losingourcool

Archive for the ‘A/C news’ Category

Enjoy the Cold While You Can, America!

In A/C news on April 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Back to this blog after winter hibernation, I see that the continuing chilly spring should bring no comfort to those of us who work outdoors in the summer.  The map below is from the National Weather Center’s Climate Prediction Center, on the coming summer’s projected temperatures. Areas in blue will be below normal – oh, I guess you don’t need to know that! – while increasingly red areas will be increasingly above normal. This has become routine in recent years of course, but this projection paints everything red but the West Coast and part of the northern tier of states.

outlook13

The worst of energy worlds: The record cold and storminess over the past few months – a result of fossil-fueled Arctic sea ice loss – forced us to burn more fuel for heating, and now fossil-fueled summer heat will keep air-conditioners running, most likely, at record levels. And removing a unit of heat from your house costs much more in terms of climate disruption than does adding the same unit of heat.

Backlash

In A/C news, About the book on August 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

The inevitable pro-air-conditioning backlash has come from Slate in the form of an article by Daniel Engber. His chief arguments are that heating in the US uses more total energy than does air-conditioning, and that air-conditioning can protect health in severe heat waves. Those are points that I make in Losing Our Cool as well, and they don’t amount to a justification of air-conditioning.

Heating may still use more energy than cooling even with today’s hotter summers, but  air-conditioning creates more greenhouse emissions. Here’s why. Air-c0nditioners are powered almost totally by electricity (for buildings) and liquid fossil fuels (for cars) and always requires climate-unfriendly refrigerants. Most heating is done by burning fuels directly. The inefficiencies of electricity generation and transmission and the fact that it is done largely with coal and fuel oil means higher emissions. If you count only energy use and only buildings, A/C is responsible for under 300 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually versus more than 400 for heating. But add in vehicle A/C and the greenhouse impact of refrigerants, and the total climate impact of air-conditioning is almost 450 million metric tons CO2 equivalent, versus 415 for heating.

But the much more important point is that most of that heating is necessary (even if the energy could be used more efficiently) whereas most of that air-conditioning is not (or is what we might call a “created necessity” because of the way we have constructed buildings and cities and arranged our transportation system.) So the factors that have decreased demand for heating, including the great southward migration and global warming, represent a missed opportunity to save energy. All of the emissions–and then some–that could have been spared because of lower heating demand have been replaced by cooling emissions.

I have dealt with the heat wave argument many times. The use of air-conditioning to protect people of advanced age or poor health against deadly heat waves accounts for a tiny percentage of total A/C use; by far the greatest use is of a completely different kind, in situations that do not warrant a refrigerated environment. I noted recently, for example, that “keeping vulnerable members of our communities alive during heat emergencies is one thing; using that as an excuse for neglecting horrible urban living conditions while at the same time tolerating the routine, lavish deployment of chilled air throughout much of the rest of society is another.”

Losing Our Cool in the Media

In A/C news, About the book on June 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm

The Atlantic: Cox is the 2012 Readers’ Choice “Brave Thinker

A New York Time forum: Should Air-Conditioning be RationedA debate

An A/C debate: the Diane Rehm Show on NPR

Cox in the Washington Post on “D.C. without A.C.

Brad Plumer, Washington Post: a “fascinating” book

Al Jazeera: Cold reality

Yale e360 and the Guardian: Global Cooling

Here’s my presentation on America and the air-conditioned dream, in pdf format, from the Gulf Coast Green conference in Houston, May 1, 2012

And:

Last summer: NPR Morning Edition, ABCNews.com, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant, London’s Daily Mail

As well as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung FOX Business, and KWCH-TV

Recently with VICE magazine’s Motherboard.tv

Former Amazon employee and author Nichole Gracely thanks Losing Our Cool for not supporting her old bosses.

New York Times: “No Air-Conditioning, and Happy

Kevin Canfield on Losing Our Cool in the Los Angeles Times

A review by Mother Nature Network, which named Losing Our Cool one of the “Ten must-read environmental books of 1010″

Al Jazeera: Cold Reality

David Owen in The New Yorker on “The Efficiency Dilemma” (Dec. 20-27, 2010; sorry, subscription-only)

Cox in the Los Angeles Times on how we live and work in the A/C world

An interview with Ryan Brown of Salon.com

The A/C dilemma in the Persian Gulf

Chicago Sun-Times (pdf): Mark Brown tries to convince his wife to turn off the A/C

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

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

The downside of A/C on NPR’s Here and Now

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

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

More on keeping cool from Yes! magazine

Tom Condon on Losing Our Cool in the Hartford Courant

With National Geographic News Watch

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

The Foreign Policy Association blog

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

Jason Zasky talks with Cox: Failure magazine

Interview with the Belgrave Trust

Interview (mp3) with Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock

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:

rightside

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.

