention what they do in the international arena.

The former dictators of eastern Europe and South America were condemned by the West for spying on their own citizens, but that was nothing compared to today's actions by some of the so-called upholders of freedom of speech.

Joe Burns, Sharjah

Yogurt and tea can reduce thirst

I refer to UAE residents prepare for the longest Ramadan fast in 33 years (July 10).

Here is a good way to overcome thirst during fasting. At suhoor, take a lot of yogurt, with or without bread.

A few minutes before the time for the fast begins, take a cup of green tea, without milk but with cardamom.

I find that with this I do not feel as thirsty later and I do not get dizzy from drinking too much water.

Zulfiqar Ali, Ajman

ESPN cancelling a blow to sport fans

The UAE is many things to many people, but American sport fans get a raw deal.

Sport coverage in the press is weighted towards British and Asian pursuits, and live events tend towards cricket, football and rugby.

But all this pales to the most egregious injustice of late: last week, with little fanfare, Etisalat killed ESPN, the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, and certainly king of the American variety.

On Tuesday evening after a few days away, I picked up my eLife remote to settle in for a baseball game, perhaps some Nascar or maybe a little SportsCenter.

I didn't really care what I watched. Any sport from back home would do. But channelling down to ESPN America at 570, I was met only with a persistent buzz and a black screen.

Slightly annoyed I got off the couch, switched off the power to the cable box, waited and tried again. No change. It was the same story with 569 (ESPN) and 568 (ESPN Classic).

A quick call to customer service (and I do mean quick, they picked up on the first ring) confirmed my worst fears: "ESPN is no longer part of eLife package," the agent said flatly. "It's been completely cancelled." How could this be? Will it return? Unlikely, the agent apologised, saying: "You can file a complaint if you'd like."

Yes, I'd like. When it comes to sport, we've got plenty of live options in the UAE: golf and Tiger Woods, tennis and Andy Murray, the F1 and Sebastian Vettel. I'd trade it all for another year of ESPN.

John Calvin, Abu Dhabi

After lean years, rents must rise

I am sorry that some people have greedy landlords (Dubai residents rethink after rent increase, July 10).

I consider myself to be a fair and attentive landlord and I want to say that people need to remember that after five years of low rents, owners are only now starting to see some return on their investment.

And much more infrastructure - the metro, new malls and more - is in place now than in 2007.

If you wish to live in a desirable place, pay the going rate.

Alan Godfrey, Dubai

Waste is wrong in this hungry world

I am writing in reference to Uneaten food makes up half of waste in Dubai's landfills each day during Ramadan (July 11).

This is terribly sad, given that nearly two billion people in the world go hungry every day, and many millions of them are close to starvation.

B von Bulow, Dubai