The Word on the Street

What they are saying about  Losing Our Cool

One of the “Ten must-read environmental books of 2010”
Mother Nature Network

“Well-written, thoroughly researched, with a truly global focus, the book offers much for consumers, environmentalists, and policy makers to consider before powering up to cool down.” – Publishers Weekly

“This is an important book. The history of air-conditioning is really the history of the world’s energy and climate crises, and by narrowing the focus Stan Cox makes the big picture comprehensible. He also suggests remedies—which are different from the ones favored by politicians, environmentalists, and appliance manufacturers, not least because they might actually work.” – David Owen of The New Yorker

“What I like about Cox’s book is that he isn’t an eco-nag or moralist . . . I agree with Cox when he says less climate control and more contact with the real ecosphere will make for a happier and healthier country.” — Tom Condon, Hartford Courant

“As Stan Cox details in his excellent new book, Losing Our Cool, air conditioning has been a major force in shaping western society.” – Bradford Plumer, The National

“A top pick for any library strong in environmental science” – California Bookwatch

“Describing himself as neither an ascetic or ‘econag,’ [Cox] examines energy consumption trends and issues in economic, health, and global contexts. Arguing that more efficient air-conditioners are not the answer, he describes more ecologically-sound cooling alternatives. The treatment is serious despite the popsicles on the cover.” – Sci-Tech Book News

“Cox challenges us to redefine our personal comfort in the context of environmental responsibility. He acknowledges that we have built a world around air-conditioning, and he successfully advocates controlling our indoor climate by using both earlier cooling methods and new technologies. Cox makes a strong case for cutting energy use, redirecting our focus on cooling spaces to cooling people, and restoring the balance between our indoor and outdoor lives. Recommended for readers interested in environmental issues and technologies” – Library Journal

“Cox writes in simple, direct prose. He spaces out statistics with anecdotes and fun facts, making a potentially boring subject interesting.” – Timothy Smith, Washington Post

“Those who have written extensively about air conditioning — a small number of scientists, historians and engineering experts — agree with many of Cox’s conclusions.” – Kevin Canfield, Los Angeles Times

“Cox’s book challenges the notion that health and air conditioning go hand-in-hand, with a look at sickness from indoor air, at the connection between obesity and our indoor lives, and at the malaise that Richard Louv called nature deficit disorder in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods. But Cox’s main disturbing point is that energy-intensive air conditioning creates a vicious cycle in which more fossil fuel pollution ratchets up temperatures even higher.” – Rob Sharp, The Independent (UK)

“One wonders how sitting in his 90-degree home in Salina, Kansas, Cox was able to gather so many mind-numbing facts and statistics without losing his cool. But gather he did, and the outcome is 255 pages full of facts, figures and brief forays into the history and development of the country, from Arizona to Detroit, from poor neighborhoods to wealthy ones. The author dances from hot environmental topics to well-known societal changes, linking an overdependence on energy-draining devices to the decrease in live socializing.” – Sarah Berkowitz, Mother Nature Network

“The author promises not to be preachy, and keeps his word.” – Susan Ager, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Losing Our Cool is the kind of book we’ve seen a lot of lately—like ‘Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World’, or ‘Sugar: A Bittersweet History’—that ascribes momentous consequences to otherwise mundane things. In the case of air conditioning, it’s true: this invention has changed how people live, determined the population patterns of entire continents, and affected everything from when we have babies to why we feel so tired in the morning. It’s gone from being a salvation, literally sparing lives, to a possible health risk to an environmental demon because it could alter the planet’s climate.” – Cathy Gulli, Macleans

“I’ve been hearing a lot about this new book, ‘Losing Our Cool’, by Stan Cox  . . . ’Losing Our Cool’, I gather from articles and interviews, is all about how air-conditioning is largely a blight, fueling the advance of civilization into the desert, atomizing inner-city communities, and even aiding the rise of big government. Cox is right on all these points.” – Jonah Goldberg, National Review


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