Posted on | July 5, 2010 | 68 Comments
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.