I saw the completion of the 4-rivers project.

I’m leaving soon.  I depart on January 31 and don’t know if I will be back.  As I wrote on Facebook (names removed),

“My work these past three years -and also at Kwandong before that, has been great but I am returning to Canada next year. I can’t say for how long.

The Little Guy’s English is barely sufficient for day to day conversations with me and falling far behind his Canadian cohort so we (TLG and I; my wife will remain in Korea) are moving to my mother’s home in Penetang for at least one year. TLG will attend school and I will look for some kind of work. If I find useful and valuable work, my wife will emigrate and join us. If not, we will return to Korea to work I love and have shown an aptitude for but with the real concern about what high school will be for TLG- and any Korean child.”

I am not ready to talk about Canada, but that will come.

Yeosu World Expo: Meh

I guess not many people are attending the Expo.  Not as many as Korea had hoped, anyway.  Various branches of government offices are required to buy so many tickets and my wife kinda-sorta volunteered to do so at her workplace.

I was surprised by how close Yeosu is to Busan.  I looked at Google maps and asked for directions- it would have sent me way North to Daecheon before returning South to the expo for a travel time of over six hours.  Instead, we drove it in under two-and-a-half.

Getting there was pretty easy although we didn’t see any Expo signs on the expressway (number 10, if you are curious).  Once near the location we found signs for the Expo -go straight, and for Expo parking -turn right.  We turned right and drove through the grittiest industrial area I have ever seen.  There were a lot of signs for parking and that was the only thing that eased my fears that I was heading into a scam.

Saha District critters

On Sunday, the little guy and I hit the beach and this time we were prepared with a pasta strainer and plastic terrarium.  Here is what I think is a poison fish -that’s not the name but it looks to be related to a puffer, two crabs unfortunately caught in the act -and bravely unwilling to stop, and two …lobsters?  I don’t know what they are -nor, in fact the scientific names of any of our catch.

We also found a twofer here:

Mosquito control for the region

The Korea Times has an article describing efforts to reduce mosquito numbers.  The main effort shown in photos is the use of pesticide fogging machines.

Newcomers to Korea are often horrified seeing children playing in the fog.  It looks fun and adults don’t seem to mind.  I don’t know what compounds are used but I can’t imagine that it is healthy.  R. Elgin at the Marmot’s Hole is particularly bothered by it: 1,2, ah, just follow the results of this search.  I’ve written about my distaste for it, too: 1, 2.

What obscene acts is this journalist doing to keep his job?

Jake Nho has an article up at the Korea Times and it is a doozy, even for the Times.

Here is part of his bio: He has written numerous articles on various environmental issues for over 20 years.

It appears the article is one of a series (currently up to 16) on “Earth in Danger”.  Now I see I need to read more of these articles – for entertainment value if nothing else.

Now, lets look at a few excerpts from the article with my commentary added.  I have quoted Nho in Orange and my research in blue.  I hope it is not too garish and felt the variety of color would better differentiate the different voices.

His article is titled: “Does the Earth really need our protection?” and he starts by discussing the alarm over damage to the ozone layer:

What’s Your Nitrogen Footprint?

What’s your nitrogen footprint?

By now we are all aware of GHGs and carbon emissions, you may even be familiar with the Kyoto protcol and carbon trading, but have you given a thought to your nitrogen footprint?

‘If carbon and climate change seem to top the public agenda, consider that nitrogen pollution affects both, while also causing air and water pollution that reduces life expectancy and threatens biodiversity,’ writes Mark Sutton in Distilling Nitrogen Science.

Nuclear Free World Festival Busan 2012

March 11th marked 1 year since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Tragedy.  As a sign of support and camaraderie with the Japanese people who are still rebuilding their lives, the people of Busan took to the streets on Saturday to protest the use of nuclear energy on their shores.

12 Environmental Movies To Watch (while desk warming)

12 Environmental Movies To Watch 

1. Forks over Knives (2011) Director Lee Fulkerson

Forks over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict modern society can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Great inspiration and fascinating research.

The Times on saving energy and travel for women

A career educator in nearby Changwon discussed management styles of energy conservation in today’s Korea Times.  At one college, the owner/president decreed that all employees should do all in their power to reduce energy use.   Later, at a private university, individual rooms were proctored by students who made sure the lights and electronics were turned off when the room was not in use.  The student also kept the rooms clean and the white- or black- boards were clear.  Finally, at a national university, no one seemed to care about energy use and lights were often left on in empty classrooms

In the final situation, the teacher would typically turn lights off as he passed vacant rooms. 

The DMZ to become a protected wildlife zone… again

From the Ministry of Environment via Scientific American:

I guess the DMZ, the four kilometre wide and 250 kilometre long area between North and South Korea, appears in many ways to be an excellent place for the preservation of wildlife.  It is already home to many animals that are otherwise locally extinct and it is by definition a no-man’s land.

As the joke goes, there are a lot of three-legged animals there that are ‘protected’.  Hmm, I wonder if the local wildlife has evolved the ability to sniff out the landmines.

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