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Author Topic: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?  (Read 97113 times)

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #340 on: November 13, 2017, 07:53:58 PM »
Seoul mayor seeks UN help to fight pollution

There were 259 days last year when the air quality was rated “bad” in Korea, meaning fine dust particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or PM 2.5, exceed 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. In 2016, there were 258 such days.

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3040685

"Air quality is as important an issue as climate change. Seoul is affected heavily by particulate matters flying from China and this shows the importance of cooperation among cities across national borders," Park was quoted by Seoul city officials as saying during the meeting.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171112000128

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #341 on: November 13, 2017, 10:11:28 PM »
Any time a Korean mentions "Chinese fine dust" it's just the whole face-saving bullshit mechanism all over again. Korean activists and scientists (NOT US DIRTY MEDDLING FOREIGNERS) have shown time and time again that most of the SMOG here originates from coal power plants in South Korea, yet people keep repeating this "Chinese fine dust" crap for the following reasons:

1) Koreans look down on China, so it's an easy scapegoat. Notice how they never say anything about North Korea producing any smog?

2) blaming a foreign country, especially a powerful one, means you never have to do anything about the issue ever. And you really think China cares about a few mayors asking for "cooperation?" Look at how easily South Korea rolled over when blackmailed by China for daring to defend itself from NK with a missile defense system, you really think China gives a shit about what Koreans want?

3) referring to "fine dust" shows that Koreans mistakenly conflate the year-round smog with seasonal hwangsa.* Hwangsa is a yearly meteorological event that has been around for millenia, but Koreans wrongly try to normalize year-round smog by using the terms "Chinese fine dust" or just "fine dust" rather than saying air pollution or smog, as if smog was just a form of hwangsa.


* also not to be conflated with idiot foreigners freaking out about "yellow dust" every April when everything is coated in pine pollen.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 10:15:56 PM by MayorHaggar »
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Offline kobayashi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #342 on: November 14, 2017, 07:53:51 AM »
3) referring to "fine dust" shows that Koreans mistakenly conflate the year-round smog with seasonal hwangsa.* Hwangsa is a yearly meteorological event that has been around for millenia, but Koreans wrongly try to normalize year-round smog by using the terms "Chinese fine dust" or just "fine dust" rather than saying air pollution or smog, as if smog was just a form of hwangsa.


* also not to be conflated with idiot foreigners freaking out about "yellow dust" every April when everything is coated in pine pollen.

whenever i'm talking about the air quality with koreans i always specifically use the word for pollution - 오염. and then they'll go "ah ah, 미세먼지 [fine dust]".

and i'm like, "no dude, it's not 미세먼지, it's 오염, it's pollution. call it what it is."

Offline kobayashi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #343 on: November 14, 2017, 07:59:26 AM »
No, it's been 100 to 180 for the last week, so bad that the "fog" (smog) caused Herr Trump to cancel his super-secret Korean-style last minute trip to the DMZ.

On a good day the 2.5 is like 80 or so, "green" days where it's lower than 50 or 60 are very rare.

I think the summer was clearer than usual MAYBE because Moonie ordered the coal-fired power plants to be temporarily shut down. They've probably been reactivated for the coming winter without them telling anyone, and are probably to blame for the Chinese fine dust heavy smog recently.

I think you're confusing the AQI with the PM2.5 readings. the AQI has been 100-180. the AQI is like a combination index that takes into account PM2.5, PM10, level of Ozone, and a few others factors, and puts those together to determine the overall air quality.

PM2.5 readings are measured in μg/m3, and will always be lower than the overall AQI (because the AQI is a combination index), so you need to read the levels differently. for example, where i am today the overall AQI is 117. the PM2.5 is 42μg/m3, which is not good. i think anything over 50μg/m3 is really bad.

Online tomoakleaf

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #344 on: November 14, 2017, 08:01:48 AM »
Any time a Korean mentions "Chinese fine dust" it's just the whole face-saving bullshit mechanism all over again. Korean activists and scientists (NOT US DIRTY MEDDLING FOREIGNERS) have shown time and time again that most of the SMOG here originates from coal power plants in South Korea, yet people keep repeating this "Chinese fine dust" crap for the following reasons:

1) Koreans look down on China, so it's an easy scapegoat. Notice how they never say anything about North Korea producing any smog?

2) blaming a foreign country, especially a powerful one, means you never have to do anything about the issue ever. And you really think China cares about a few mayors asking for "cooperation?" Look at how easily South Korea rolled over when blackmailed by China for daring to defend itself from NK with a missile defense system, you really think China gives a shit about what Koreans want?

