Bummer: Air Conditioning Is Killing The 21st Century

It’s all your fault because you won’t turn your AC off and just swelter like it’s 1499…er, no, wait, that was during the Little Ice Age, so, 1199, during the Medieval Warm Period

Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century. It’s also killing the 21st

When did indoor air become cold and clean?

Air conditioning is one of those inventions that have become so ubiquitous, that many in the developed world don’t even realize that less than a century ago, it didn’t exist. Indeed, it wasn’t so long ago that the air inside our buildings and the air outside of them were one and the same, with occupants powerless against their environment.

Isn’t progress wonderful? Not to climate cultists

Eric Dean Wilson, in his just published book, “After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort,” dives deep into the history of this field. It took more than just inventing the air conditioner to make people want to buy it. In fact, whole social classes outright rejected the technology for years. It took hustle, marketing skill, and mass societal change to place air conditioning at the center of our built environment.

Crichton: Now to get to the heart of the book, you focus on the rise of air conditioning, but you start by giving readers a wide view of what life was like before its invention. Why did you do that?

Wilson: This was a surprise — I did not go into the book thinking that I was going to find this. Before air conditioning really took off in the home, there was a really different sense of what we would call personal comfort, and something that I really argue in the book is that what we’ve come to think of as personal comfort, and specifically, thermal comfort, has changed. What I argue in the book is that it’s really in part a cultural construction.

Personal comfort today is bad.

Now, I want to be really careful that people don’t hear that I’m saying that it’s entirely a construction. Yes, when we get too hot or too cold, then we can die, for sure. But what’s really interesting to me is that there’s a lot of evidence to show that before air conditioning began at the beginning of the twentieth century, people weren’t really hungry for air conditioning.

People weren’t hungry for burgers, airplanes, or surfing before they were invented. Sitting out at the beach for a tan wasn’t a big thing before the 20th Century, either. Times change.

Crichton: I’m jumping ahead, but what does the future look like as global warming persists and our cooling increases in line with that heat?

Wilson: In so many cooling situations, there are major alternatives, like redesigning our buildings so that they require way less energy and way less cooling. There are really amazing architects who are looking to things like termite mounds, because the colonies that they build sort of have brilliantly engineered rooms with different temperatures.

That said, I was surprised how much our opinion on comfort could change by simply understanding that it could change. I think that we have to make the world of tomorrow desirable, and we can take a nod from the commercial advertising industry. We have to sell this future as one that we actually want, not as something that we’re giving up. And I think the narrative is always like, “Oh, we have to stop doing this, we have to lower this, we have to give this up.” And that’s certainly true. But I think if we understand that as not something that we’re giving up, but actually something that we’re gaining, then it makes it a lot easier. For people, it makes it feel a lot more possible.

Ah, they have to sell people on doing away with AC and living like ants. Good to know.

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6 Responses to “Bummer: Air Conditioning Is Killing The 21st Century”

  1. Hairy says:

    America was great before we had AC
    Famn kids nowadays just want everything nice

  2. drowningpuppies says:

    There are really amazing architects who are looking to things like termite mounds,
    because the colonies that they build sort of have brilliantly engineered rooms with different temperatures.

    Bet this Wilson guy didn’t know that yearly termites worldwide emit more CO2 than all of mankind combined.

    #TheScienceIsSettled
    Bwaha! Lolgf https://www.thepiratescove.us/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    • Elwood P. Dowd says:

      We bet this Wilson guy knows that humans worldwide emit 10 times more CO2 than all of termite-kind combined.

      In addition, we bet Wilson also recognizes that termites are carbon neutral. Wood –> CO2 –> Plants.

      In contrast, we humans mine fossil fuels that have been hidden underground for 100s of millions of years and add them to the atmosphere. So we humans are adding “new” CO2 to the carbon cycle, not recycling carbon already in the biosphere.

      Look at it another way. If humans had not burned any fossil fuels atmospheric CO2 would be around 280 ppm instead of 420 ppm.

  3. Hairy says:

    Renewable energy is increasing at 1% per year
    It is currently at 30%
    Within 20 years it will be over 50%
    Energy costs are not “skyrocketing”

    • Kye says:

      I don’t know were you live but my electric has risen 20% since 2019, my oil 20% and the price of gasoline 33%. All prices of consumer goods under the biden Junta are soaring, energy prices are skyrocketing. Now blame it all on Trump.

      “The experts” cunningly say the inflation rate is around 6%. They lie and they cook the books (just like on Wuhan flu deaths, and every other statistic) the actual inflation rate including energy, food and housing is over 19%.

  4. Jl says:

    28% of global energy use, with wind and solar being only 17% projected by the year 2050 using this 2019 data. . And that’s with mandated use of renewables in many areas. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/29/eia-2019-report-shows-developing-nations-co2-emissions-increasing-8-4-billion-metric-tons-by-2050/

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