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Stop blaming others for air pollution

Aug 30,2017
Did you know that South Korea joined the ranks of the world’s most populated countries? Korea used to be one of the cleanest countries in the world, but now it’s one of the most polluted. The reasons are clear.

South Korea is filled with coal plants around the country, with about fifty of them emitting harmful chemicals like S02, NOx, PM and Hg into the air. These deadly chemicals can cause heart disease and cancer, and reduce people’s lifespan. Korea also claimed to build a dozen more by 2021. However, the Korean government isn’t doing anything to reduce the air pollution. Instead, Korea is blaming it on China like it’s none of their business.

A recent experiment done by NASA and KORUS-AQ, showed that China had barely anything to do with Korea’s air quality. The group of scientists flew over the Korean coastline with various instrument and experiments, proving it’s not China’s fault.

According to NPR, Seoul had an average of 53 days that were “unhealthy for sensitive groups” or worse. They did a comparison with the biggest city in the U.S., New York, and the most polluted, which is Los Angeles. L.A. only had seven days of “unhealthy for sensitive groups” and New York had none.

Korea doesn’t cover air pollution as a chronic problem and is not showing any effort to fix it. Government officials stated that old coal plants that are over forty years old are going to be shut down, but they haven’t made a decision yet.

There are many creative and easy ways Korea could reduce air pollution. The government could make a critical warning stating how dangerous air pollution is and how to reduce it. It can be as simple as people turning off any electronic devices and using public transportation, but unfortunately people aren’t informed about them. Korea should stop blaming China and try to find a long-term solution.

*A student at Korea International School

Eric Kim