x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Stick to basics to help the environment

A reader asks why massive carbon-capture schemes and the world's first carbon-neutral city overshadow more everyday solutions to reducing the country's environmental footprint through recycling, reducing emissions across industries and cutting water wastage.

In reference to UN boost for UAE carbon capture bid (December 13), I have read with bemusement your paper's reports about the UAE's plans for carbon capture, the UAE's "leadership role in global climate initiatives" and other highbrow ideas being floated out there.

Why are we talking about zero-carbon emission cities and carbon capture when I cannot find a reliable recycling service in Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Why all the grandstanding on the international stage when at home the basics are ignored? Give us reliable, localised recycling of paper, aluminium, plastic and glass.

Instead of sending high powered delegations to Mexico, show me how Etihad, Emirates, FlyDubai and Air Arabia are trying to reduce their carbon footprints.

Instead of spending billions on a zero carbon emission city, show me a reduction in water wastage in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and concerted efforts to preserve our coastline.

Eddie P, Abu Dhabi


Vital Internet communications run undersea

Thank you for Rehan Khan's business opinion article Deep in the ocean, internet networks hang by a thread (December 20). Mr Khan focussed on the little known work that provides long term connectivity throughout the world. Most folks still believe it all goes via satellite.

I have been in the undersea industry for over 40 years and this article was the first I've seen that is written in a style that keeps readers interested from beginning to end on a subject that can be very dry for uninterested folks. Excellent writing on a subject that is difficult to comprehend.

It may interest you to know that most cable systems follow the old sea trade routes of the 18th century along with the overland routes followed by Marco Polo.

Colin Reeve, UK


Kudos for a very clever PR coup

I refer to Agency fined over doctored image (December 20). So the PR firm d'pr that was awarded Agency of the Year has been fined by its own industry association for using the very initiative and creative licence that presumably helped them get their award in the first place. Their crime: to airbrush out the names of their competitors in the congratulatory awards ceremony publicity shot, which was then distributed by the winners to local newspapers and websites.

I say to the miscreants, d'pr, "well done" and how do I sign you up?

John Deykin, Dubai


On the nature of sugar and fat

The article True Happy Meals for children include broccoli (December 13) was a great one. Having worked in a weight management clinic, I'd like to correct one thing.

The author wrote: "Sugars ... do not tend to make people put on much weight." This is incorrect and I see this misunderstanding in this country a lot.

People must understand that weight gain is caused by taking in more calories than you expend - the type of calories does not matter at all. Sugars and fat are both energy dense (contain a lot of calories for a small portion). Bingeing on, for example, 1,500 calories of sugars will make you gain as much weight as bingeing on 1,500 calories of fat, period.

Erik Hadden, Abu Dhab


Coral reef damage to spread east

I refer to Damage to Gulf's coral reefs 'is irreversible' (December 16). With the recently announced major investment in Fujairah I'm afraid that the fantastic marine environment on our east coast will be the next casualty of "progress".

Mick R, Abu Dhabi


Questions about oil shale extraction

Concerning the article Jordan moves to exploit its oil shale (December 21), a couple of major issues not discussed here are where is all the fresh water going to come from and what is the EROEI (energy return on energy invested)?

All this and more needs to be addressed, and all for 20,000 barrels a day? I'd think that Jordan would be better off spending money on waste-to-energy plants and conserve their water. It's not Canada where there's ample water resources. We can ignore the fact that the Calgary EROEI is abysmally low.

Ghazi Jeiroudi, Abu Dhabi


Currently, Estonia, China, and Brazil produce oil from oil shale. Countries that are actively pursuing development of oil shale are the US, Jordan, Israel, Morocco and Australia.

Jeremy Boak, US