Too hot to cool it: are we too dependent on air conditioning?

Aug 2, 2010

Imagine spending the summer in Phoenix, Arizona without air conditioning—sounds miserable, doesn’t it? That’s probably why the population of Phoenix was 100,000 in 1950. It is currently 4.3 million. In his book Losing our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World, writer Stan Cox looks at the impact of air conditioning and steps we can take to minimize its environmental costs. For example, does it really make sense to have tie-and-jacket dress codes in sweltering climates? Or to construct buildings with windows that don’t open? Have we gotten carried away with this ubiquitous invention?

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