Cathay faces logistical problem
The article by Reinhard Renneberg ('Biofuels an idea that can really fly for airlines', January 22) makes interesting reading.
He makes the proposal that algae should be used to produce biofuel oils.
The advantage appears to be that it is not only a cheaper source but is more plentiful than other crops, such as corn and sugar cane, and will not impact upon the food chain.
As the article points out, the airlines' thirst for fuel should not deprive the hungry people of this world of basic food items.
Algae would appear to provide the ideal biofuel source, and an earlier report states that Cathay Pacific is preparing not only to use a biofuel additive, but also to become a producer of biofuel and other derivatives ('Cathay pins hopes on biofuels', October 24).
The question is what type of organic crop would the company use, and where would it be possible to site its production line.
Assuming it went for algae, it can be grown in any type of water, even sea water or waste water. And of course land would be required to build a refinery and oil storage tanks.
The airline is then faced with the problem of whether suitable land and a large expanse of water can readily be found in Hong Kong.
If Cathay Pacific is really intent on going into the biofuel business, it is likely it would have to look at a location on the mainland. If its choice is algae, then a large expanse of water would also be a prime requirement.
Algae or otherwise, it seems obvious that the airline industry will have to look to the introduction of biofuels in an effort to reduce its carbon Footprint. And it is something that should be tackled as soon as possible, before higher costs, such as the European Union's levy of a carbon tax add to the airlines' costs, place an even higher burden on the travelling public.
Gordon Andreassend, Aerospace Forum
E-learning needed for new era
The dispute between the Education Bureau and publishers over selling textbooks separately from teaching resources has lasted for some time.
Publishers are opposed to this unbundling because they fear lost revenue. Given their indifferent response to calls to implement unbundling, the bureau is looking again at the use of e-books and e-learning materials to make them more affordable for parents.
With the implementation of new senior secondary curriculum and the introduction of the Diploma of Secondary Education, traditional printed textbooks with fixed content may not be able to accommodate the diversity of learners' styles and needs.
Given the advance of information technology and requirements of the new curriculum, it may be more appropriate, or even more significant, for professional subject teachers at individual schools to design and create content-relevant learning material and assignments of a suitable level. This could help pupils build up their knowledge and prepare for their diploma. Teachers can do this because they know the needs of their students best.
The development of e-learning resources by the Education Bureau will be a right step not only to resolve the rising cost of printed material in the publishing industry but also to help teachers and students adopt a new way of teaching and learning under the new curriculum.
Andy Seto, North Point
Disappointed by coverage of fireworks
This year I decided to watch TVB's broadcast of the Lunar New Year fireworks.
What a disappointment it was. The repetitive comments from the two female commentators, telling us what colours there were to see, were annoying. On top of that, the constant zooming in spoiled the whole experience.
People flock to the best viewing point to watch the whole show. People at home would like to see that too.
Ken Chan, Tai Po
Stadium at Kai Tak long overdue
Once more the lack of Rugby Sevens tickets available to the general public of Hong Kong caused outrage. The fact is that the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union is a victim of is own success.
Over 30 years the union and those who play and support rugby have made the Sevens a world- class event and this has led to ticket demand outstripping supply, hence the outcry over the lack of availability locally.
If the Hong Kong community wants to see this event grow and the profit generated from it put back into the community, it is up to citizens to demand that the new administration which takes power in July builds the much-delayed stadium at Kai Tak.
There is much grandstanding and posturing over the West Kowloon Cultural District, even though questions should be raised about its financial validity. Yet we have seen no action taken over a world-class, all-seated stadium for 55,000 spectators.
Why is this the case? I hope it is not because of some subconscious bias against the rugby community because others feel that it is rugby that would be the major beneficiary of such a facility.
A modern stadium at Kai Tak will be designed to accommodate different sports, including local soccer, and world-class concerts where audiences can enjoy the skyline of Hong Kong as a backdrop. It could also be used as a venue for international soccer and rugby matches and American football.
Hong Kong already has well-established events on the sporting calendar and huge potential in terms of spectator numbers because of the Pearl River Delta. Hong Kong Stadium in So Kon Po is underused and could be sold to finance the new ground.
If the new government is not influenced by the logic of the argument, it should consider how much 'face' it would gain by having a stadium that is respected internationally.
Stephen Anderson, Macau
There are no overnight solutions
Late last year the government released a draft bill for public consultation with the intention of providing better protection to buyers of new houses.
It aims to target dishonest developers and increase the transparency of the property sale process.
Critics of the draft law said it was not clearly written and there was still a grey area for developers that could lead to future legal action.
I appreciate that the government is making a start in its efforts to deal with the problem of dishonest housing developers.
This is a problem which has existed for some time, but confusing wording has created a loophole. The problems related to these unscrupulous entrepreneurs are complicated and hard to solve. Tackling them successfully should be seen as a long-term job which will take a lot of time and effort on the part of officials.
This is just the beginning of the exercise.
It is unfair for people to expect the government to solve this problem overnight or to doubt its determination to make the necessary improvements.
There is nothing wrong with expressing your views, but we should accept that the administration is genuinely determined to deal with these issues, which if not dealt with properly could have a negative effect on people's lives.
Teresa Fung Wing-man, Tsuen Wan
Hegemony issues ignored
When I searched the words 'property hegemony' on Google the results were all related to Hong Kong.
This is because the word hegemony accurately describes property relations in the city.
Property agencies in the city put profit before the interests of ordinary residents.
Many citizens are forced to rent subdivided apartments; however, they then find themselves facing additional problems because the government has launched a crackdown on these flats.
This means that some of them fear they will face the prospect of being homeless.
They choose these apartments because of skyrocketing property prices. What are our policymakers doing about these problems?
Some Hongkongers take to the streets and protest about this state of affairs, but they are still given the cold shoulder by officials.
This is an administration that fixes superficial flaws, but leaves its people to face deeper problems.
Yau Shun-ming, Kwai Chung