“Anti-AC sentiment persists in spite of basic facts, and without convincing evidence. It relies instead on naked ideology and posture. To rail against the air conditioner is a way for cosmopolitans to claim their bona fides. . .”
Daniel Engber at Slate takes on The New York Times for an essay they published titled, “Why is America so over air-conditioned?”
Seems some special enclaves in that city have their own “brrr-geoisie” and “thermal bigots” who think they have special status because they don’t use air conditioning — they rather use an array of fans throughout the house because they think they’re staving off the “engine of apocalypse” — Mr. Engber smacks them down convincingly as you’ll read in the excerpt below.
Summer cooling is no more damaging to the climate than the heating that we do in winter. In fact, it’s substantially less so, since the United States burns more fuel on radiators than it does on air conditioners. According to the most recent stats available from the federal government (which cover 2010), the average American household puts 40.4 million British thermal units into home heating, and just 9.3 million BTUs into home cooling. As I’ve pointed out before, this explains why the long-term shift in population from our coldest, Northern states into the hot and humid South has in sum reduced the amount of fossil fuel we burn to keep our houses at a comfortable temperature. [emphasis added] Simply put: It’s more efficient to air-condition homes in Florida than it is to warm the ones in Minnesota.
Anti-AC sentiment persists in spite of basic facts, and without convincing evidence. It relies instead on naked ideology and posture. To rail against the air conditioner is a way for cosmopolitans to claim their bona fides, and to place themselves in opposition to irresponsible, American excess. When they proudly say they’d rather use electric fans, they show their neighbors that they’re tasteful intellectuals—right-minded and upstanding. That is to say, they’re members of the brrr-geoisie.
They’re also victims of a blinding bias. The brrr-geoisie are thermal bigots: They put a moral value on the thermostat that doesn’t correspond to common sense. Heating, good; cooling, bad—that’s their moral calculus. Why discriminate among degrees? They have no cogent answer. It may be true that America is overcooled, but then again it’s also overheated. No one writes op-eds to make the latter point.
Now, for all you reading this who live up north, use this link to plan a trip to the City of Lake Worth.
Why don’t you come down and visit some time? You might like it here and decide to move here and do your part to cut down on fossil fuels and help to save Planet Earth. Please note the sage advice in the comment section below by our iconic City resident Greg Rice: