So there's a new book out about how air conditioning ruined American society. How did it manage that? Let me count the ways:
1) It made it possible for people to move to the South and Southwest, leading to gasp! Republican takeovers. Not a word about the loss of agrarian culture in those areas.
2) It makes us fat because experiencing heat usually leads you to drink tons of fluids, drink fruits and vegetables and saps your appetite. So high fructose corn syrup is in the clear now?
3) It means we are forced to be productive in the summer, as being cool in the office means you are expected to work.
4) It means everyone stays inside in the cool in the summer, instead of sitting on the porch socializing. Oh, and they're all having sex, overpopulating the world and whatnot.
Sigh. Look, I live in the beastly heat of Phoenix and I keep my a/c at 80-84. The a/c is included in the rent and the system is old, so it's not precise. I feel no guilt. In fact, I enjoy it because I lived in Cleveland for 15 years with no a/c. When I owned my house, it came with the old-school design of cross draft airflow from the windows and ceiling fans. It was barely under 90 in my bedroom, even with additional fans.
Every summer, it sucked. I kept trying to feed myself on my own superiority for avoiding air conditioning, seething in anger at the performance artists' noisy conversations, eating ice cream, watching Rear Window and A Nun's Story.
I still keep the blinds closed, wet my neck with a washcloth, sleep naked and spritz myself with water. But damn it, I am tired of suffering from elderly, craptastic, inappropriate HVAC systems. I don't like being too hot or too cold, and I refuse to feel bad about it.
There are so many things destroying the world, to write a polemic about the destructiveness of air conditioning is ridiculous.