news image

Environmental change starts with each of us

2015-07-29 09:45:33

With regards to your article, Air conditioning complaints go ignored by Abu Dhabi property bosses(July 28), I thought we were trying to cut down on energy consumption, going green and saving the environment. How is 18 degrees in an apartment environmentally conscious?

Our villa never goes below 25 degrees. In fact, we usually have only one AC unit cooling the entire place. And this is not because we can't afford otherwise. Rather, we got our bodies used to the warm temperatures.

Readers weigh in on giving up private cars in favour of public transport.

Wear shorts and light cotton shirts, stay barefoot, drink lots of water, and accept being a little sweaty. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you shower regularly. How do people from the tropical subcontinent cope? How did people here cope only a few decades ago when there was little air conditioning? 

By the way, we also do not wash dishes under running water, do not use plastic bags when we go shopping, and try to recycle as much of our waste as possible. We all have to do our part to save the environment.

Rita Amer, Dubai

Better ways to get to school

Concerning your article, Illegal taxis make driving school access easier for Abu Dhabi students (July 28), many students who want to learn how to drive already pay top money for the lessons and often struggle to pay the fees.

When you add in the cost of taxis to the driving classes, the cost is prohibitive.

I think we need buses to help shuttle drivers to these lessons. We should help these honest driving school students who are genuinely trying their best to learn the rules of driving here.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

The government should offer free buses to the training centre for the simple reason that people who are going to get their driving lessons can’t drive a car.

I always found it strange that the centre for learning driving is located far outside of the Abu Dhabi city centre. Could we not find a suitable location that is more convenient for most people?

Bara Reed, Abu Dhabi

Making public transport better

Your editorial, Carrot and stick approach to car use (July 28) got me thinking about how I use a car on a daily basis. The bottom line is that little would encourage me to get out of my car because public transport is not up to par.

It would take me three times longer to get around if I didn't have a car. Once the system becomes quicker and has more options, then I will be ready to make the switch to public transport.

John Paravalos, Dubai

I agree with the idea that public transport is more attractive but only if there are separate public transport lanes on all roads so that they don't sit stuck in the traffic.

I would love to sell my car and save the cash. Public transport also provides chances to meet others and socialise, something this city desperately needs as more and more folks come in and segregate themselves in their own communities. Additionally, I have time to read, watch a show or eat while commuting. A winning situation for all.

George Kuruvilla, Dubai

I use and like the Dubai metro but usually I require a cab at the other end to complete my journey. This costs money and I often don't understand the bus routes, which could provide a cheaper option.

As long as petrol is below 10 dirhams a litre I am saving money compared with the UK prices that I am used to. Above all else, the car is still more convenient for now.

Brett Pearson, Dubai

Food safety is still a concern

I have read your stimulating report UAE scientists join fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria (July 27) with great interest. I want to suggest that we closely look at food standards on a variety of imported foods.

The primary issue with frozen foods, especially shrimp, which are generally farmed in Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan and are readily available in all supermarkets, is that they are full of antibiotics of questionable provenance.In the US, for example, these sorts of shrimp are not imported and inspections are made at the facilities to ensure the farmers don’t use harmful antibiotics because consumption leads to the issue described in your article.

Ultimately, this is an issue that extends far beyond shrimp and I am happy to see that scientists here are reviewing the matter because it affects us all.