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Available everywhere – now
“An iconoclast of the best kind, Stan Cox has an all-too-rare commitment to following arguments wherever they lead, however politically dangerous that turns out to be. In this richly informative and deeply courageous book, he tackles one of the greatest taboos of our high-consumer culture: the need to consume less and to fairly share what’s left.”
— Naomi Klein
a “lucid and lively book”
— Mother Jones
Q&A on rationing with Bob Jensen
AlterNet, May 1, 2013
Rationing for Earth Day
CounterPunch, April19-21, 2013
We already ration; we can do it better
New York Times, March 27, 2013
Rationing Q&A with VICE motherboard
VICE Motherboard, April 15, 2013
There’s a Ration Card in Your Future
Al Jazeera, Dec. 1, 2012
The scorching conditions are set to continue into the coming week and prompted the national Bureau of Meteorology to take the extraordinary measure of revamping its weather charts. New colours have been added to forecasting maps — deep purple and pink — to mark out areas experiencing peaks above 122F (50C).
The colours have come in for immediate use, with large purple blotches appearing on the weather map for next Sunday and Monday. Temperatures in parts of the state of South Australia are tipped to exceed 122F (50C).
So far, this century has been one of escalating heat waves, hurricanes, droughts, ‘snowmageddons’, and floods. In 2011, Mother Nature has managed to turn the mayhem up yet another notch. Is all of this a sign of human-induced global warming, or just random noise?
I plowed through some of the research and asked a few experts to come up with some partial answers. Here is part of the heat wave story:
One link between heat waves and human-induced warming of the atmosphere is simply a matter of statistics. Daily temperatures are distributed like most phenomena, in a bell-shaped curve, with most readings heaped up in the middle—that is, near the average for the date—and the rarer extremes tapering away in both directions as “tails”. As the earth warms, that curve tends to shift to the right, toward higher temperatures, with its right tail leading the way.
Even if the bell curve stays exactly the same shape as it moves, a small shift can lead to many more heat waves. Notes Michael Mann, “The one-degree Celsius increase we have seen in average temperature, for example, appears to be leading to a doubling of the rate at which record-breaking temperatures occur.” That happens because as the curve moves right (a phenomenon firmly linked to greenhouse emissions), the “fatter” part of the tail moves into “extreme” territory.
full story here
In the media over the past 12 months:
Stan Cox in the Washington Post on “D.C. without A.C.“
Cox in the Los Angeles Times on how we live and work in the A/C world
New York Times: “No Air-Conditioning, and Happy“
David Owen in The New Yorker on “The Efficiency Dilemma” (Dec. 20-27, 2010; sorry, subscription-only)
Chicago Sun-Times: Mark Brown tries to convince his wife to turn off the A/C
Cox on the A/C life in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jason Zasky talks with Cox: Failure magazine
Interview with the Belgrave Trust
More on keeping cool from Yes! magazine
The downside of A/C on Here and Now
Kevin Canfield on Losing Our Cool in the Los Angeles Times
Watch the KSN-TV report, also seen on the Weather Channel and NBC affiliates across the U.S.
Hear “Life without Air-Conditioning” on The Takeaway
An interview with Ryan Brown of Salon.com
Tom Condon on Losing Our Cool in the Hartford Courant
With National Geographic News Watch
Hear “Chilling Facts About Air Conditioners“, a one-hour interview and call-in with Stan Cox on the NPR program On Point
Rob Sharp in The Independent (UK): Cold Comfort
Cox answers adversaries via CounterPunch
Does this A/C make me look fat?
The Wichita Eagle on Losing Our Cool
Losing Our Cool interview: video on MSNBC
A review by the Dallas Morning News
An article on Losing Our Cool in the Boston Globe.
Q&A on A/C in the business world, in the New York Post
A Minneapolis Star-Tribune interview
Glenn Beck doesn’t want to hear about turning off the A/C
Nevada shaped by fans of A/C: the Las Vegas Sun
TIME on the history of air-conditioning
An interview with the National Post‘s Joe O’Connor
Macleans: How Air-Conditioning Changed the World
An A/C Q&A with Discovery’s Planet Green
How to stay cool without A/C even in America’s hot zones
A CBC Radio interview
Stan Cox in the Hartford Courant: Air-Conditioning is Sapping Our Society
Paul Cox: “Birth of the Air Conditioner“
Read Chapter 1 here
Publisher’s Weekly reviews Losing Our Cool.
A review in the Cleveland Plain Dealer
A Globe and Mail interview on staying cool in Canada
An essay written by Stan Cox for Powell’s Books: “In Making Our Own Weather, Have We Remade Ourselves?”.
A May 19 story in the Salina Journal.
Visiting my son Paul Cox in Brooklyn this weekend, I had a chance to visit a large building that once housed the Sackett and Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company — the site of the world’s first modern air-conditioning system, installed in 1902. You can read the story of this site that changed history in Paul’s piece for BushwickBK from last year.
In the basement area where Willis Carrier’s air-conditioning system had been located. No, that’s not it; it’s apparently a fire pump.
