Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The assumptions of an air conditioned society.

Interesting ideas that the ubiquitiousness of AC is, well... not evil... but might come with significant costs. At the very least it increases a lack of awareness of our environment...

Pt I:
AlterNet: EnviroHealth: Air-conditioning: Our Cross to Bear:
"Traditionally, humans have dealt with heat and humidity by cutting back on physical activity in the middle of the day, maybe even taking a siesta. That was before economic 'competitiveness' became a universally accepted end in itself."

Pt II:
AlterNet: America's Air-Conditioned Nightmare:
"Imagine a country where economic life, by necessity, slows during the summer. Where potential customers stay home or go swimming on a hot afternoon, so salespeople are sent home early. Where factories simply shut down the line for a couple of weeks. That was this country before air-conditioning, but in 2006, it sounds like a distant, exotic land. In today's rapid-growth, high-consumption 'service economy,' workers and consumers, like computers and ovens, are components, each of which is maintained at an appropriate operating temperature.

...Only a tiny number of politicians, and no leading member of either major party, would dare put ecological limits ahead of short-term economics. Who's going to suggest that summer be a time to back off and simply not make, sell and buy so much stuff? None will dare say that a million and a half people have no business living and working in a place like Phoenix or that Miami has grown beyond supportable limits. And the ecological damage done by that refusal to slow the wheels of commerce is irreversible"

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