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 Post subject: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:11 pm 
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 41_pf.html

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Washington didn't grind to a sweaty halt last week under triple-digit temperatures. People didn't even slow down. Instead, the three-day, 100-plus-degree, record-shattering heat wave prompted Washingtonians to crank up their favorite humidity-reducing, electricity-bill-busting, fluorocarbon-filled appliance: the air conditioner.

This isn't smart. In a country that's among the world's highest greenhouse-gas emitters, air conditioning is one of the worst power-guzzlers. The energy required to air-condition American homes and retail spaces has doubled since the early 1990s. Turning buildings into refrigerators burns fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases, which raises global temperatures, which creates a need for -- you guessed it -- more air-conditioning.

A.C.'s obvious public-health benefits during severe heat waves do not justify its lavish use in everyday life for months on end. ...

Saying goodbye to A.C. means saying hello to the world. With more people spending more time outdoors -- particularly in the late afternoon and evening, when temperatures fall more quickly outside than they do inside -- neighborhoods see a boom in spontaneous summertime socializing.

Rather than cowering alone in chilly home-entertainment rooms, neighbors get to know one another. Because there are more people outside, streets in high-crime areas become safer. As a result of all this, a strange thing happens: Deaths from heat decline. Elderly people no longer die alone inside sweltering apartments, too afraid to venture outside for help and too isolated to be noticed. Instead, people look out for one another during heat waves, checking in on their most vulnerable neighbors.

Children -- and others -- take to bikes and scooters, because of the cooling effect of air movement. Calls for more summer school and even year-round school cease. Our kids don't need more time inside, everyone agrees; they need the shady playgrounds and water sprinklers that spring up in every neighborhood.

"Green roofs" of grass, ivy and even food crops sprout on the flat tops of government and commercial buildings around the city, including the White House. These layers of soil and vegetation (on top of a crucially leak-proof surface) insulate interiors from the pounding sun, while water from the plants' leaves provides evaporative cooling. More trees than ever appear in both private and public spaces.

And the Mall is reborn as the National Grove.


That the Post editors published this nonsense says it is being taken far too seriously whether they believe it is best or not themselves.

Too many of today's buildings were designed around the use of AC and are heavily insulated instead of designed to allow free air flows like buildings were 80 years ago. Not using AC would turn these modern buildings into ovens in the summer. (But I bet it would stay on over at the Post, :))

More evidence of the idiocy of today's leaders in America.

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Last edited by RGCheek on Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air ConditioningWashi in Daily Life
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:20 pm 
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I'm wondering if the W. Post has turned off all of its air conditioners?

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air ConditioningWashi in Daily Life
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Learner wrote:
I'm wondering if the W. Post has turned off all of its air conditioners?


:), doubt it.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Honestly, this isn't a terrible idea. Think of it in terms of saving electricity and reducing demand on the grid. It is certainly an improvement over delivering contraceptives to third world countries to reduce the population to save on greenhouse gas emissions. I mean, after all, those same countries are amongst the best in the world in terms of carbon footprint. Too much of the green movements effort has been focused on tiny gains like viewing Google with a black background, replacing light bulbs and reducing people in countries that hardly use fossil fuels at all. You would think they could put 2 and 2 together. AC is low hanging fruit for the green movement and it is about time they focused their efforts in the right place.

Of course there are real problems with any efforts to reduce AC, some of which you mentioned in your first post. My house would be reduced to an unsellable mold hazard in a very short time frame without AC so naturally I am not keen to any forthcoming ideas about "luxury" taxes on AC use. That said, I have lived 3 weeks in the last two summers with little or no AC I know we can handle the discomfort. There are times, for the sake of slahing my electricity bill that I would like to NOT run the AC but I simply cannot. So encouraging future building with these things in mind IMHO is a good step to take.

Part of the solution is higher efficiency AC systems and returning to building/retooling things with better air flow so AC is less necessary. Some incentives for that are already in place. Give me incentive to do so and I'll buy in. Trust me though, it helps when one of the big benefits is a significant reduction in my energy bills.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:17 pm 
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I can think of a few addresses in D.C. that I would like to try this idea out on. :D

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:51 pm 
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Definitely nonsense and delusional.....

