Online Letters, August 15, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 4:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 4:30pm

Delivery apps lead to Hongkongers eating far too much fast food

I agree with Lam Yan-wing’s letter ( “Food delivery apps are destroying Kong Kong’s culinary traditions”, August 1).

Hong Kong citizens’ lives are fast-paced and food delivery apps are time-saving and convenient. More people are using them and so spend less time in the kitchen making their own meals.

Too often what they order via the apps is fast food and too much of that is bad for people’s health. It often has too much oil sugar and salt and so is loaded with calories and you are more likely to put on weight.

When you are cooking for yourself you can put in a lot of vegetables and eat some fruit as well.

It has been a long-held tradition in Hong Kong for families or friends to meet in local Chinese restaurants and have a meal together. They catch up with each other and get all the latest news. However, so often now you see diners concentrating on their smartphones. And then as more people use food delivery apps, they spend less time in restaurants so there is far less one-on-one communication. These dinners have become less popular.

Also, if there are fewer diners restaurants will suffer. Some of the smaller independent eateries will shut down, replaced by the larger chains which will also offer a delivery app. The independent restaurants must fight back and try to attract customers by promoting their menus on the internet. In this way they can target younger people.

The government also needs to bring out more adverts encouraging people to eat nutritious and healthy food and make their own meals at home.

Kelly Cheng Kit-ling, Kwai Chung

Online guide confirms that climate change is caused by humans

Global warming is not about whether you are liberal or conservative or what you envision as the role of government. It’s not about whether you prefer to live simply or luxuriously or what connotations the words capitalism or consumerism have for you.

Global warming isn’t even about whether you like or dislike Al Gore. As difficult as this may be for many Americans to understand, it’s not actually about Al Gore at all.

The issue of global warming is about the answer to the question: “What is the evidence for what is happening to the planet?”

People believe it’s about other things because, as author Will Durant said, we think with our hopes and fears and wishes instead of with our minds.

The “Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism” provides an excellent summary of the lines of evidence that have led science academies throughout the world, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to conclude that climate change is human-caused. It’s available online.

Closely examining the best available evidence is essential for developing an informed position and for assuring that one isn’t simply ideologically committed to attacking (or defending) climate science.

Terry Hansen, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, US

Extracurricular activities can be helpful for students

Some people have questioned the need for children to join extracurricular activities in their spare time. I think they are essential and help with children’s development.

There is no doubt that students are under a great deal of pressure from school work and exams, and sometimes also from parents. Extracurricular activities can help relieve some of that stress, especially if they involve sport. Exercise helps to refresh them and make them more efficient in their studies.

With such a heavy academic workload so many young people neglect the importance of exercise and put on weight. Therefore, parents should encourage sports-related extracurricular activities.

They also enable youngsters to make new friends and widen their social circle. These friends can provide peer support when they are facing difficulties with their studies. Also, by meeting more people teens can improve their communication skills.

Full-person development is important now for students and these after-school activities help with that. Hong Kong has been criticised for being a city where there is little creativity and a lack of innovative ideas. This needs to change and our next generation should be encouraged to escape from the norm, make use of any talent they possess and fulfil their potential. But these extracurricular activities should not be forced on children. They should be allowed to choose what they want to do.

Young people will need learn to survive in a very competitive working environment and to cope with the obstacles they will face. Extracurricular activities can help to train them for these future challenges.

Jerry Lam, Tseung Kwan O

America’s traditional work ethic is losing its appeal

The rollicking America of my youth where you made your way by your wits and your sweat has evolved into a much less adventuresome place, a collectivist safe house, where trophies are often awarded for little more than showing up.

We are not at the point yet where studying and the nose-to-the-grindstone ethic are completely disdained, but the idea that individual differences leading to distinct stratification must be subsumed by a grey sameness, all in the service of diversity, is rising rapidly.

I am confident that most Americans want a society where equal opportunity prevails over racial, ethnic and gender preferences, and any favouritism that accrues due to wealth.

Discord arises when government-mandated equal outcomes are demanded, as if equal opportunity is not sufficient and it is now time to force square pegs into round holes in search of an elusive workplace nirvana. While joining hands and singing Kumbaya, we must acknowledge that all statistical differences are not treachery.

Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati, Ohio, US

India can learn from China’s population control policies

More people are being killed by elephants and tigers as humans encroach on the habitats of these animals (“Elephants, tigers killing daily in India”, August 2).

This is happening through urbanisation, as cities expand and also villagers seek to farm more land. This inevitably brings them into conflict with tigers and elephants in certain areas of the country and the government does not seem to have found a way to deal with this problem. If a solution is not found, then I fear that these animals might eventually become extinct in the wild in India.

The country’s population is growing rapidly and this means it has an increasing number of people living in poverty. Some are so poor that they do not even have a roof over their heads.

It seems there is a real need for the government to come up with more effective population control policies. It can learn from China. Having scrapped the one-child policy in 2015 Beijing now has a two-child policy. India could adopt a similar policy and also have a more comprehensive birth-control strategy. In this regard education is very important.

Timmy Lo, Tseung Kwan O