A recent posting, "A Green Bulldozer?", has generated an in-depth commentary and online discussion. (Readers are urged to leave comments on Korea Report postings or engage in discussions. A Facebook group on Korea Report is also available for feedback and discussions.)
Blogger James Turnbull wrote this comment to the posting:
"I find John Feffer's sentiments noble but naive. Lee Myung-bak's restoration of the 5.8km Cheonggye stream [pictured], and the building of a small, treeless park in front of city hall, are certainly steps in the right direction, but they don't exactly mark a paradigm shift in Korean's attitudes towards the environment. Personally, I'm a little tired of all the wishful thinking and hype about Lee Myung-bak's eco-credentials. The 'postive signs' Feffer mentions, for instance, were all products of the previous Roh Mu-hyeon administration, but I'm sure Lee Myung-bak will take credit for those too. In the meantime, he seems determined to go ahead with his bizarre and wasteful canal project. Actions speak MUCH louder than words (and unenforced legislation) in Korea, so as far as I'm concerned the jury is still definitely out on Lee Myung-bak's newfound environmentalism."
Author John Feffer of the original posting replied:
"Thank you for your comment on my op-ed. For the record, I have no illusions about LMB. But I do believe that it might be possible to take advantage of his own view of himself as an eco-friendly leader to push him further in that direction. A paradigm shift has not taken place in Korea, certainly. But it's not inconceivable. Just as RMH came in with the support of the labor unions only to push through the FTA, I'd like to see LMB come in with the support of the business community and push through a truly green platform. When trying to persuade a leader, it is always best to use sugar rather than salt. He hasn't taken office yet. There will be plenty opportunity to criticize his policies later. If his actions prove unacceptable, I will definitely say so."