The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Have You Hated Yourself Over Your Air Conditioning Today?

Posted on | July 5, 2010 | 68 Comments

by Smitty

If not, Salon can assist, emphasis and formatting mine:

. . .as science writer Stan Cox argues in his new book, “Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer),” the dizzying rise of air conditioning comes at a steep personal and societal price.

  • We stay inside longer,
  • exercise less, and
  • get sick more often — and
  • the electricity used to power all that A.C. is helping push the fast-forward button on global warming.

The invention has also changed American politics: Love it or hate it, refrigerated cooling has been a major boon to the Republican Party. The advent of A.C. helped launch the massive Southern and Western population growth that’s transformed our electoral map in the last half century. Cox navigates all of these scientific and social angles with relative ease, providing a clear explanation of how A.C. made the leap from luxury to necessity in the United States and examining how we can learn to manage the addiction before we refrigerate ourselves into the apocalypse.

There will be a brief pause in this post while I go outside and flagellate myself for exercise and spiritual purging.
[. . .later, washed with water at a user-selected temperature. . .]
Oh, this is great:

You’re one of the proud few without A.C. Do you find it’s possible to be comfortable in the heat of the summer without it?
Yes, I think so. A couple of weekends ago it was in the high 80s here in Kansas. I was in my living room with the ceiling fan going, and I thought, man, it’s really nice in here, so I went and got a thermometer, and it was 84 in the living room. I had an aunt who was always trying to economize and would keep her windows shut up and her air conditioning on 80 degrees, and that was utterly stifling. You just couldn’t exist in that kind of environment, but if you have no air conditioning and plenty of ventilation and air movement, it’s comfortable. Warmth in and of itself is not bad at all. It can even be quite enjoyable.

Splendid. You’ve apparently achieved an Amish situation. However, I respect their lack of condescension about their lifestyle decisions. For deeply religious folk, their lack of preaching is refreshing! But back to the reading.
One hopes this article ends with a punchline. . .score!

I have to ask, is the room you’re in right now air-conditioned?
Yes, it is.
How do you feel?
I’m a bit cold, actually. I would prefer to just open the place up, but you know, we all have co-workers. I was working outside all morning, and when I came in, the air conditioning felt good as it always does when you first go indoors, but now that I’ve been sitting here talking to you, it’s starting to get uncomfortable.

OK, Stan Cox, you capitalist swine. Good luck selling lots and lots of books–I daresay you shan’t scare up much readership in the rightosphere. Humans have always used their God-given talents to improve their environment. The rush to assign shame and politicize something like air conditioning is gross. A book on good architectural techniques for designing homes to manage heat more efficiently could build a positive case for re-applying the aforementioned intellect to minimizing power requirements an bi-products. Ah, but the Holy Guilt! Somehow I think it plays into Lefty self-esteem issues, but that’s for another blogger to pursue.

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Comments

  • Don’t Really Like Lefties

    I’m lowering my thermostat to about 65 degrees and putting on sweats just at the hope these idiots will read this and be annoyed.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com/pub dicentra

    I have no A/C; I have a swamp cooler. It cools the air by running water through absorbent pads and pulling the outside air through the pads and into the house.

    It consists of a fan and a water pump.

    And it only works in the desert, where water evaporates into the air the way God intented.

    Also, apparently there is something about living in the south that makes you conservative; otherwise, all them folks what stayed north would be good Lefties.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com/pub dicentra

    I have no A/C; I have a swamp cooler. It cools the air by running water through absorbent pads and pulling the outside air through the pads and into the house.

    It consists of a fan and a water pump.

    And it only works in the desert, where water evaporates into the air the way God intented.

    Also, apparently there is something about living in the south that makes you conservative; otherwise, all them folks what stayed north would be good Lefties.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com/pub dicentra

    Just FYI, those of you who are experiencing 20° higher-than-normal temps, we here in Utah are getting 20° lower than normal. You want your cooler weather back, you’ll have to come and git it yourselves.

    We might hit 82° today. On the 4th, it barely cracked 80°.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com/pub dicentra

    Just FYI, those of you who are experiencing 20° higher-than-normal temps, we here in Utah are getting 20° lower than normal. You want your cooler weather back, you’ll have to come and git it yourselves.

    We might hit 82° today. On the 4th, it barely cracked 80°.

