Jaywalking: Not my kind of green

John Walker
Opinion Editor

Spring is here and so is all the pollen anyone could ever want. Many of us native south easterners are used to the explosion of green dust at the end of every winter and every year we trudge through it like the troopers we are. But this year is different. We are experiencing a change in our climate and it shows.

The city of Louisville ranks No. 3 in nation for allergies, which is telling of the rest of the Ohio Valley region. For those of us investing in tissues for the next month this does not bode well.

With the increasing climate temperatures our region is going to become a madhouse of radical biological change. Increasing pollen counts are going to be a major part of that change and unfortunately there is no cure for this ailment.

Vanderbilt University has recorded the pollen count to be around 11,000 particles per cubic meter this week. Why is this abnormal? Because a high count is considered to be approximately 1,500 particles per cubic meter and average is said to be approximately 500. The count is the highest it’s been in 10 years and the trend does not seem to be slowing down. Every year I have lived in this community there have been more green dust clouds and more sneezing for longer periods of time. It seems as though this process will never end.

If this is not bad enough it seems as though the workers in Facilities Management all have a personal vendetta against anything growing in the Quad. All the grass mowing as of late kicks back up any pollen that has already settled, so beware of the weed eaters.

So what is a sufferer to do? Personally I want to move to Maine or Oregon, specifically the coast of either state. They say the sea breeze and the lack of humidity allow for a much more comfortable lifestyle. Although experts say there is not a cure for the allergy epidemic, I would much rather have some relief than have the constant fear of going outside for an entire month.

As far as the best cities to live in when it comes to allergies the The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America lists the top 10 cities as thus:


1. Portland, Ore.

2. Seattle

3. San Diego

4. Sacramento, Calif.

5. Albany, N.Y.

6. Salt Lake City

7. Stockton, Calif.

8. San Jose, Calif.

9. Colorado Springs, Colo.

10. Daytona Beach, Fla.


So take your pick and head that way because the only way to find relief in this state is to move away.