Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Air Conditioned Response

There's a new trend in the consumer world that seems aimed at assisting global warming. As temperatures rise the most obvious response would be to help lower temperatures with air conditioning. A walk along South Beach proves this is all the rage. It's not cool to sweat. In fact it's disgusting and unnatural. (Thank God for Aluminum Zirconium!). Businesses can kill two birds or more with one proverbial stone. They want to sell something consumers probably don't need and consumers want to be blasted with arctic air as they shop for bikinis. So businesses have taken to lowering the thermostat to 65, opening their storefront doors and enticing passers by with dry, icy air. All day. If everyone does it, it's sure to cool the environment.

When I was a kid we had an air conditioner. I don't remember it ever working. I think the outdoor unit was jammed with frog skeletons and ragweed. They were hard to keep out. It was bearable most of the year, but during the hot summer months we'd travel north from sub-tropical Florida to spend the school break in New York. There were years where we'd stay in Florida and I distinctly remember the siblings and I all sleeping in one room on the floor in front of one fan trying to keep cool. I firmly believe my love for air conditioning comes from that experience. It's my guilty pleasure, but I keep the AC in my apartment at 81 degrees. Freezing for Ecuadorians, sweltering for Floridians. It's all conditioning certainly but perfect for me. We don't need 75 degrees but when you go from the 95 degree car to the 75 degree store, you get used to something that is probably unnecessary. The funny thing is watching the Latinos wear sweaters inside when it's a heat wave outside. Actually it's not funny. We're wasting energy.

I had a full day Everglades trip today with 12 people. It was 95 and the air compressor on my vehicle broke during the trip. One man in the back, very politely came forward, drenched in sweat and said "I think the heater is on back here". It wasn't but the AC died at 10 am and was blowing engine heat. I felt terribly. We rolled the only 2 windows down that we could and did 2x60 through the Everglades. The 12 people were divided into 5 groups and I never expected them all to be as polite as they were. They understood the position I was in, they sucked it up, sweated off a few lbs and said amazingly nice things about the trip despite the sweat stains they'll have to have dry cleaned out of their clothes. Air conditioning would have made the trip more comfortable, but respect and 12 positive attitudes (including 4 kids!) made for a great day in the hot and sweaty swamp.

Try turning your AC up a degree and see if you notice.


  1. I don't have air conditioning :( Which is great for my job because I leave early in the morning to get out of the house because it's 100 degrees in here! Sleep isn't so good because we also have one fan and I swear the husband hogs all the air...hmmm sounds like someone I know from childhood in a blue "Ape Van"

  2. Here in Guayaquil is windy and fresh at night (only this months of the year), I had to wear a sweater, shaking because i was feeling cold (Got used to the extreme hot in Florida!)

  3. Save the planet and move to Vermont where it is cool and year around.

  4. yes - and I hear it may snow in Vermont next week. Hope all of the Vermonters are enjoying summer! (P.S. I LoVermont)