Rectangular holes like the one in this ‘chimney’, now blocked up, fed sheet-metal ducts that carried cool air through the building. This was ‘process’ air-conditioning, used to improve the printing environment. The first ‘comfort’ air-conditioning system was installed soon after at the New York Stock Exchange.
Let’s check out the roof. That ‘alarm’ sign? Don’t worry about that!
View toward Queens from the roof
The elevator shaft
Time to clear out.
Some of what I’ve been writing. See the whole list at LosingOurCool.com
Death ships (pdf): CounterPunch
Sweatshops at sea: Alternet
“I’ll see your snowstorm and raise you two heat waves”: The odds on odd weather: AlterNet, Metroland (Albany, NY), The Source (Bend, Ore.)
Is gas really “twice as clean as coal”?: AlterNet
Vertical farms don’t stack up: Synthesis/Regeneration, AlterNet
Crop Domestication and the First Plant Breeders:Chapter 1 in Plant Breeding and Farmer Participation (FAO, 2009)
Does climate change cause earthquakes?: AlterNet
Counting Food Miles Leads to Wrong Turns: AlterNet
More on our air-conditioned world:
D.C. without A.C.: Washington Post
A/C’s not as cool as you think: Los Angeles Times
Ready to give up A/C?: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Why folks get hot under the collar over A/C: CounterPunch
Militarism, torture, and . . . air-conditioning?: CounterPunch
The gas industry just won’t drop deceptive advertising. My view, from AlterNet:
Over the past year, the American Natural Gas Association has been running an aggressive public relations campaign. The central claim, widely heralded, is that natural gas is “twice as clean as coal.” With that, the gas industry has invented a new virtue for its product through the trick of inverting and slightly stretching one fact about gas: that its carbon dioxide emissions are 55 percent of coal’s emissions per kilowatt of electricity generated.
For an industry that wants to boost sales of natural gas, the “twice as clean” pitch is a much better slogan than, say, “Gas: It emits more than half as much carbon dioxide as coal, our worst greenhouse fuel!”
With its “twice as clean” claim, ANGA is venturing into previously unexplored public-relations territory. Will others follow? Will Burger King start touting its double cheeseburger (500 calories, 29 grams of fat) as being “more than twice as healthful” as a Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe Triple Cheeseburger (1140 calories, 71 grams fat)? Why not? With good news in short supply these days, it seems this technique could be employed in many areas of our national life to provide much needed good cheer. To make anything look good, simply find something that’s worse, turn a fraction into a multiple, and you’ve turned your liabilities upside down! For example:
Jobs: Coal-mining disasters in West Virginia, Chile and China this year reminded us that mining is one of the most dangerous occupations. But is it really so bad? Based on occupational fatality rates, mining is twice as safe as the agriculture/forestry/fishing sector.
Environment: Fresno, California has the fourth worst polluted air of any U.S. city, according to the American Lung Association. But look on the bright side. Air in Fresno is twice as clean as it is in the number-one polluted city of Los Angeles when you compare average ozone levels.
Health care: A prescription for Cerezyme, a drug for treating a dreadful condition called Gaucher disease, costs a patient $200,000 per year. That may seem outrageous unless you think of it as being twice as cheap as a $409,000-per-year prescription for Soliris (a treatment for an immune disorder called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria that affects 8,000 Americans).
Of course, you can always go beyond “twice as good:”
Foreign policy: The war in Afghanistan is becoming more deadly all the time, but at an average of 150 U.S. troop deaths per year since 2001, the Afghan war is still almost four times as harmless to our military as the war in Iraq, which has killed 590 American troops annually.
Energy policy: The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, which dumped about half a million barrels of crude oil into the sea, no longer looks so bad. We now know it was 10 times as eco-friendly as BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill.
Financial reform: To date, seven people have gone to jail in connection with a massive Ponzi scheme run by Minnesota business owner Tom Petters. He was convicted last year for cheating his investors out of a whopping $3.5 billion. But when you think about it, Petters was 18 times as honest as the now-imprisoned Ponzi artist Bernie Madoff, who took his investors for almost $65 billion!
The “twice as clean” fallacy also completely ignores other symptoms of our increasing natural-gas addiction. Methane, the chief component of natural gas, has more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide; as a result, leakage from mining and distribution of natural gas has the annual greenhouse impact of more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Then there’s the crisis now brewing over massive water pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing, the method used to get gas out of lucrative shale deposits. Coal mining has its high-profile ecological and human disasters, and now the destruction caused by gas mining, especially in the shale deposits, is becoming apparent.
On the defensive and desperate, national environmental groups have been promoting gas as an antidote to coal. But America needs to be curbing or cutting its consumption of all fossil fuels, not encouraging greater use of some of them. ANGA would claim it wants the accelerated sales of gas in order to displace coal use (just as tobacco companies used to argue their advertising was aimed at luring current smokers into switching brands, not inducing young people to start smoking.) But history shows that increased consumption of one fossil fuel doesn’t bring decreased use of others. For example, U.S. Department of Energy projections show consumption of coal and gas rising in parallel between now and 2030.
If such trends aren’t reversed, temperatures on Earth could rise by as much as six degrees Celsius by the end of the century. But don’t let that bother you too much. We’ll still be 22 times as cool here as we’d be on Venus!