Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Air conditioning -- threat or menace?

Britt Harvey in the Winnipeg Free Press: It’s become the wonder drug for heat waves. Ice cubes, Super Soakers, Popsicles and pools -- whatever method you're using to keep cool these hot summer days just can't compete with the antidote of central air.

A new book by American scientist Stan Cox called Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer), covers the health risks and political consequences of a society of air-conditioner addicts.

Everything from the election of George W. Bush to our sexual habits has been affected by air conditioners, Cox argues. For instance, he says the population boom of the southern U.S. states was made possible by air conditioning. And without that vote-rich electoral base in Florida, and Texas, Bush might have lost the 2000 election. As for our sexual proclivities, Cox argues that as the heat turns up outside, it goes down in the bedroom. But turning on air conditioners has led to more summer loving.

But much like any drug, there are side-effects to cranking up the air conditioner, and Winnipeg environmentalists say we need to kick this habit cold turkey. "We have to realize there is a greenhouse gas outcome to our consumption," said Curtis Hull, Manitoba's Climate Change Connection project manager. "The more electricity we use, the less we export to places that use dirtier forms of energy like coal."…

Industrial air conditioning unit outside Durham Regional Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, shot by Ildar Sagdejev (Specious), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons3.0 Unported Attribution-Share Alike

1 comment:

Sebastian said...

How could an air conditioning become a menace or threat to us people? In fact, it helps a lot of people from warm weather today,. For me it is gives great help to us especially to me because I have my little internet cafe shop and it should be placed on an air conditioned room.