On nuclear energy...
The environmental consequences and sheer capital intensiveness of nuclear power seals the deal on it being a complete loser as far as supplying our energy needs.
We can’t replace oil, but we can use existing infrastructure and combine sludge from water treatment plants with other waste from agriculture and the food industry which otherwise are disposed of separately at great expense. Local and regional biogas facilities would give energy independence to all communities across Korea (and the globe).
This isn’t science fiction either. In Ulsan, South Korea Erik Danielsson, founder of Scandinavian Biogas, a converted common water treatment plant of smaller size. Before, this plant depended on tax revenues for operation. Now it generates its own revenue with several cash flows: gate fees for food waste, sales revenue from refined biogas for vehicles and also for liquid CO2, and from selling heat. This is an example for intelligent clustering of industries, a characteristic for the Blue Economy.
― Name with the editor, Seoul.
On foreigners streaking at a baseball game …
The problem with these stories of stupid foreigners is that they’re cumulative ― you hear enough stories and they only reinforce the conclusion that foreigners are inherently stupid. At the same time, few positive stories get noticed ― even when they do good within the Korean community. Did you hear about the group of professional bellydancers that raised millions of won for two non-profits serving Korean women? Possibly ― did you read about that from mainstream media? Probably not.
Further, some of the commenters on the Marmot’s Hole thread (a popular local blog) seemed to desire a witchhunt ― find this person and try to get them fired from their job. Let’s put it this way ― if someone doing something stupid were cause for someone to lose their job, we’d see a lot more unemployment in this country.
― Chris Backe, Seoul
On idle cars and smoking...
Dear fellow residents of Korea,
We all want a clean environment, don’t we; for ourselves, our children and for their children ― right?
I am “a foreigner,” as many locals might choose to call me, the Korean word for which, means “one from outside.” I was born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island and started “growing up” here, in South Korea, where in the Korean War, my late uncle Charlie Carrol ― after fighting the Japanese at sea ― fought the Chinese and North Koreans, here, all those years ago. He unofficially adopted a boy who was homeless, and almost died here many times. Caring about others is our family legacy. I am a relationship counselor myself. My sister is a therapist, my mother a day care facilitator, and my father a democratic activist.
So here I am; 11 years total, in your land. I know you, and I care about you.
So here comes the hard part; the admonition: please, stop idling your vehicles. You are a conscientious people, an industrious people, a clever people. Even if you pay no thought to the climate crisis we humans and all species on Earth are facing, don’t you want to save money on the fuel you put in your cars? You import it; it can’t be cheap.
If you go to any other developed country, you will be hard-pressed to see people sitting in their cars ― or worse, nearby (or nowhere to be seen) while their cars, trucks or scooters run, pumping gasses that cause global warming into the atmosphere, not to mention creating the smog you breathe.
And on a related note; please get on the anti-smoking bandwagon. Korean men, what illusion are you suffering from? Cigarettes have 4,000 harmful chemicals in them (19 of which cause cancer), including rat poison and radioactive compounds. Yes: radioactive. Cigarettes are a source of nuclear radiation. Personally, I cannot wait for them to be banned.
― Carl Atteniese, Suwon.