A big oil refinery with the characteristic cooling towers and furnaces dominating the skyline as seen in the distance from the highway. Above the structures, a thick white smoke rises into the otherwise clear blue sky.

COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were great for clean air — while they lasted :-(

Air pollution obscures the Denver, Colo. skyline. [Associated Press Photo]
editor's blog logo For past five years, always in the spring, I have developed a consistent, irritating dry cough. I have been tested three times for allergies across that time and the results have always showed that I have no allergies.

My theory has been that it is the COMBINATION of air pollution PLUS tree pollen that overwhelms my system and causes me to cough every spring here for week and weeks here in the Denver area.

This spring, thanks to cleaner air that has come as a result of less driving due to a stay-at-home order  in Colorado, I have had ZERO coughing PROBLEMS — until TODAY, Thurs., April 23, when I am beginning to develop some coughing 

Look at the air quality index across time for Denver area [see graphic below]. It DROPS in March but has been on steady rise, for most part, across April, likely correlating with more people driving their gas cars more — if we were 100% electric + 100% renewable energy — we would have essentially zero air pollution!

My basic point: Air pollution DOES affect people, including me, on a micro level, and in profound ways. Yet, for the most part, we as a society, don’t seem to care much, or want to do much about it, even though we can, should, and COULD, change this all rather quickly — within 10 or 15 years by going to 100% electrification. + 100% renewable energy.

It truly sucks that so many people don’t care — and that individuals, including me, but NOT only me, suffer as a result.

We so need an education system in the United States that instills true environmentalism in its students, something that is largely lacking in that system right now.

Just sayin’ … COUGH, COUGH, COUGH…

air pollution index in denver
Air pollution levels have been creeping up in Denver as more and more people again start to drive their gas cars more and more as the stay-at-home measures diminish here. My annual spring coughing has started to kick in again, precisely as the air pollution levels rise.