Remember back in 2016 when Secretary of State John Kerry declared the effort to phase out refrigerants like those in air conditioners as important as the fight against ISIS, if not more so — “because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself”?

The idea of giving up air conditioning comes up every year. In Summer 2016, The Washington Post argued that air conditioning has made Americans “greedy and silly,” while adapting to the heat could be regarded as sultry, mysterious, and sensual.

In Summer 2017, The Boston Globe published writer Lyon Neyfakh’s suggestion that Americans can learn to adapt to the heat by “weaving together techniques from the past [and] ideas from hot-weather countries.”

It’s Summer 2018, and this time Mic is up to bat:

Kelly Kasulis writes, likely from an air-conditioned office:

Now, a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has a disturbing new revelation: In a simulation of a three-month summer period, air pollution directly related to fossil fuel burning that powers air conditioning accounts for about 1,000 deaths. Even worse, that figure only covers the Eastern United States. And as climate change turns increasingly turns up the heat, the problem could get worse as more Americans compensate by further refrigerating themselves indoors.

So now air conditioning has killed 1,000 people this summer … in a simulation.

Good talk. We’ll have it again next August.


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