Keeping Cool: AC Goes Global

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Air Conditioning (arnaldoabba/flickr)

Each Thursday in June, Stan Cox, a senior scientist at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas and the author of Losing Our Cool, discusses the world of air conditioning. This week: the impact of the rise of AC in the developing world.  Have you noticed a growth in air conditioning in other parts of the world?



Stan Cox

Comments [12]

John A

I also link A/C to obesity. It is a technology enabling of it. It's easier to move through life with a body padded like a parka when your entire world is Air conditioned.
I walk along an "upstate" highway and the number of days I see that people drive with their car window open seems to have shrunk to about 10 days per year. Otherwise there's the constant noise of the car A/C fan - even in 70 degree weather.

Jul. 05 2012 11:32 AM
Alan from NYC - 12 stories up.

I don't know about getting rid of A/C, but I've always been amused (if not righteously indignant) about walking into a house that's 68 degrees in the summer and 77 in the winter. Simply using climate control to take the edge off the extremes of weather while still reflecting the reality of the outdoor climate might be a good beginning.

Jul. 05 2012 11:01 AM
Jessie Henshaw from way uptown

One of the most deceptive realities is that by far the greater energy use is NOT the units of fuel that people see themselves consuming. It's in the energy services it requires to deliver it, all the outsourced humans services you pay for. So, it's likely your AC fuel use is only 1/5 direct electricity use...

Jul. 05 2012 10:58 AM
Hugh Sansom

India isn't alone in poor housing standards. The British have only recently started building with double-glazed glass.

Take a look at how New York structures have typically been built — they're fantastically inefficient. Black asphalt everywhere, abysmal constructions standards, buildings that leak like sieves.

Jul. 05 2012 10:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Could you ask your guest if he knows what is the COST differential in these countries between using A/C versus a dehumidifier and a fan?

Jul. 05 2012 10:57 AM
Tina from Queens

I currently do not use AC in my house, although I did not read any literature agains the use of AC. It was just my intuition that told me that it cannot be healty for the body to go from very cold to very hot.
Not to mention, sweating is good for the body - it eliminates toxins, and help you lose some weight in the process. I use fans - and they do the job!

Jul. 05 2012 10:57 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

My sister can sit in a stifling hot room with a small fan while baking a casserole and she's fine. For me, the slightest heat and humidity makes me physically ill. Everyone is different, I'll continue to run my A/C, those who don't need it or like it won't use it.

I am against stores over cooling their stores so you need a sweater.

Jul. 05 2012 10:57 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Summer in NYC without an A/C?
Yeah,no thank you, sorry

Jul. 05 2012 10:55 AM
Hugh Sansom

The comments of some affected by the power outages in the mid-Atlantic states suggest how completely people assume that a/c is now a _right_.

There was a political scientist (Nelson Polsby, I think) who argued that the rise of a/c in the US, especially in the South, was key to allowing a redistribution of political-demographic groups from the 1940s through the 60s.

Jul. 05 2012 10:55 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Are we're in a death spiral, where the more A/C we use, the MORE we need it, as the temps of the world increase because of the USE of air conditioning?

Jul. 05 2012 10:53 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I have noticed the growth of a/c in the developing world, especially - the built in wall ones made by Mitsubishi etc. Window units - not so much..

Jul. 05 2012 10:53 AM

The Acs in many parts of the world are much more efficient, partly in that they are combination ac/heating units that are built into the upper walls. Much more energy efficient and it halves the number of machines required.

Jul. 05 2012 10:52 AM

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