How long before summertime becomes one long heat wave? Can your air conditioner save you?

In A/C news on July 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

The record-shattering, asphalt-boiling summer of 2011 soon will  soon join the heat waves of 2010 in our long-term memory, but what will the summer of 2012 bring? And can the heat have extra impact in a presidential election year? It probably won’t change candidates’ positions on climate change, but it might affect their campaign strategies. For example, Michele Bachmann’s winning strategy in the August 13 Iowa straw poll included being the only contestant to have an air-conditioned tent to attract supporters (that afternoon’s high temperature of only 76 degrees notwithstanding, the A/C apparently helped).

Much of the summer in much of the country has been much hotter. But if there is any silver lining to be found in a heat wave, it’s the assurance that there is an end in sight. As your brain broils, you can cling to the ten-day forecast and that happy day when the next cool front will arrive and end the misery. But as greenhouse emissions accumulate in coming years, heat waves could start sticking around not for days but for weeks and months. What once was considered hot summer weather could start turning up on the first day of spring.

Noah Diffenbaugh, assistant professor at Stanford University and lead author of a new report on climate extremes, predicts that “large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years.”

Previous research by Diffenbaugh and his colleagues (pdf) suggested that here in this country, summer-long heat alerts may become the rule even sooner, within just a few years. They projected that across much of the United States, location by location, four out of the next ten years could feature summers hotter than the most torrid summer of the 1950-2000 era. By the 2030s, we’ll see such extreme summers even more often: maybe every other year on average, maybe four years out of five, depending on where you live.

And if recent history tells us anything, it’s that further heating of the outdoors will prompt a lot more indoor cooling. Since global warming became a national concern two decades ago, we have more than doubled our energy use for home air-conditioning. If climate scientists have their forecasts right, we will see an even more rapid increase in air-conditioning use in the next few decades. Emissions from power plants responding to that increased summer demand would, in turn, add to the Earth’s blanket of greenhouse gases, forcing air-conditioning systems to run even harder. But how significant might that climate impact be?

There is no way to predict with certainty how fast cooling demand is going to be rising, but let’s consider a scenario in which future summers across the country become as hot as summers are today in the southern United States. (That is not far-fetched, according to recent climate research. Historically, July daily highs in the Northeast average about 9 degrees Fahrenheit lower than they do across the South. Highs in the Midwest are 6 degrees lower than in the South. Climate projections foresee summer high temperatures rising by around 6 degrees in the Northeast and 7.5 degrees (pdf) in the Midwest over the next four decades. Temperatures and occurrences of extreme heat events are expected to escalate dramatically on the West Coast as well.)

f northern regions are going to be sweating through traditionally southern summers, they can be expected to consume southern-sized helpings of air-conditioning. The South census region currently uses a little more than 60 percent of all energy consumed nationally for air-conditioning. What would happen if in the next few decades energy use for cooling in states outside the South were to rise to the South’s current rate of consumption, while the South’s consumption were to increase by 50 percent? (That’s a conservative estimate, because it would amount to just seven years’ growth at the South’s current rate of increase.)

With use of residential, commercial, and vehicle air-conditioning climbing to those levels, with the U.S. population increase that is projected through 2050, and with electricity continuing to be generated from the same array of fuels used today, cooling-related greenhouse emissions, with all gases converted to carbon dioxide units, would rise from today’s annual total of about 450 million tons to around 1.2 billion tons. (Those emissions would represent a missed opportunity to reduce emissions from winter heating in a greenhouse future. And per unit of energy consumed, supplying power and refrigerant to air-condition America’s buildings and vehicles produces considerably more greenhouse emissions than does heating them.)

More than a billion tons’ worth of emissions sounds like a lot, but in trying to stay cool, how seriously will we hamper efforts to slow down greenhouse warming? One way to think about it is to compare that 750 million-ton emissions increase caused by air-conditioning to the emissions reduction we might achieve by shifting to renewable power generation.

The Energy Information Administration projects that, assuming “a future in which an explicit Federal policy is enacted to limit U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions,” electric power generation from renewable sources will increase from 415 billion kilowatt hours in 2009 to 927 billion in 2030. Assuming that rate of increase is sustained through 2050, renewable power would by then be sparing the atmosphere about 700 million tons’ worth of emissions—less than what we’d be adding through air-conditioning.

