- Aug 20, 2007
- Reaction score
- Old Virginny
- Political Leaning
- Very Conservative
This isn't smart. In a country that's among the world's highest greenhouse-gas emitters, air conditioning is one of the worst power-guzzlers. The energy required to air-condition American homes and retail spaces has doubled since the early 1990s. Turning buildings into refrigerators burns fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases, which raises global temperatures, which creates a need for -- you guessed it -- more air-conditioning.
A.C.'s obvious public-health benefits during severe heat waves do not justify its lavish use in everyday life for months on end. Less than half a century ago, America thrived with only the spottiest use of air conditioning. It could again. While central air will always be needed in facilities such as hospitals, archives and cooling centers for those who are vulnerable to heat, what would an otherwise A.C.-free Washington look like?
In a world without air conditioning, a warmer, more flexible, more relaxed workplace helps make summer a time to slow down again. Three-digit temperatures prompt siestas. Code-orange days mean offices are closed. Shorter summer business hours and month-long closings -- common in pre-air-conditioned America -- return.
In the heat wave, the case against air conditioning
If America has to get rid of air conditioners, I predict the murder rate will go up. I know I will be the first to go, and that's by my wife, who cannot live without AC. She is undergoing the change, and is meaner than a junk yard dog when she gets hot. The bright side is that I save oodles of money in the winter because I am not allowed any heat in my house. My only saving grace is that I built a new PC with an 850 Watt power supply, and my 700 watt satellite transceiver puts out additional heat as well.