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A thought of influenza A H1N1(swine flu) as an environmental ecologist

 On April, 2009, influenza A H1N1(swine flu) outbreak was in Mexico. But this disease was spreaded rapidly to worldwide, and then it struck terror into human heart. Recently, various epidemic diseases have diffused in the world, such as Bird flu, SARS(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), malaria and cholera. This situation is the worldwide problem, and so it has a close relation to global warming.
 There were no free time from epidemic disease in human history. Various diseases regulated human population. Human being was a kind of host of epidemic disease. But after invention of vaccine, human could have bright prospects for freedom from diseases. However the transformation of diseases was faster than development of vaccine. Influenza A H1N1 is a typical example.
 A cause of various epidemic diseases is global warming. Global warming is causative of no experienced diseases for human and nature. Also, Korea is not free from this situation. We have suffered from several tropical diseases already, for example malaria and cholera. And many tree diseases become a serious problem at forests of Korea, such as pine needle gall midge, pine wood nematode(pine AIDS) and oak tree wilt disease(Oak AIDS). These diseases came from warm countries because of global warming. Misfortune on top of misfortune, global warming is expected to be continued.
 Current population density of human beings is the highest in history. The high population density is causative of the lack of food, water, land, and employment. And so human race face with difficult que stions of war, starvation, and diseases. Unfortunately, this situation is expected to be continued. Influenza A H1N1 is an indicator of the present global situation. And so, we must have attention to global environment by the influenza A H1N1. Spread of the influenza A H1N1 has a close relation to global warming. Many advanced countries are to blame in this problem, because they discharge great deal of greenhouse gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. Korea is the 11th country to discharge greenhouse gases in the world, and so we are to blame in this situation. But the most Korean don’t know that problem. And so Korean must have attention to worldwide environmental problems, and examine the mitigation programs of it, such as promoting public transportation, reducing food waste, and using high energy efficiency goods.
 Also, It is necessary to use clean energy, develop the sustainable or alternative energy sources, at the national level, for reducing worldwide environmental problems. In a good hour, Korea government support actively to revitalize it with policy of green growth. Now, Korean have to realize global environmental problem come from our wrong lifestyle, and try for improvement of it. It is the precept that we have to learn from the influenza A H1N1.

By Oh Choong-hyeon (prof., Dept. of Environmental science and ecological engineering)

Oh Choong-hyeon  Prof. Dept.of Environmental science and ecological

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