So, with the extreme heat now being forecast, all future gains in “green” electricity generation and emissions cuts could be soaked up by growth in air-conditioning demand. Other energy uses would still depend on fossil and nuclear fuels.

Just as important as renewable-energy expansion is the effort to improve the technological efficiency of devices and buildings that consume energy resources. But history tells us that technology alone cannot put much of a dent in a rapidly growing energy deficit. Since the early nineties, for example, energy efficiency of residential air-conditioning systems has risen steadily, but with rising summer temperatures, home air-conditioning systems have increased their average annual energy consumption even faster. Efficiency, for one thing, has made cooling much cheaper. Studies in Texas and Florida found that when state programs helped install tighter insulation and improved air-conditioning equipment, homeowners and renters did indeed take advantage of the improved energy efficiency—by keeping their homes cooler.

I’ve found that when I question the logic of our air-conditioned world, the most common response is, “So how am I going to keep cool without A/C?” Too many times, I have simply tried to give a simple, step-by-step answer, when it’s really a different question that we need to be asking: How can we make the most of whatever thermal situation we find ourselves in?

It’s no great feat; billions of people do it every day. But along with shade and breezes and fans and water and basements and porches and neighborhood potlucks, let me suggest a mental workaround. Think of each day in which you keep the A/C turned off as making possible a future day or two in which everyone’s children will be able to enjoy the summertime without going into shock from heat stroke.

But voluntary restraint alone will not reverse growth in energy consumption and ecological destruction. That can happen only through hard, non-tradable limits on production throughout the economy, a firmly fixed ceiling to restrain high consumers, and a solid floor to assure a good quality of life for everyone. The fact that the national and global economies have no way to operate under such limits should not be a deterrent. We can scrap the economic system, but we can’t switch to another Earth.

‘Losing Our Cool’ in the News

In A/C news, About the book on June 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

In July-August:

ABCNews.com, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant, London’s Daily Mail, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung FOX Business, and on KWCH-TV

(And in September I took a stab at explaining why “You can’t buy a better agriculture” for Al Jazeera English)

Over the past year or so:

Stan Cox in the Washington Post on “D.C. without A.C.

New York Times: “No Air-Conditioning, and Happy

Kevin Canfield on Losing Our Cool in the Los Angeles Times

A review by Mother Nature Network, which named Losing Our Cool one of the “Ten must-read environmental books of 1010”

David Owen in The New Yorker on “The Efficiency Dilemma” (Dec. 20-27, 2010; sorry, subscription-only)

Cox in the Los Angeles Times on how we live and work in the A/C world

An interview with Ryan Brown of Salon.com

The A/C dilemma in the Persian Gulf

Chicago Sun-Times (pdf): Mark Brown tries to convince his wife to turn off the A/C

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

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

The downside of A/C on NPR’s Here and Now

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

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

More on keeping cool from Yes! magazine

Tom Condon on Losing Our Cool in the Hartford Courant

With National Geographic News Watch

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

The Foreign Policy Association blog

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

Jason Zasky talks with Cox: Failure magazine

Interview with the Belgrave Trust

Interview (mp3) with Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock

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.

An Attempted Defense of Air-Conditioning

In A/C news on June 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

You now can read, all in one place, the most comprehensive set of arguments in favor of air-conditioning yet put forth. Dr. Arthur Diamond of the University of Nebraska at Omaha has placed online the text of a paper entitled “Keeping Our Cool: In Defense of Air Conditioning,” which he presented in April to a meeting of the Association of Private Enterprise Education in Nassau, Bahamas. (This morning, I debated the pros and cons of A/C with Dr. Diamond on Joy Cardin’s Wisconsin Public Radio program. Here is the link to the audio.)

Acknowledging in his paper that critics’ chief objection to air-conditioning is its contribution to greenhouse emissions, Diamond purports to put that issue to rest in a quick eight lines of text and ten footnotes. The notes pointed to sources, many familiar, who disagree with the broad global scientific consensus that human-caused climate change poses a grave threat. Diamond writes,

“First, some phenomena often attributed to global warming may be due to periodic and hard-to-predict natural variations. Second, global warming creates opportunities in addition to problems, e.g., it would reduce the costs of shipping over, communicating in, and retrieving oil [!] and minerals from the Arctic, and would increase agriculture and animal husbandry in places like Britain and Greenland. Third, other problems exceed in severity any problems caused by global warming [referenced to three articles by Bjørn Lomborg]. Fourth and finally, in a system of entrepreneurial capitalism, creative inventors will find ways to reduce global warming [suspending giant mirrors in space, lauching light-absorbing chemicals into the upper atmosphere], and innovative entrepreneurs will find ways to adapt to it.” [e.g., dredging up silt in Bangladesh to block rising seawaters or using spongey material for constructing sidewalks in New York]

