Park: Korean Government Attempts to Solve Yellow Dust Pollution


By Chan Kyu

The environment has become a serious concern after rapid industrial development occurred globally. Now, the conveniences we enjoy from the newest scientific inventions are destroying nature significantly and at great speeds. One major issue is air pollution.

Korea has been struggling with yellow dust that comes from the Gobi Desert in China during the spring season. The dust is created by the industrialization and the deforestation of China. Even though it carries a harmful substance that can affect people’s health, many do not seem to recognize it as a serious problem. Since citizens weren’t troubled the government started to warn them when the yellow dust concentration grew too high because it could harm people who go outside and breathe the polluted air. Additionally, Concentrations of fine dust are a rising issue. There is a number of days the fine dust rate is measured to be over the danger level for outdoor activities. So, the government and NGOs are suggesting several ways to solve the issue, which could be helpful.

The government suggests that citizens not stay outside for long periods of time to exercise. They also suggest that people wear masks outdoors and wash their hands upon returning home. Young children, older people and the infirm could suffer from the fine dust more than healthier and stronger people. Therefore, they should not go out as much as they can in order to avoid harm.

The funny part of these suggestions is that even an elementary school kid could come up with the solutions the government is asking citizens to follow. They represent such basic knowledge and instinct. As a citizen, we expect the country to protect us in the long run with more complex and effective solutions. The issue is that Korea has been suffering from the yellow dust and the fine dust for a long time, and the government has not come up with any alternative solutions other than these simple propositions. Since the government is not providing a clear and bright idea to fix the issue, citizens are arguing that they need to find their own way of overcoming the issue.

The Korean government, especially the Seoul Metropolitan Government, suggested citizens ride bicycles or public transportation to reduce the pollution. This suggestion is a good idea and an action that has the possibility to have an impact. However, the problem is that there are not many facilities citizens can use when they ride bicycles. Even though the government has instructed to use alternative transportation, there are few options to support citizens without vehicles, making it difficult to abandon their use. There are not many bicycle-only roads, which can be dangerous for riders, and there are few places around the city to park bicycles.

As the matter becomes more serious, Koreans need to feel safe by enacting a professional solution to the problem. The government has done nothing to overcome the issue. The reason why a country and its government exists is for the protection and the welfare of the citizens. In order to achieve that, the government should act effectively to keep its citizens secure and without worries. I hope there will be a significant idea created to overcome the yellow dust and the fine dust as quickly as possible because current solutions are inadequate.