Month 4, Day 16: Aaaaaaahhhh-choooo!

A Siegel is a prolific writer on climate issues at Kos. Yesterday’s piece was about the impact of climate change on pollen levels, and hence the future of allergic reactions….kind of scary.

Sent to my local paper, the Medford Transcript.

The effects of global warming are no longer abstract. You’re going to be feeling them in your nose. Increased CO2 levels are projected to boost pollen production enormously over the coming decades, according to a National Wildlife Federation study released yesterday. A doubling or tripling of ragweed allergens in the United States is going to have huge economic impacts. We already lose around $12 billion dollars a year to hay fever suffering; we lose over 14 million school and work days, over $15 billion in medical costs and over $5 billion in lost earnings a year to asthma. What will the Global Warming multiplier be?

But wait! There’s more! Fungal production will probably quadruple with doubled CO2 levels; tree pollen levels are expected to increase drastically — and did I mention that poison ivy will be faster-growing and more virulent?

But it’s not all bad news. Investing in pharmaceutical companies should be a winning strategy. As asthma and allergies debilitate huge segments of the population, we can sneeze all the way to the bank.

Warren Senders

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