3) referring to "fine dust" shows that Koreans mistakenly conflate the year-round smog with seasonal hwangsa.* Hwangsa is a yearly meteorological event that has been around for millenia, but Koreans wrongly try to normalize year-round smog by using the terms "Chinese fine dust" or just "fine dust" rather than saying air pollution or smog, as if smog was just a form of hwangsa.


* also not to be conflated with idiot foreigners freaking out about "yellow dust" every April when everything is coated in pine pollen.

I'm reminded of this article from the Daily Express which is a British newspaper famous for being a little conservative.  In this article killer hornets from ASIA!!! are invading England.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/859417/asian-hornet-devon-uk-honey-bee-population

See, we do it all of the time too!

Offline kobayashi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #345 on: November 14, 2017, 08:05:54 AM »
I'm reminded of this article from the Daily Express which is a British newspaper famous for being a little conservative.  In this article killer hornets from ASIA!!! are invading England.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/859417/asian-hornet-devon-uk-honey-bee-population

See, we do it all of the time too!

are you taking the piss? 'Asian hornet' refers to a particular species of hornet (Vespa mandarinia).

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #346 on: January 09, 2018, 08:11:58 AM »
Dirty air degrades Korea's quality of life

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/01/119_242067.html

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"Korea had the worst exposure among 41 states whose records were compared."

Offline VanIslander

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #347 on: January 09, 2018, 02:38:23 PM »
Korea Times is bubble gum for your teeth.


Offline hangook77

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #348 on: January 10, 2018, 01:40:46 AM »
I thought Greenpeace (which I don't always like) said on the worst days 50 to 70% of pollution comes from China and on the best days up to 30% comes from China.  Lots of things Korea can do to improve thing, but China does play a part especially during certain weather conditions when there's fog, slow moving windless air, really warm days in winter with cold nights (hot and cold air create fog or steam and trap it in more), etc.  Notice when it gets really cold here and during summer months, the air tends to be cleaner.  Summer different wind direction not coming from China.  Colder air, pollution gets blown higher into the atmosphere and away rather than being "trapped" closer to the ground on those warm and cold mixed days.  It's usually the worst from Feb to May as the air warms up in the daytime.  It will be quite cold later this week.  Check the pm 2.5 and notice the air quality should be really good on those days. 

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #349 on: January 10, 2018, 10:32:16 AM »
I thought Greenpeace (which I don't always like) said on the worst days 50 to 70% of pollution comes from China and on the best days up to 30% comes from China.  Lots of things Korea can do to improve thing, but China does play a part especially during certain weather conditions when there's fog, slow moving windless air, really warm days in winter with cold nights (hot and cold air create fog or steam and trap it in more), etc.  Notice when it gets really cold here and during summer months, the air tends to be cleaner.  Summer different wind direction not coming from China.  Colder air, pollution gets blown higher into the atmosphere and away rather than being "trapped" closer to the ground on those warm and cold mixed days.  It's usually the worst from Feb to May as the air warms up in the daytime.  It will be quite cold later this week.  Check the pm 2.5 and notice the air quality should be really good on those days.

This whole "the pollution is seasonal and some seasons are better than others" thing is such BS, foreigners here parrot it all the time. Koreans just CANNOT admit that their country is perpetually smoggy, and saying that pollution is "seasonal" lets them pretend that pollution is a natural phenomenon that they have no control over. It's like the way they call it "fine dust" instead of pollution or smog, because it conflates pollution with hwangsa which is a natural phenomenon. And they always blame China.

Pollution here IS NOT SEASONAL. I've been here nearly 5 years, and every season can be just as smoggy as other seasons. Winter can have week after week of grim, dark gray days with high pollution. Summer can have week after week of white skies with high pollution. Spring is always pretty bad. Fall probably has the most clear days but it can have week after week of high pollution, like this past fall. The only thing that really ever seems to clear up the air is rain or snow, but after a day or two of post-precipitation clear skies it goes back to grim and crappy like usual.

And KOREAN STUDIES BY KOREANS have shown again and again that most of the pollution here is created in South Korea. There are tons of cars here, tons of factories, and many coal-burning power plants. This isn't "stupid racist/untrustworthy foreigners not understanding the unique situation," this is Koreans in South Korea doing studies in Korean that show that most of the pollution here is created in South Korea. A lot of Koreans know about this and are not happy. But most Koreans are used to pollution, are used to a lack of government regulation, are used to letting polluters get away with murder, and they stubbornly refuse to admit that South Korea is responsible for anything bad.
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Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #350 on: January 10, 2018, 12:42:13 PM »
So far this year, in Chungnam, the microdust hasn't had a full day below 100 on the AQi.  The winter was pretty similar.  It was never like that before.

