losingourcool

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Hottest June on Record Spills over into July

In A/C news on July 21, 2010 at 7:25 am

The heat wave that hit eastern North America was part of a larger planet-wide warm spell. On average over the globe, June 2010 goes down as the hottest June on record, following the hottest spring ever:

According measurements taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) June 2010 was the hottest June on record worldwide. But this is not a new trend, at least for this year. March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record.

That from the Christian Science Monitor. The folks cracking jokes about the DC snowstorm last winter seem kind of quiet on that subject now. Soon after, NOAA issued its State of the Climate report showing that the 2000s have seen the hottest decade ever recorded and that each successive decade since 1960 has been hotter than the previous one.

In May, Reuters was reporting on projections that peak electricity demand would be comfortably low this this summer because of continuing economic distress. Utility companies, according to experts, could rest easy as “the recent recession has made Mother Nature take a back seat this time around.”

But May was a long time ago. Now utilities are experiencing near-record strains. With the national heat wave continuing, Bloomberg says, “The higher-than-normal temperatures have driven up electric power use around the U.S., including in New York, which recorded its third-highest hourly peak load of 33,542 megawatts on July 6.”

When the heat index rises, it’s economics that takes the back seat. As a nation, we’ll spend whatever it takes to stay comfortable.

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Flush-faced comments from ‘frioconservatives’

In A/C news on July 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Update:  Three cheers for Code Pink, coming down on the side of fresh air (and causing frioconservatives to break out in a big sweat)!

After my “what if” piece in the Washington Post. which described a future D.C. without A.C., someone out there on the Web apparently goosed the Rabid Right, because I got several hundred sweat-and-rage soaked emails (as well as some thoughtful, rational ones, which were very welcome). Sixty-seven pages of comments, most just as nasty, appeared under the article.

Someone called toms53 suggested in one email, “You know T. Stan Cox, you and those of your ilk need to be shot right in the f******  head with a .357 magnum.” A Mr. Brown informed me, “Your a moran.”

I guess it’s true that everyone likes to talk about the weather. This particular outpouring of sentiment seems to have happened partly just because some folks are always looking around for new targets. But the obvious sincerity and overwrought tone of many of the comments also seems to reflect America’s society’s deep fear of any sort of physical discomfort.

In Losing Our Cool, I cited scientific studies and expert analysis to support the idea that our population has become more heat-sensitive in the age of air-conditioning. But both my inbox and that Post comments provide further evidence, just as convincing, that we aren’t as tough as we used to be.

That, I guess, is why Glenn Beck doesn’t want to hear about turning off the A/C.

And to answer the questions many emailers have asked: My wife and I live in Salina, Kansas – not Washington – and we don’t use air-conditioning.

‘Losing Our Cool’ in the Media

In A/C news, About the book on July 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

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

Hear an interview with NPR’s Marketplace, and read some tips

The downside of A/C on Here and Now

Kevin Canfield on Losing Our Cool in the Los Angeles Times

Hear “Life without Air-Conditioning” on The Takeaway

An interview with Ryan Brown of Salon.com

Hear “Chilling Facts About Air Conditioners“, a one-hour interview and call-in with Stan Cox on the NPR program On Point

Rupert Cornwell in The Independent (UK): The US stays cool, but is global warming the price?

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

KWCH-TV interview

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 of Losing Our Cool:

rightsideChapter 1 — reprinted in pdf format by ColdType

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.