How air conditioning changed the United States

July 6, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

AT Salon.com, Ryan Brown reviews a new book by Stan Cox, “Losing our Cool.” The topic is air conditioning. It inefficiently keeps us cool, but there are quite a few negatives that we need to consider:

We stay inside longer, exercise less, and get sick more often — and the electricity used to power all that A.C. is helping push the fast-forward button on global warming. The invention has also changed American politics: Love it or hate it, refrigerated cooling has been a major boon to the Republican Party. The advent of A.C. helped launch the massive Southern and Western population growth that’s transformed our electoral map in the last half century.

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Category: Energy, global warming, Sustainable Living

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. You can have my air conditioner when you pry it from my cold (or would they then be warm?) dead fingers.

    I suffered heat exhaustion as a teenager and to this day I do poorly when the thermometer hits 90. For me, the invention is one that enables me to think.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mark: I relate well to what you have written. My compromise these days it to keep the AC at 80 degrees and to combine this with the use of ceiling fans. It's really quite comfortable, yet it keeps the energy usage way down.

  2. Alison says:

    You mean, if it weren't for air conditioning, we might not have the Discovery Institute and the Tea Partiers? If only we had known!

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