Happier elderly due to social conditions does not mean they wouldn't die in extreme heat. Instead of the elderly dying alone in fewer numbers, we'd see many elderly dying of heat stroke in the street with their neighbors. More people in the street does not mean less crime. It actually means more... especially when it is hot out. It is a known fact that the crime rate increases in the spring/summer months simply because more people are outside, on top of each other... and because it is so hot, get irritated easily.

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:09 pm 
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weunice wrote:
Honestly, this isn't a terrible idea. Think of it in terms of saving electricity and reducing demand on the grid. It is certainly an improvement over delivering contraceptives to third world countries to reduce the population to save on greenhouse gas emissions. I mean, after all, those same countries are amongst the best in the world in terms of carbon footprint. Too much of the green movements effort has been focused on tiny gains like viewing Google with a black background, replacing light bulbs and reducing people in countries that hardly use fossil fuels at all. You would think they could put 2 and 2 together. AC is low hanging fruit for the green movement and it is about time they focused their efforts in the right place.

Of course there are real problems with any efforts to reduce AC, some of which you mentioned in your first post. My house would be reduced to an unsellable mold hazard in a very short time frame without AC so naturally I am not keen to any forthcoming ideas about "luxury" taxes on AC use. That said, I have lived 3 weeks in the last two summers with little or no AC I know we can handle the discomfort. There are times, for the sake of slahing my electricity bill that I would like to NOT run the AC but I simply cannot. So encouraging future building with these things in mind IMHO is a good step to take.

Part of the solution is higher efficiency AC systems and returning to building/retooling things with better air flow so AC is less necessary. Some incentives for that are already in place. Give me incentive to do so and I'll buy in. Trust me though, it helps when one of the big benefits is a significant reduction in my energy bills.



As long as the government does not compel us to use less AC, anything is fine with me.

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"... so disillusioned keep your head down, if you do they'll never know, you'll have no answers to their questions and they will have to let you go. Disenfranchised revolution, they'll take away by right what's yours, and make you martyrs of your own cause, and they don't know what cause it's for."


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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:31 am 
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I sentence them to a summer in Sacramento. In fact, I sentence them to paying cash for my house at 2002 value. Then I will move to the coast, and I promise I won't use air conditioning at all. :cloud9:


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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:09 am 
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We got rid of air conditioning in all the buildings at camp. Some of the living quarters still have it but if the staff is doing their job they are hardly ever there during the day. This had to do with saving money.

Last week's heat was oppressive but somehow we made it through. We stress drinking LOTS of water and had maybe two cases of heat related incidents.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:50 am 
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Whomever suggests it has to do it first. That's my rule and I think it's a good one, and fair and just too.

Not too many years ago there was a big heat wave in France which killed a large amount of elderly who did not have a/c. I remember the outrage flyin' around then. Why should we follow in their footsteps? I like old people. I think the Washington Post is trying to kill old people!!! HEY---look, a black helicopter! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:27 pm 
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I'm not sure that communities would become much more outdoors-oriented without AC, though. Better insulation would certainly help a lot. We just put a new garage door on, and put in quite a bit of new insulation in the spring, and it's made a marked difference on the temperature in the house.

But really, don't you think that the last thing that should be whining about carbon footprints is, of all things, a newspaper?

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:26 am 
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weunice wrote:
Part of the solution is higher efficiency AC systems and returning to building/retooling things with better air flow so AC is less necessary. Some incentives for that are already in place. Give me incentive to do so and I'll buy in. Trust me though, it helps when one of the big benefits is a significant reduction in my energy bills.