  • http://www.justgrits.wordpress.com Obi’s Sister

    Uh, no.

  • http://www.justgrits.wordpress.com Obi’s Sister

    Uh, no.

  • http://miriamsideas.blogspot.com miriam sawyer

    Air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury, for older people. Remember all the seniors who died in Paris the last time they had a heat wave.

    When Al Gore get rid of AC in his several palaces, I’ll consider getting rid of mine.

    Won’t happen.

  • http://miriamsideas.blogspot.com miriam sawyer

    Air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury, for older people. Remember all the seniors who died in Paris the last time they had a heat wave.

    When Al Gore get rid of AC in his several palaces, I’ll consider getting rid of mine.

    Won’t happen.

  • Pingback: Quick Takes [Darleen Click]

  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    President Roundarse Deluda and her badass War Pimp, Boob Badweather …

    Um, as Stacy, or Dan Collins, or DaTechGuy, or Ace of Spades could inform you… I’m somewhere between a size 4 and a size 6. So with all due respect (i.e. none), what the hell are you talking about?

    In third world countries, a refrigerator is an essential commodity while AC is a luxury.

    You know what’s also a luxury in Third World countries? Internet. So why don’t you do without that for a while, dahlin?

  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    President Roundarse Deluda and her badass War Pimp, Boob Badweather …

    Um, as Stacy, or Dan Collins, or DaTechGuy, or Ace of Spades could inform you… I’m somewhere between a size 4 and a size 6. So with all due respect (i.e. none), what the hell are you talking about?

    In third world countries, a refrigerator is an essential commodity while AC is a luxury.

    You know what’s also a luxury in Third World countries? Internet. So why don’t you do without that for a while, dahlin?

  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    The energy consumption is far far less in a refrigerator compared to an AC in one’s home.

    Okay, my chemical engineering training kicked in on this one, and I’m calling bullshit.

    The small, new refrigerator in my house has an estimated annual operating cost of $31, according to EnergyStar. (It’s a tiny fridge – big enough for two people’s food, maybe.)

    The A/C unit that I’m installing in my window has an annual estimated operating cost of $54 again, according to EnergyStar.

    Granted, one doesn’t run A/C all year, but I hardly think that the disparity between those two annual operating costs is indicative of a ridiculously huge increase in energy consumption. I would hazard to guess that you could actually cancel out your A/C energy use by simply replacing older appliances with newer, energy-efficient ones – or taking shorter showers for like a month.

    Actual facts: the nemesis of liberal thought.

  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    The energy consumption is far far less in a refrigerator compared to an AC in one’s home.

    Okay, my chemical engineering training kicked in on this one, and I’m calling bullshit.

    The small, new refrigerator in my house has an estimated annual operating cost of $31, according to EnergyStar. (It’s a tiny fridge – big enough for two people’s food, maybe.)

    The A/C unit that I’m installing in my window has an annual estimated operating cost of $54 again, according to EnergyStar.

    Granted, one doesn’t run A/C all year, but I hardly think that the disparity between those two annual operating costs is indicative of a ridiculously huge increase in energy consumption. I would hazard to guess that you could actually cancel out your A/C energy use by simply replacing older appliances with newer, energy-efficient ones – or taking shorter showers for like a month.

    Actual facts: the nemesis of liberal thought.

  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    ROFLMAO.

    Nice try, gg. The subject of smitty’s post was NOT the use of A/C in India; it was the use of A/C in America.

    Now, if you want to bitch about India, go right ahead. But when you suggest that America should be turned into a third-world hellhole just to satisfy your fweelings, I’m going to smack you down.

    Clear?

  • http://www.haemet.blogivists.com Roxeanne de Luca

    ROFLMAO.

    Nice try, gg. The subject of smitty’s post was NOT the use of A/C in India; it was the use of A/C in America.

    Now, if you want to bitch about India, go right ahead. But when you suggest that America should be turned into a third-world hellhole just to satisfy your fweelings, I’m going to smack you down.

    Clear?

  • Contractor Guy

    Incredible resource. I’m going to suggest this to all of the Phoenix air conditioning companies I know. Thanks again!

  • Contractor Guy

    Incredible resource. I’m going to suggest this to all of the Phoenix air conditioning companies I know. Thanks again!