Year 4, Month 6, Day 15: Today Is The Tomorrow You Worried About Yesterday

USA Today tells us (again!) about allergies:

MELROSE PARK, Ill. — From the roof of the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in the Chicago suburbs, an 83-year-old retired doctor finds troubling evidence of why so many people are sneezing and itching their eyes.

Joseph Leija counts the pollen and mold spores that collect on slides inside an air-sucking machine atop the six-story building. “There’s been an increase, no doubt about it,” he says of the 5 a.m. weekday counts that he’s been doing as a volunteer for 24 years.

“My allergies are much worse than they used to be,” says Amanda Carwyle, a mom of three who lives 95 miles south in Pontiac, Ill. “I used to be able to take a Benadryl or Claritin and be fine.” Now, despite three medications and allergy shots that make her feel a bit like a zombie, she says her eyes are watery and her head stuffy. “I’m so miserable.”

Good health! May 31:

All the self-styled “fiscal conservatives” who loudly assert that addressing global climate change would cost too much need to start paying attention to the externalities which accompany the rapidly intensifying greenhouse effect. Repairing infrastructure, revamping agriculture, cleaning up after the tornadoes and hurricanes — all these take money, and lots of it.

Now we can add another item to the list: the cumulative cost in human time and productivity due to worsening allergies. Any hay fever sufferer will agree that there’s nothing funny about the affliction, and when the number of hours lost to runny noses, streaming eyes, and asthmatic attacks are toted up, the sum should be cause for alarm, even to those politicians who’ve built their careers on attacking climate science’s conclusions.

While antihistamine manufacturers can look forward to record-breaking profits, the public health consequences of continuing to ignore the climate crisis are nothing to sneeze at.

Warren Senders

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