Preventable Dis-eases

pollen_600x450It’s that time of year again. That time when the yellow haze settles onto the cars, when everyone has that glazed look in their eyes, when your head feels like it’s floating three feet over your body and everyone’s voice sounds like they’re talking underwater. It’s Pollen Season in Atlanta.

The pollen count in Atlanta today is 2,607. Parts per million…million, with an “M.” Just to give you some perspective on that number, a ‘high’ pollen count is considered to be anything over 90. Why do we have this much pollen? Because our ‘urban developers,’ (whomever they are) are supremely stupid and have planned poorly.

Pollen_tree_530It is a known fact (thanks to the Almightly Google) that urban areas prefer to use male trees to landscape. Female trees produce flowers and fruit. Flowers + fruit = costly maintenance.

So male trees are planted. Lots and lots and lots of male trees. Come springtime, male trees do what males are apt to do…they go looking to spread their seed. Not detecting female trees nearby (how they can tell that is anyone’s guess), they only try harder. More pollen, spread for longer. So now, as any 8th grader could predict, cities have a growing problem with astronomical levels of pollen. Last year in Atlanta, the pollen count hit an all-time-high of over 9,000. It was off every chart that we’ve ever made to track pollen counts.

What gets me the most about this is that we do this to ourselves! We do it to ourselves by thinking we can control/outwit nature. We could fix this by changing the way we landscape in cities. The problem with our pollen levels being so high- and there are many problems- is that we get more sensitive over time, so allergies get worse and worse the longer we are exposed. It’s enough to make me want to move to somewhere remote, like Montana…or Roswell.

pollen trying to killI hope we get over our masochistic (or lazy?) need to make ourselves sick with tree sperm soon. My take is that there’s enough in life that is not fixable that the few things we can fix should get our full attention.

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