x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Stones can keep on rolling

A reader welcomes news that the Rolling Stones plan to keep touring, and hopes the UAE is on their itinerary. Other letter topics: economists, tap water and maternity leave.

A reader applauds Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones for their determination to keep performing. Carl de Souza / AFP
A reader applauds Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones for their determination to keep performing. Carl de Souza / AFP

Economists are not all cut from the same cloth

I am writing in response to Felicity Glover's article The 99 percenters are more deserving of a Nobel (October 20).

The article suggests that a Nobel Prize in economics is undeserved because economists have, collectively, failed to fix the world's current financial woes.

It berates all economists for this failing, lumping them into one amorphous group. This is akin to blaming all doctors for a failure to cure cancer or Aids.

Just as there are different types of engineers and doctors, there are different types of economists.

In addition to the financial economists with whose performance Glover is disappointed, there are health economists, agricultural economists, labour economists, econometricians, experimental economists, and many, many other types.

Some of these economists make some very important and interesting contributions. For example, I would refer you to the work of Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel laureate, for his contributions to welfare economics.

So, please don't cast aspersion on all economists. We are not all trained, or interested, in banking.

Deborah Schlichting, agricultural economist, Abu Dhabi

Tap water can be better than bottled

Bottled water, even if it is locally produced, has a big impact on the environment (Waiter, a choice of waters please, October 11).

The UAE recently ranked third highest in the world in per-capita consumption of bottled water, compared to 10th place for the US.

Local bottled water can cost you between 50 fils and Dh10 per litre, depending on where and how you buy it. Imported water can cost you from Dh8 to Dh30 per litre.

I encourage everybody to do the maths and consider switching to bottle-free water.

Tap water can cost as little as 0.25 fils per litre (in Abu Dhabi) and 1 fil per litre (Dubai and northern emirates).

You'd be surprised just how clean your tap water really is. Most bottlers actually use tap water, treat it and then sell it back to you as "drinking water".

In my home, we don't use bottled water. Instead, we drink purified, disinfected tap water delivered fresh, cold or hot, from a high-tech, bottle-free dispenser.

I know we are all healthier for it, and we're doing our small bit as a family to reduce the plastic waste and all that fuel consumption that goes into making, filling and transporting the bottles - not to mention the growing problems regarding landfill and the incineration of non-recycled bottles.

Baseem P Fakhry, Dubai

Reusable bags are the green choice

In reference to UAE rubbish toll from week of takeaways (October 20), I carry reusable bags with me always.

When I go to stores, some people, usually small shop owners, are happy about that, but others are completely confused. Some try to put my cloth shopping bag into a plastic bag.

I also carry resealable containers and a reusable drinking cup so that when I get takeaway, or have leftovers from a sit-down meal to take home, I can avoid using any extra packaging.

I get odd looks sometimes, but I also get some smiles and good comments.

C Brown, Sharjah

Support for longer maternity leave

I refer to Call to bring UAE maternity leave up to global standards (October 17).

I had to go back to work three months after my baby was born, and it was difficult, so I really sympathise with the mums who have only 45 days.

Mothers are told repeatedly to breastfeed their babies for at least six months, if not up to a year, so maternity leave of less than this time period makes it very difficult and stressful for those returning to work.

Extending maternity leave entitlement would make a huge difference to working mothers' lives, and would help enhance the reputation of the UAE as a good place to work.

E Baxter, Dubai

Discovery of lost teen a gift for Eid

Teen found in Indian care home (October 19) is really good news.

I am glad that the boy has been reunited with his family just in time for Eid.

F Suhail, Dubai

Fan can't get too much satisfaction

Perhaps I am in the minority, but I was delighted to read Wood: Stones could do more shows (October 21).

The Rolling Stones receive a lot of criticism - most of it clearly ageist - about their determination to keep on playing when other bands of their era have called it quits.

I will be up the front of the crowd if they play in the UAE.

Colin Richards, Abu Dhabi