Air Conditioning is a Vicious Cycle Damaging the Environment
Air conditioning was a luxury in Britain 40 years ago, but the long hot summer of 1976 changed that. The scorching heat that summer lasted two months and most people sweated it out indoors with only open windows and electric fans for ventilation. After that, air conditioning no longer seemed so extravagant and its popularity soared.
Air conditioners consume huge amounts of energy, though, and that’s adding to climate change. The US uses as much electricity to keep buildings cool as the whole of Africa uses for all its electrical needs. That power largely comes from polluting power stations, adding to the warmer climate.
And air-conditioning in vehicles burns more fuel, making even more greenhouse gases. With the demand for air conditioning rising worldwide, it’s reckoned that in around 30 years’ time more energy could be used for cooling than for heating.