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Hot take: Summer's here, and so are the annual pieces about giving up air conditioning

Summer officially arrives next week, which means it was just over one year ago that Secretary of State John Kerry declared the effort to phase out refrigerants like those in air conditioners was as important as the against ISIS, if not more so — “because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”


It wasn’t long after that the Washington Post frosted readers with a piece by Karen Heller asserting that she doesn’t need air conditioning, and neither should you. Air conditioning has made Americans “greedy and silly,” she wrote, when they could do without and embrace the sultry, mysterious, and sensual world of armpit stains.

The Boston Globe isn’t waiting until August to spring its instructional guide on how to live without air conditioning.

“How” isn’t the tough question; it’s “why” — but everyone knows the answer to that already:

In China and India, air conditioning sales have reportedly been growing by 20 percent per year; around the world, air conditioning energy demand is projected to increase vastly over the next decades. According to Stan Cox, author of the 2010 book “Losing Our Cool,” air conditioning in the United States already has a global-warming impact equivalent to every US household driving an extra 10,000 miles per year.

Writer Lyon Neyfakh suggests that Americans can learn to adapt to the heat by “weaving together techniques from the past [and] ideas from hot-weather countries” — presumably including those countries where air conditioning sales have been growing 20 percent a year.


How about no?



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