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Top_ten_largest_coal_plants_in_the_world

#2 and #3 are close to you. #7 too is not far away.

As Koreans are becoming wealthier their electricity use is increasing. Electric heaters, air purifiers, air conditioners, cryptocurrency mining, etc. The electricity is made by burning massive amounts of coal. Really wish Korea could switch to water, wind, and solar power.

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #351 on: January 10, 2018, 01:09:14 PM »
Pollution here IS NOT SEASONAL. I've been here nearly 5 years, and every season can be just as smoggy as other seasons. Winter can have week after week of grim, dark gray days with high pollution. Summer can have week after week of white skies with high pollution. Spring is always pretty bad. Fall probably has the most clear days but it can have week after week of high pollution, like this past fall. The only thing that really ever seems to clear up the air is rain or snow, but after a day or two of post-precipitation clear skies it goes back to grim and crappy like usual.

And KOREAN STUDIES BY KOREANS have shown again and again that most of the pollution here is created in South Korea. There are tons of cars here, tons of factories, and many coal-burning power plants. This isn't "stupid racist/untrustworthy foreigners not understanding the unique situation," this is Koreans in South Korea doing studies in Korean that show that most of the pollution here is created in South Korea. A lot of Koreans know about this and are not happy. But most Koreans are used to pollution, are used to a lack of government regulation, are used to letting polluters get away with murder, and they stubbornly refuse to admit that South Korea is responsible for anything bad.

Yep, now, it most definitely is not seasonal.  Last year, was the first time that it was crap all the time regardless of the season.  The last couple of years we have not seen as much, if any, yellow sand.  So far this year, in Chungnam, the microdust hasn't had a full day below 100 on the AQi.  The winter was pretty similar.  It was never like that before.

Sorry but this is BS too, during the last 5 years I have been here it has been heavily smoggy year-round regardless of season. I have not seen it get better or worse, it is always the same. Maybe it is getting marginally worse every year but not by much, there have been coal-burning power plants and a massive number of cars and factories here for years. South Korea is planning on building even more coal power plants and that will definitely make things worse though.
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Offline VanIslander

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #352 on: January 10, 2018, 01:31:12 PM »
...during the last 5 years I have been here it has been heavily smoggy year-round regardless of season. I have not seen it get better or worse, it is always the same.
Then you haven't been paying attention. I check the air pollution EVERY MORNING (for over a decade) and June through September has MUCH LOWER pollution levels. No surprise, since so many weather systems come from the Pacific Ocean then.

But wait...

I only check the southeastern province of Gyeongsangnamdo and for seven years Jeju Island. I never check Seoul specifically. I guess it's possible that mainland pollution pisses on it year round. Is this what you're saying?

I know that at times, weather systems from the Pacific in the summer hit the country mid-peninsula and then turns east. it's possible that your experience coheres with mine if you are griping about Seoul.

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #353 on: January 10, 2018, 04:52:18 PM »
Well a lot of the coal power plants are along the coast in Chungnam. All the big cities are always smoggy, especially Seoul. I used to live in rural Chungbuk and it was always pretty smoggy there too.

I would say that in winter and spring you can get one or two clear days here and there but they'll be followed by weeks of grim grimy dark smoggy days. In summer and fall you are more likely to get several clear days in a row but you're also likely to get week after week of dirty white skies.
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Offline hangook77

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #354 on: January 10, 2018, 10:19:22 PM »
I thought Greenpeace (which I don't always like) said on the worst days 50 to 70% of pollution comes from China and on the best days up to 30% comes from China.  Lots of things Korea can do to improve thing, but China does play a part especially during certain weather conditions when there's fog, slow moving windless air, really warm days in winter with cold nights (hot and cold air create fog or steam and trap it in more), etc.  Notice when it gets really cold here and during summer months, the air tends to be cleaner.  Summer different wind direction not coming from China.  Colder air, pollution gets blown higher into the atmosphere and away rather than being "trapped" closer to the ground on those warm and cold mixed days.  It's usually the worst from Feb to May as the air warms up in the daytime.  It will be quite cold later this week.  Check the pm 2.5 and notice the air quality should be really good on those days.

