Air Conditioning and Global Warming

Mama Fisi
Mama Fisi's picture

It's been hot here in West Virginia for the past several days. Up until now, it's been a pretty mild summer, if a little on the wet side for the farmers trying to make hay. The last couple of days, however, have nudged the thermometer up into the nineties, the sort of temperature where you sweat even if you're just standing still.

But then, it ALWAYS gets really hot round about the middle of July in these parts; I ought to know, because every year while I was finishing my entry for the State Fair, I'd be sweating up a storm, and not from anxiety. Then, about a month later in August, there would come a cold spell, and sometimes we'd even have to light a fire in the woodstove of a morning to take the chill out of the old cabin.

Then I got to thinking--what if all this yammering about "global warming" is just a bunch of moonshine--that the planet's not really getting warmer, it's just that we've gotten so used to the ubiquitousness of air conditioning that when we step outside into the same ninety degrees our great-grandparents used to tolerate while wearing three and four layers of clothing, we think we're going to suffocate?

Think about it, friends--we now have air conditioning in our cars, our homes, our offices, our stores, our trains, our schools--everywhere, we enjoy a nice dry icy blast of custom-conditioned fresh air, except, that is, outdoors. We've gotten so used to the feel of air conditioning that normal summer hot air hits us like a stifling blast from the bowels of Hell.

When I was a kid, we never had air conditioning. I thought it was because my father was cheap and didn't want to buy an air conditioner, but now his explanation makes sense--"If we have an air conditioner in the house, you'll get used to it and feel even worse when you go outside." So instead, we used a system of fans and convection and plain old witchcraft to try to cool our house, and sometimes it worked, but the difference between indoors and outdoors was nowhere near so great in those halcyon days of my youth, as they are now that I've got an air conditioner.

I bless Mr. Carrier and his wonderful invention, because it does help a lot of people to survive through stifling temperatures, but I can't help thinking that we'd all be a lot better off just adapting to the summer heat the way we did back in the olden days. And you know, it's kind of interesting to note that the "beginning" of the global warming trend coincides with the invention of the air conditioner in 1902...