March 08, 2005
KNOXVILLE IS AN Asthma Capital, and it's also one of the most allergic cities in the U.S. Some of that is natural (we have lots of biodiversity, which --'doh! -- means more different kinds of pollen) but a lot of it isn't. TVA coal-fired electrical generating plants are the biggest villain, I think. Interestingly, though, I've noticed that the air actually looks a lot clearer. Often, driving to Maryville, I can make out the observation tower on Look Rock from 20 miles away, which certainly didn't used to happen. I guess the air can get clearer and dirtier at the same time (with ozone, for example) but it certainly seems as if that's what's happening. I wish TVA would replace those nasty, dirty coal plants with nice, clean nukes.