This whole "the pollution is seasonal and some seasons are better than others" thing is such BS, foreigners here parrot it all the time. Koreans just CANNOT admit that their country is perpetually smoggy, and saying that pollution is "seasonal" lets them pretend that pollution is a natural phenomenon that they have no control over. It's like the way they call it "fine dust" instead of pollution or smog, because it conflates pollution with hwangsa which is a natural phenomenon. And they always blame China.

Pollution here IS NOT SEASONAL. I've been here nearly 5 years, and every season can be just as smoggy as other seasons. Winter can have week after week of grim, dark gray days with high pollution. Summer can have week after week of white skies with high pollution. Spring is always pretty bad. Fall probably has the most clear days but it can have week after week of high pollution, like this past fall. The only thing that really ever seems to clear up the air is rain or snow, but after a day or two of post-precipitation clear skies it goes back to grim and crappy like usual.

And KOREAN STUDIES BY KOREANS have shown again and again that most of the pollution here is created in South Korea. There are tons of cars here, tons of factories, and many coal-burning power plants. This isn't "stupid racist/untrustworthy foreigners not understanding the unique situation," this is Koreans in South Korea doing studies in Korean that show that most of the pollution here is created in South Korea. A lot of Koreans know about this and are not happy. But most Koreans are used to pollution, are used to a lack of government regulation, are used to letting polluters get away with murder, and they stubbornly refuse to admit that South Korea is responsible for anything bad.

I check the air pollution app often.  Some days are clear in the green or yellow while others are horrible in the orange and red.  Not every day is the same and not every season is equal.  I've been here for a long time and have seen the air quality run the gamit.  All seasons do have bad air days and good air days.  Some are worse than others.

Its colder and snowier.  It is in the green and yellow for pm 2.5 air quality.  On Sunday it was a warmer winter day and quite smoggy.  You could even smell the smokiness.  It was in the red and quite high.  Check for colder weather and see the air cleaner.  Been doing it for years. There is a pattern here. 

Offline hangook77

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #355 on: January 10, 2018, 10:21:04 PM »
But the real $h!t show starts sometime in Feb and goes through the spring. 

Offline hangook77

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #356 on: January 10, 2018, 10:25:54 PM »
So far this year, in Chungnam, the microdust hasn't had a full day below 100 on the AQi.  The winter was pretty similar.  It was never like that before.

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Top_ten_largest_coal_plants_in_the_world

#2 and #3 are close to you. #7 too is not far away.

As Koreans are becoming wealthier their electricity use is increasing. Electric heaters, air purifiers, air conditioners, cryptocurrency mining, etc. The electricity is made by burning massive amounts of coal. Really wish Korea could switch to water, wind, and solar power.

Water solar and wind are fluff and for appearances sake.  The truth is they still, in spite of improvements, don't generate enough power to power a grid as of yet.  Governments put a bunch of them in place for positive news headlines, but they generate very little power.  The tech does get better all the time and some solar on a cabin in the woods can power a small refrigerator or something like that.  My dad has one on his forest cabin.  You want clean air for the next decade or so, you got to go natural gas or nuclear.  Maybe a couple of decades from now, the other technology will get better, more efficient, and generate more power more cheaply.  Until then....

BTW, Korea has invested in solar and wind a lot since 2008.  It was to create a green economy they thought.  You see them everywhere in the countryside compared to before.  But they still generate only a small fraction of the power grid according to current technology. 

Online Thomas Mc

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #357 on: January 14, 2018, 01:43:50 PM »
Air pollution is not bad enough to leave Korea.

The vast majority of the time readings are “good” or “moderate” in the Seoul area.

Today is one of those rare days it is in the “unhealthy” zone.

But to be fair this is the middle of winter and winter heating may be contributing to this.

Offline gogators!

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #358 on: January 14, 2018, 03:46:19 PM »
Air pollution is not bad enough to leave Korea.

The vast majority of the time readings are “good” or “moderate” in the Seoul area.

Today is one of those rare days it is in the “unhealthy” zone.

But to be fair this is the middle of winter and winter heating may be contributing to this.
I used to check the AQI regularly--I gave up because it was so often in the orange--and green days were few and far between. Yellow is normally the best you're going to get.

Online Thomas Mc

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #359 on: January 14, 2018, 03:51:10 PM »
Wrong! It’s very often in the green. Unlike you I keep my eyes on what is happening.

Even orange isn’t that bad though. I it’s classified as “unhealthy for sensitive groups “

India is a place with air pollution problems. You want to know about air pollution then go there.