Wednesday, December 11, 2019

AQI sucks

The air sucks in Seoul. It sucked all of Tuesday, and it's sucking right now, at 12:30 a.m.:

One of my supervisors has been talking, lately, about leaving Korea because of the air-quality problem. He's got a wife and two kids, and he doesn't want his loved ones ending up with black lung as if they were working in a coal mine. Can't say I blame him.

Leaving Korea because of the air sounds like a silly reason to leave, a made-up reason, but the problem is real. South Korea's air never quite gets as bad as it does in Beijing, where the PM2.5 air quality can often reach an insane 500, but it's bad when Seoul is pushing 200. Just for comparison's sake, Alexandria, Virginia—my hometown—has an average AQI of about 22 (it's currently 42, but still in the green "good" range). It's very clean, despite being a traffic nightmare thanks to all the VA/DC commuting. I just checked smoggy Los Angeles; it, too, is currently in the green with an AQI of 46. Central Beijing is anywhere between 250 and 370 right now. When people shake their finger at the US for having pulled out of the disastrous Paris Climate Accords, they ought to check things like relative air quality before lecturing Americans about their pollution output. (By the way, Paris, home of the accords, is currently registering a 57, i.e., it's in the yellow. So shut up, France. The US is doing a better job of keeping to the Accords—despite not being part of them—than you are.)

1 comment:

  1. That's precisely why these climate accords are such a farce. China and India pump massive amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere. The USA could eliminate all carbon emissions and it wouldn't make a lick of difference globally. It's all just virtue signaling.

    Speaking of which, I get a big laugh here in the Philippines as many fast food places have stopped providing straws. All other manner of garbage continues to be dumped into the rivers and onto the streets, but hey, we're saving the oceans!



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