Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

‘Losing Our Cool’ in the news

In A/C news, About the book on August 29, 2010 at 8:59 am

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

Chicago Sun-Times: Mark Brown tries to convince his wife to turn of the A/C

Hear an interview with Cox on NPR’s Marketplace, and read tips on keeping cool

Cox on the A/C life in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jason Zasky talks with Cox: Failure magazine

Interview (mp3) with Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock

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

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.


Another family goes A/C-free and enjoys the real summer

In A/C news on August 29, 2010 at 8:56 am

Last week, Tom Rademacher of the Grand Rapids Press told the story of a Michigan couple, Kelly and Ingrid Fleming, who saw the central air-conditioning in their home break down in May and decided to leave it unfixed. And despite this summer’s record-hot conditions, they have enjoyed the summer more than they usually do:

“We’ve spent more time out on the back deck in the last two months than we have in the last 10 years,” said Kelly, 54. “The lack of air conditioning has opened my eyes.”
In taking to the backyard instead of an icy environs within, the Flemings started sprucing up their outdoor “room,” starting with a rehab of their patio furniture.

They scrubbed the frames and bought new cushions for the chairs. At a big-box store, Kelly purchased a canopy that almost completely umbrellas the large deck on the east side of their home. A string of Christmas lights was hung against one wall, and tiki torches were installed. A weather-resistant rug was placed beneath the gathering table, and Ingrid trotted out little tabletop screen tents that allowed her to put food out without worrying about pests.

Neighbors began to notice that the Flemings were starting to spend more of this summer outdoors, and they came closer. Soon, Kelly was raising one of the tiki torches extra high on a post a la Paul Revere, to signal to friends it was time to commune, and neighbors like Jim and Lois Rainero and George and Shelly Wetzel starting drawing near, for everything from suds to cigars to conversation…

And for the first time in two decades, the Flemings are sensing things they didn’t know their backyard even offered.Hummingbirds, for one, lay siege to the bulging Rose of Sharon. They’ve spied a family of wild turkeys, and hawks overhead. One recent evening, Kelly was minding his own business when both a raccoon and an opossum helped themselves to the deck.

I’ve heard similar stories many times now since Losing Our Cool was published. America may finally be learning that immersion in industrial “comfort” is not the only way to enjoy the summer.

CNN: power blackouts “skyrocketing”

In A/C news on August 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

The rate at which electrical blackouts strike has been escalating rapidly, says CNN, citing research at the University of Minnesota:

Experts on the nation’s electricity system point to a frighteningly steep increase in non-disaster-related outages affecting at least 50,000 consumers. During the past two decades, such blackouts have increased 124 percent — up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota. In the most recently analyzed data available, utilities reported 36 such outages in 2006 alone.

The CNN story relates a new twist in the great American migration to the indoors in summertime: on Staten Island, Little League baseball games were canceled one night in July this year, so that the ballpark lights would not consume energy needed to power home air-conditioners.

Meanwhile, in the Baltimore-Washington area, peak power demand this summer has exceeded last year’s demand by 77 percent.  And on late afternoons this week, the state of Texas is experiencing the highest peak demand it has ever recorded, beating out the previous record, which was set . . . last week. Gulf Power in northern Florida is meeting peak demand, but just barely, as demand approaches its total generating capacity. The company says about half of summer electricity consumption in its region goes for air-conditioning.