The environment has become a serious concern after the rapid industrialization around the world. One of the most rapidly emerging environmental issues is fine dust air pollution in some of the major countries in Asia.
South Korea has been struggling with fine dust that initially originates from the Gobi Desert in China during the spring season. The fine dust particles are carried around by the wind from Chinese’s industrial cities, which eventually reach out to the Korean peninsula. Another main cause of this air pollution in South Korea is a high concentration of automobiles, which the government puts efforts to relieve by accelerating the development of hydrogen or fuel cell vehicles.
The hazardous level of fine dust has triggered the government to enforce some urgent emergency measures to undercut coal plants and other emission facilities. City and provincial governments have also banned old diesel cars from the streets and suggested its citizens not to stay outside for long periods of time and avoid outdoor activities as much as possible.
In the past, people did not consider this fine dust pollution as a serious issue. However, as the number of days that the fine dust rate reached the standard danger level increases and the rate has hit the highest record over the past few weeks, citizens are now demanding more effective solutions from their government to relieve the threatening environmental problem.
President Moon Jae In and the Korean government have proposed a collaborative joint project with the Chinese government to utilize the artificial rain to rinse some of the particles in the air for the benefits of both South Korea and China. President Moon hopes that since China has some cutting-edge technologies for the advanced artificial rain system, this project between the two nations would end up mitigating the air pollution in Korea.
A large number of South Koreans believe that the previous domestic short-term steps will not sufficiently clear up the air, which leads a desperate need for more proactive cooperation with the Chinese government in order to effectively solve the problem in the long run.
Kyu Sun Chung
Tax Advisors for Champaign Society (TACS)