July 25, 2010

Rejecting Air Conditioning on Principle

The New York Times describes a couple in the mysterious land of Kansas who actually live without air conditioning.

Mr. Cox does not seem to be the kind of man who would ruffle anyone’s feathers. But he has faced death threats since critically questioning the role of air-conditioning in contemporary life in an opinion article this month in The Washington Post. Sixty-seven pages of cringe-inducing e-mail messages followed. “Idiot!” one person wrote. Another threatened to shoot Mr. Cox.
 Their methods for staying cool sound exactly like those of my Kansas-born mother, only she was more concerned with saving money than avoiding greenhouse-gas emissions.


Heather Houlahan said...

I didna know that the relegation of our window air conditioner to a box in the barn made me a culture traitor.

Have not installed the beast since Macintosh started making computers that could actually function above 85 degrees.

I will not say that this week has not provided its regrets. But I did get some things accomplished outside. When the house is not a chilled fortress, there is no advantage in huddling inside in defeat.

Our reasoning about the AC, btw, derives from watching other people's SAR dogs drop into heat stroke in *minutes* in moderate early-summer heat. Some of these dogs were also poorly-conditioned, but not all. All lived in air conditioning and had not been able to acclimate.

I can either risk my partners' lives, banish them to a kennel, or live with them in the climate in which they will work.

Connie said...

We do not have air conditioning either. We use fans. Admittedly, we may install an evaporate cooler next year, but can usually keep our house 10 degrees cooler than outside.

We don't have a sprinkler system either. I happily drag hoses, and save a lot of money by watering only when necessary.

Tam said...

It's a lot easier to live without A/C at 10% humidity. I'm just sayin'.

Sure, there are people doing it in Florida. There are people who pay money to get tied up and whipped, too. It's a free country.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Salina, Kansas, has more than 10 percent humidity, I think, although perhaps it is not as humid as Indianapolis.

On the other hand, my grandparents in Tulsa went through life with electric fans only.

They just did not move about much in the middle of the day.