Listening to Stan Cox, you start to understand the impact of air-conditioning and its environmental and financial impact. His new book “Losing Our Cool” delivers insights just in time as summer temperatures start spiking in North America and we look for a vacation or escape. Still, we complain about the weather, soaring electric bills or gas prices, then burn up fuel commuting in our cars to remote office parks surrounded by blacktop parking lots to work in office buildings built with no shade but cooled by AC – which is basically chilled water and electric.
Analyzing those choices in detail, Cox warns that Americans now spend more money and electricity on cooling through air-conditioning alone to equal Africa’s entire electric consumption. And that our cushy, comfy expectation of ‘chillin’ despite temps near 100-degrees is spreading to warmer climates as India, China and Brazil develop their own middle-class populations. Applying analytics – and a little common-sense to the issue, Cox tells National Public Radio in an interview that AC use is already equivalent to adding another vehicle for every American man, woman and child and driving an extra 7,000-miles per-year. His interview explains some simple measures we have ‘forgotten’ – building structures with windows and natural breezeways, shading roofs or tree planting, and wearing lighter, looser clothing.
What are you doing to keep cool? And how are you considering ALL the costs of AC? Keeping your servers and computers from overheating is a frequent topic on this blog. Are you using ice cream — or some other renewable natural resource — for refreshing your people?
Spotfire Blogging Team
Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art