Year 2, Month 6, Day 7: Nothing To Sneeze About.

The LA Times notes that the greenhouse effect is going to make allergies more severe.

The sneezing, eye-watering, itchy-throated misery that comes with allergies is on the rise, led by a growing numbers of Americans sensitive to ragweed and mold. And in certain big cities — Phoenix, Las Vegas and the Riverside-San Bernardino area among them — the misery of ragweed allergies has lots more company than in others, says a new national study.

The study, to be released by Quest Diagnostics Health Trends, identifies the U.S. cities where allergies to ragweed and mold are most common, based on test results for allergens nationwide. Those sensitive to mold were most plentiful in Dallas, Riverside-San Bernardino, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The study found that sensitization to ragweed and mold increased 15% and 12%, respectively, over the study’s four years. That’s consistent with recent research suggesting that rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are causing a dramatic increase in the release of ragweed pollen, while rising temperatures promote an increase in birch tree pollen, a major allergen in Europe.

Aaaaah-choo! Sent May 26:

As the greenhouse effect intensifies, we’re going to be seeing more and more adverse effects at all levels of experience — from disasters at the regional and national scales all the way to upticks in such localized miseries as poison ivy and allergic asthma. It would be nice to think the denialists will relinquish their bizarre conspiracy theories when the pollen count gets high enough, but if increases in the severity and frequency of tornadoes aren’t enough to make them acknowledge the reality of climate change, a few million runny noses probably won’t do the trick. What will it take to get the “climate zombies” in Congress and the media to wake up to the gravest threat our species has yet faced? We’ll probably remain mired in collective inaction until the fossil fuel industry recognizes that species survival is more profitable than extinction. In the meantime, get out your handkerchiefs.

Warren Senders

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