RE: Allergy-Free Gardening
This most recent post is a remarkably flippant, condescending response to a
clearly thoughtful forward, something that seems a growing tendency here.
Clearly, noting the source of the original note, the motivating thought was a
genuine one. The science is quite valid, but even if one doesn't care to take
the brief time needed to verify it, the underlying thought, equally clearly,
relates to balance and a reasoned approach to horticulture and the urban
landscape: seeking to addresss a human-induced imbalance. Isn't that supposed
to be the goal for all of us?
My understanding of the list has been that it wasn't intended to focus on NY
City problems, though they certainly deserve attention as much as anyone else's.
NY isn't the only city with urban blight, traffic, venal landlords, pollution
violators, rats or oppressed marginalized populations. People in those other
cities would argue that it isn't necessarily the most important. The asthma in
NY is caused by all of those things, including pollen, and for many pollen is
one of the foremost triggers. Pre-existing problems don't minimize the need for
a thoughtful approach to urban horticulture; if anything, they increase it.
Many of us who seriously hope to promote the greening of our cityscapes and
beyond are concerned that our efforts aren't misdirected, however
unintentionally, to the ironic detriment of the atmosphere [by any definition]
that we're trying to enhance.
Shots at the liberal imagination, whatever that means, aside, Leo was trying to
do us all a favor, and he did. To a five-year-old kid with debilitating asthma
attacks, it's no gag to be surrounded by a wall of pollen, and it isn't going to
do much for his or her learning focus. To the rest of us, concerns about
cumulative sensitivity and adding another allergen to the already appalling mix
are no joke, either.
Leo's post should motivate all of us to re-examine our yards, boulevards, parks
and especially the greenspaces and community gardens that we'd hoped to make
safe havens. In the politics/work mix, there needs to be room for
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