I am just over (I hope) one of the worst allergy attacks I have ever had. Which is the good news – the bad news is that allergy attacks in general are getting worse and many feel that climate change and even our obsession with cleanliness are to blame. Trees are blooming and producing pollen earlier with more allergens, ragweed is more allergenic in the summer (probably part of my problem) and even poison ivy is becoming more potent. Nothing new from my perspective as this is a trend I have been tracking for some time. Here are a couple of interesting articles I came across this morning that you may like to read: This one from Time magazine in April – Allergies Worse Than Ever – Blame Global Warming?
The bad news is that in a warmer world, allergies are likely to get worse — and that’s going to cost sufferers and the rest of us. A new report released on Wednesday by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) found that global warming will likely increase pollen counts in the heavily populated eastern section of the country and that the effect of climate change could push the economic cost of allergies and asthma well above the current $32 billion price tag. “The latest climate science makes it clear that allergies could get much worse,” says Amanda Staudt, a climate scientist at NWF and the author of the report. “I really think this should be a wake-up call.”Read more:
This one entitled Can Dirt Do A Little Good
By contrast, Mari, growing up in high-rise, high-tech Tokyo, and Hattie, whose doting parents live a “green” lifestyle in San Francisco, both have modern conveniences and sanitation.
Statistically, Mari and Hattie are healthier. Some 42 out of 1,000 children in Namibia, and 41 out of 1,000 in Mongolia die before their 5th birthday; compared with only 8 in 1,000 in the U.S. and only 4 in Japan.
Yet the upscale urban infants are at higher risk for some health problems—including allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease—than the babies in the rural developing world. Read the entire article
And from Mother Jones some helpful suggestions:
- If you have a garden, choose plants with bright flowers. These are usually pollinated by insects, not the wind, meaning the pollen is generally too big to get into our nasal passages.
- Urge your city officials to plant female trees, which don’t produce pollen.
- If you live in the city (especially one of those listed below), get out to the country every once in a while. (Some cities, like Albuquerque, New Mexico, have actually enacted ordnances against planting certain kinds of highly allergenic trees, though it’s not clearhow effective these rules are in lowering the pollen count.) Read the entire article
Also yesterday I posted an article about water footprints and the National Geographic challenge to reduce our water consumption by 20%. In light of that I thought this was an interesting article from Grist magazine
In 1979, a study warned El Pasoans that if they continued to dip freely into their underground aquifer, it could run out of fresh water by 2030. The town turned that bleak prognostication around when it made water conservation a priority 20 years ago, and became a national model in the process….
With the help of the conservation program, El Paso’s utility exceeded its goal of reducing per-capita water consumption 20 percent by 2000. The city reached a new goal of 140 per-capita gallons per day (another 12.5 percent reduction) four years ahead of schedule in 2006. Read the entire article