Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Are we too cool?

With the intense heat wave blanketing the northeast, this is probably not the best day to bring this up but a very interesting article on how air conditioning changed America suggests that if we hadn't adopted AC so wholeheartedly, southern Republicans may never have gained the political power they've seen rise since the 1960s. And this factoid surprised me.
Americans now use as much electricity to power our A.C. as the entire continent of Africa uses for, well, everything.
It's a Catch-22 loop. The more we chill our interior air, the more we contribute to global warming, the more we need the AC. Also, the trend towards central air expends enormous amounts of energy cooling the buildings but only a tiny amount actually cools our bodies.

For myself, I haven't turned on the AC in my apartment out of economic necessity but I've never much liked it. Even when I could afford to turn it on at will, I only turned in on briefly. As far as I'm concerned, if you need a sweater to stay indoors in the summer, it's probably set too low.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]


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