Having thus briskly dealt with air-conditioning’s central contradiction, Diamond goes on to outline the benefits of air-conditioning. His main argument here is that people should be “free to choose” to use technologies that they like, and that air-conditioning is something that everyone likes, or at least should like. To defend the idea that control of body temperature is important to civlization, he cites the ability of Cro-Magnon humans to make animal-skin clothes that allowed them to survive freezing European winters — a discussion that might be relevant if he were defending artificial heating, not cooling. He goes on to note that excessive heat can be dangerous to vulnerable populations, that it harms health and productivity, and that it promotes crime and aggression. For a discussion of all of those and other pro-A/C arguments, you can read my book Losing Our Cool.

In our conversation, Dr. Diamond referred to the recent New York Times article on how Chicago plans to adapt to global warming. As I noted previously, the plan includes installing air-conditioning in all 750 of the city’s public schools. That can be expected to generate about a ton and a half of additional carbon dioxide per cooled classroom, to help ensure that the next generation of students will be even more dependent on A/C!

 

It’s About That Time: Air-Conditioning Is Showing Up in the News Again

In A/C news on May 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

A roundup of recent stories that feature air-conditioning:

  • A whopping 70 percent of electricity burned in Kuwait during evening hours goes for A/C.
  • The City of Chicago’s official plan for dealing with global warming includes installing air-conditioning in all 750 of the city’s public schools. That can be expected to generate about a ton and a half of additional carbon dioxide per cooled classroom, to help ensure that the next generation of students will be even more dependent on A/C!
  • “Survey Finds Majority of Canadians Frigid” (The Financial Post’s headline, not mine!) Sixty-four percent of Canadians keep their A/C thermostats below 72 degrees F.
  • From mild New England: “An annual report on the Connecticut environment tells of a worrisome trend: residents used more electricity in 2010 at home than in the three years before that.The increase was due to the sweltering summer, when air conditioning units turned on more often and worked harder. Even those people who used electricity more efficiently most of the year used more during heat waves.”
  • Down in Annapolis, Maryland, the Public Housing Authority has banned window air-conditioners in some public housing complexes because they can block windows meant to be used for escape in case of fire or other emergencies. One response:  “Robert Eades, a public housing activist and former resident, said he plans to seek help from the American Civil Liberties Union. ‘Air conditioning is not a luxury,’ said Eades, who said there are many elderly people and those with disabilities in public housing. ‘It’s a necessity. To be boxed into these houses with no air conditioner is a health hazard.'”
  • According to the Japan Times Online, many Japanese commuters are going to have a hot ride to work this summer: “Fears of unbearable heat this summer for train commuters in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area are mounting for two reasons: (1) Electric power shortages triggered by the accidents at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station may force East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), the major operator of commuter trains, to suspend the use of air conditioners; and (2) with the train cars now in use, windows can be opened only partially to let in fresh air even when the air conditioning is off. An expert in railway technologies has pointed out that designers of today’s commuter trains did not take into account the possibility of air-conditioning cuts to conserve electricity.” Because of the company’s commuter trains “were designed on the assumption that the inside car temperature would always be controlled by air conditioning,” windows are permanently sealed.

Open-Window Classroom a “Death Trap”?

In A/C news on May 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

When the outdoor temperature in Bartlett, Illinois in the western suburbs of Chicago hit 90 degrees this past May 10, the principal of Eastview Middle School decided not to shut down the boiler for the year and turn on the air-conditioning, because the forecast called for lows in the 30s in coming days. Instead, Donald Donner asked teachers to open the windows and let a breeze in. Classroom temperatures remained in the 70s, according to Donner, but a student told a local reporter, “It was hot. Kids were making fans and stuff out of their assignment notebooks.”

That was too much for the student’s mother, Rita Deany, who told the local Courier-News that the school became a “death trap

Deany said she knows “for sure” two students passed out on May 10, including the one in her daughter’s chorus class, and that one student reported the temperatures on thermometers in his classroom hit 86 degrees.She pulled her three children out of school to cool off “for a couple hours” the next day, she said. And after several hours of trying to get information from the school that day, she said, she filed a police report against the school with the Bartlett Police Department.“My kids were dizzy, nauseous, red eyes. They wanted to go to sleep. They were worn out,” Deany said … “I’m wondering who was looking out for the children,” she said.

