Do We Really Need “Hypoallergenic Parks”?

“Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?” That was the headline on the press release, and the specter of sanitized nature made me mutter “Oh, crap.” So I downloaded the study. It’s being published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, and it made me wonder, for the first time in my life, whether we might be taking this whole damned environmental quality thing a bridge too far.

“Let’s stipulate that we have already paved under much of the natural world to suit human needs, especially in and around cities, and further, that we often manipulate what’s left to our own purposes, and finally, that these changes almost always work to the detriment of the birds, butterflies, and other animals that once depended on these habitats. Is the logical conclusion that we now also need a war on trees that happen to cause hay fever?

“The study, by a team of Spanish researchers, looked at trees in Granada, a city widely admired for its abundance of handsomely-planted boulevards, parks, gardens, and other green spaces. But because of its Mediterranean climate and long growing season, Granada is also a hay fever hotspot, with almost 30 percent of residents saying they are allergic to pollen.”  Sourced through from:

GR:  I agree that we cannot view nature only in terms of its benefits or costs for humans.  That’s too narrow a view even for humans, and it certainly ignores the needs of animals.  It’s just this type of thinking that is behind the disappearance of over half of Earth’s wildlife.



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