Elisabeth Rosenthal on the Cost of Cool

air conditionersRan Yaniv Hartstein/CC BY 2.0

Elisabeth Rosenthal of the New York Times notes that air conditioning use is increasing around the world, and that it is hard to resist the trend.

Nearly all of the world’s booming cities are in the tropics and will be home to an estimated one billion new consumers by 2025. As temperatures rise, they — and we — will use more air-conditioning.

She quotes a researcher who notes that the latent demand for air conditioning is huge.

“Current energy demand does not yet reflect what will happen when these countries have more money and more people can afford air-conditioning.” He has estimated that, based on its climate and the size of the population, the cooling needs of Mumbai alone could be about a quarter of those of the entire United States, which he calls “one scary statistic.”

The article doesn't really come to any conclusion; Rosenthal admits her apartment is 85 degrees and she is having trouble concentrating. However it is obvious that if we don't do something, air conditioning is going to cook us all.

Read it in the New York Times

Tags: Air Conditioning | Beat the Heat | New York City


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