If it was cost efficient and economical no 'incentives' would be necessary. Bottom line is that the government never needs to 'subsidize' or 'incentiveize' behavior which is actually useful or beneficial.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:37 am 
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i wonder if the author has turned off his ac.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:10 am 
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I'm a big believer is less air conditioning. The vast majority of people have, and still do, manage to live without it. We need to get back to designing our homes to work with the natural environment rather than just building lego blocks. Obviously we can't just turn the air conditioning off - we've made bad design choices and we now have to live with it, but that is no reason to continue the trend. I don't have air conditioning in my flat - I live in a 100 yr old house that has been converted into 6 units. It has been designed for the weather. I get a good breeze in summer, and don't need to put the heater on in winter.

Nor do I have air conditioning in my car. I have the option, but I can't be bothered getting the gas refilled. If its warm, I open the window like the generations before me. If its cold,.... well, the heater still works. One pet peeve of mine is the excuse "my car doesn't have air conditioning", an excuse I've heard many times given for refusing to visit family 'cause the kids can't survive the ride. They're survive. We did when we were kids.

Earthquake prone areas build for earthquakes. There is no reason we can't do the same for weather.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:47 am 
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Jayne wrote:
I'm a big believer is less air conditioning. The vast majority of people have, and still do, manage to live without it. We need to get back to designing our homes to work with the natural environment rather than just building lego blocks. Obviously we can't just turn the air conditioning off - we've made bad design choices and we now have to live with it, but that is no reason to continue the trend. I don't have air conditioning in my flat - I live in a 100 yr old house that has been converted into 6 units. It has been designed for the weather. I get a good breeze in summer, and don't need to put the heater on in winter.

Nor do I have air conditioning in my car. I have the option, but I can't be bothered getting the gas refilled. If its warm, I open the window like the generations before me. If its cold,.... well, the heater still works. One pet peeve of mine is the excuse "my car doesn't have air conditioning", an excuse I've heard many times given for refusing to visit family 'cause the kids can't survive the ride. They're survive. We did when we were kids.

Earthquake prone areas build for earthquakes. There is no reason we can't do the same for weather.

That's fine by me if you want to go with less or no a/c. Just don't expect me to believe that it is a good thing to do. It isn't a morally superior position.

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:17 am 
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It's not just people who function better with AC, computers, and their subsequent servers, need optimal temperatures & humidity. Or are these bozos at the Post willing to go back to producing their meaningless articles on a typewriter?

:roll:

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:35 am 
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anawim wrote:
It's not just people who function better with AC, computers, and their subsequent servers, need optimal temperatures & humidity. Or are these bozos at the Post willing to go back to producing their meaningless articles on a typewriter?

:roll:

:D
I immediately pictured myself taking a sledgehammer to the overheated network because I'd be sick due to the heat and it just won't stop that annoying beeping.

Make it stop. :stars:
:D

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:39 am 
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I agree with weunice. I'm also a hypocrite. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:04 am 
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I want to point one more thing out. The biggest killer in the US in terms of weather is heat. In 1980 ~10,000 lost their lives in a heat wave in the United States. Chances are it didn't make national headlines but it happened. AC is life saving in cases such as these. AC is necessary in my home for the reasons I mentioned above.

Doom, I do favor incentives because I have seen them result in good things. I am not talking about huge incentives just enough to get me off the fence when I am considering something that is already good for me long term. Around here tons of small companies have sprung up to sell solar panels and high efficiency AC systems because of the tax incentives in our state. We have some of the best green friendly tax incentives in the entire United States and in a red state to boot. With incentives the people get to CHOOSE to spend tax money that might otherwise go to something they disapprove of on something they are passionate about AND they get to see a tangible outcome of their tax money. Of course, I realize there will be a market bubble created by it but getting the hardware out there is still going to keep many of these jobs in support mode for decades to come. I see this as a short term win in creating jobs and reducing demand and a long term win in maintenance jobs.

We DO what liberals only talk about ;)

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 Post subject: Re: W. Post Calls for End of Air Conditioning in Daily Life
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:56 am 
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I'm a big believer in more air conditioning. One of my philosophies is that I work so I can have refrigerated air. Without air conditioning why bother even having a house, why not just have a tent?

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