I find the “debate” about the “morality” of air conditioning to be mildly amusing. Aside from being the typical tempest in a teapot that comes up almost every day now because of all the know-it-alls using the internet to showcase their intellectual and moral superiority, I have noticed that the air conditioning debate doesn’t seem to have any participants who live in the desert southwest. I think there’s probably a reason for that.
My grandparents came to Tucson long before there was cooling of any kind. My grandmother told me that in the summer they slept on the porch with sheets soaked with water. I don’t think I ever saw my grandfather buy meat that wasn’t in a can, because that was all there was when he was young. Neither of my grandparents ever lived in a house with central air conditioning.
Did they survive? Yes, but they also survived before there were refrigerators (my grandmother also talked about the ice wagon delivering ice to her house) airplanes (I don’t think my grandmother ever traveled on an airplane), cars (I know she never drove a car), dial telephones, electric typewriters, automatic washing machines, and many other things that use energy. Just because people lived before those things existed doesn’t mean that we should do without them now.
Then there’s the fact that heating in cold climates uses far more energy that air conditioners in warm climates. Why aren’t the people criticizing air conditioning saying anything about how maybe people in cold places could do without so much heating?
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