Sun, November 18, 2018 | 19:03
Can Korea save the World - Again?
Date : 2016-08-29 / Hit : 6990
From the mid 1960s Korean colleagues designed and implemented the first national family planning program in the World intended to bring fertility down below replacement level in a pre-industrialized, primarily rural, country. When the program began the average Korean family had from four to six children, and the average per capita income was under US$1,000 per year. This program succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.

This reduction in the “dependency burden,” coupled with the industriousness of the Korean people, has yielded the economic miracle which is Korea today, with average per capita income among the highest in the World. It provided a model for the rest of the developing world and countries everywhere have used the Korean model to spur their own fertility decline and rise in per capita income.

But “you can’t ever do just one thing.” The unintended consequence of this noble work is that Korea’s per capita carbon footprint is huge. Per capita contribution to global warming and the melting of the polar ice is greater in South Korea than Taiwan, the Netherlands, Germany or Japan.

My question is simple. Just as Korea led the Third World out of poverty by reducing fertility and urbanizing and industrializing, can it now lead the industrialized world toward the goal of zero carbon emissions? Is that goal alive on the Korean peninsula?