Published July 12, 2010 by:
Proving that there is no folly fallacious enough that it can't be written down, both in a book and in an oped in the Washington Post, Stan Cox, an agricultural scientist, has proposed to ban or greatly restrict air conditioning.
Air conditioning, it seems, causes everything from global warming to obesity to sexual dysfunction to capitalism to irate people in red states who cling to their Bibles and guns to big government. The last does have some validity, since the advent of air conditioning has allowed Congress to be in-session all year round: the better to threaten our lives, liberty, and property.
Stan Cox, the author of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer), has written about how the world should pretty much ban private air conditioners:
"This isn't smart. In a country that's among the world's highest greenhouse-gas emitters, air conditioning is one of the worst power-guzzlers. The energy required to air-condition American homes and retail spaces has doubled since the early 1990s. Turning buildings into refrigerators burns fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases, which raises global temperatures, which creates a need for -- you guessed it -- more air-conditioning."
The actual existence of global warming is rather debatable, but, in any case, Lennox may well have solved that problem, with the advent of a solar powered air conditioner. Undeterred, Cox offers rhapsodies about those thrilling days of yesteryear, when America was not oppressed by chilled air:
"Less than half a century ago, America thrived with only the spottiest use of air conditioning. It could again. While central air will always be needed in facilities such as hospitals, archives and cooling centers for those who are vulnerable to heat, what would an otherwise A.C.-free Washington look like?"
Bloody awful, would be my opinion, but Stan Cox pushes on to what a wonderful world it would be if the scourge of air conditioning were lifted from our suffering world. It will be a wonderful world of less work, homes with windows flung open, and spontaneous outdoor socializing. Homes would be rebuilt using innovative technology to mitigate against summer heating. People will grow food on their roofs. Summer school is abolished. Business suits will be banned during the summer.
Mind, the expense of rebuilding houses designed around central air conditioning would collapse the economy. Houses with open windows would be magnets to burglaries. The old, the sick, and otherwise vulnerable would die in droves every summer, one supposes removing a lot of cost to social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The sunbelt states will secede from any Union that dares to impose a ban on air conditioning, either destroying the United States, or else igniting the Second Civil War.
In ordinary times, people like Stan Cox can be dismissed as cranks, laughed at by radio talk show hosts and late night comedians. But these are no ordinary times. All sorts of nonsense is being contemplated in the Obama White House in the name of the environment and global warming. Cap-and-trade legislation is being mulled in Congress that will seriously increase the cost of energy.
So, an attempt to ban air conditioning for all but "necessary purposes" (like Congress and the White House) would not exactly be beyond the pale. Indeed, opponents of Cap-and-Trade should remain vigilant, lest such a ban be slipped into the legislation.
For the rest, my suspicion is that the slogan will be "from our cold, dead sweat glands!"
Click to view image: 'Climate Chart'
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