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.