“Who was looking out for the children”: the ultimate weapon of intimidation. Principal Donner told the Courier-News that no students had passed out, at least not until an ill student fainted two days later, well after the air-conditioning had been turned on at Deany’s insistence.

Many generations of students have lived through warm spring days without harm; to them, the rising heat brought thoughts not of illness and death but of the summer vacation that lay around the corner.  Overly protective parents appear to be far more heat sensitive than their offspring.

Even the parents of college-age students are susceptible. This spring, officials at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas decided during a brief hot spell to delay switching from boiler to AC. When temperatures in dormitory rooms rose, some students reportedly headed out to the grass of a football field for an outdoor slumber party. As far as the college was concerned, everything was cool, so to speak, until a few students told their parents back home of the lack of AC. The college was flooded with calls from irate parents the rest of the week, until well after a cool front had come through Kansas.

Another year, another record

In A/C news on January 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has confirmed what had been widely suspected: no year on record has been hotter worldwide than was 2010 .

Here are the rankings. No need to point out that 9 of the top 10 years start with a ‘2’:

Global Top 10
Warmest Years (Jan-Dec)
Anomaly °C Anomaly °F
2010 0.62 1.12
2005 0.62 1.12
1998 0.60 1.08
2003 0.58 1.04
2002 0.58 1.04
2009 0.56 1.01
2006 0.56 1.01
2007 0.55 0.99
2004 0.54 0.97
2001 0.52 0.94

Statistical theory predicts that if the average temperature is increasing, the frequency of extreme events will rise even faster. We saw excellent examples of that in 2010. As NOAA summarized it,

Several exceptional heat waves occurred during 2010, bringing record high temperatures and affecting tens of millions of people. Warm conditions were present across India during April. On the 18th, Delhi recorded its warmest April temperature since 1958 when temperatures soared to 43.7°C (110.7°F). Another heat wave baked northern India and Pakistan at the end of May. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Service, a maximum temperature of 53.5°C (128.3°F) was recorded in Mohenjo-Daro on May 26th. This was the warmest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan and the warmest temperaure recorded in Asia since 1942. In mid-June, a strong blocking pattern settled over western Russia, bringing an unprecendented two-month long heat wave to the area.

On July 29th, the Moscow Observatory recorded its highest-ever temperature—38.2°C (100.8°F), breaking the previous record of 37.2°C (98.9°F) set just four days earlier. Prior to 2010, the hottest temperature in Moscow was 36.8°C (98.2°F), recorded 90 years ago. That same day, Finland recorded its highest ever temperature as the mercury reached 37.2°C (99.0°F) in Joensuu, breaking the old record set in Turku in July 1914 by 1.3°C (2.3°F). The massive heat wave brought Russia its warmest summer (June–August) on record. At least 15,000 deaths in Russia were attributed to the heat.

Extreme summer warmth was felt in other areas around the world as well. According to the the Beijing Climate Center, China experienced its warmest summer on record since 1961. And the Japan Meteorological Agency reported that the country had its warmest summer since records began in 1898. On average, temperatures across Japan were 1.64°C (2.96°F) greater than the 1971–2000 average. According to Environment Canada, Canada had its third warmest summer since national records began in 1948, behind 1998 (warmest) and 2006 (second warmest). In fact, the January–August period was Canada’s warmest such period on record. In contrast, Australia experienced its coolest winter (Northern Hemisphere summer) in 13 years.

In September, following on the heels of its second coolest summer on record, a scorching heat wave in part of the western U.S. brought downtown Los Angeles, California its highest ever recorded temperature on the 27th. A temperature of 45°C (113°F) was recorded, breaking the old record of 44.4°C (112°F) set on June 26th, 1990.

Here you can see the word from the experts on why we are seeing so many extreme heat waves.

MNN: ‘Losing Our Cool’ Is One of the “Ten Must-Read Environmental Books of 2010”

In A/C news, About the book on January 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Mother Nature Network’s list of the “Ten Must-Read Environmental Books of 2010 to Read in 2011″ included Losing Our Cool.

See more of Losing Our Cool in the media

Losing Our Cool was also cited extensively in David Owen’s excellent article “The Efficiency Dilemma” in The New Yorker, Dec. 20-27, 2010; sorry, the full article was print-only.

See a slideshow on air-conditioning and energy efficiency that I presented to a green-building conference sponsored by Menerga-Slovenia on 25 November 2010 in Maribor, Slovenia: .ppt file (1.8 Mb). See that your ‘View’ is set to ‘Notes Pages’.)