You’ll find some people who believe air conditioning is one of the evils of our time. I am not one of those people. Yes, air conditioning uses energy which could, theoretically, be used to transport food to a starving child. Energy could also be used to prevent more wars, end the AIDS epidemic, find a cure for cancer, or make sure my brother never becomes a US Senator. These are all noble causes. None of them, however, should be done instead of air conditioning.
I know I am taking an extreme stance here. The globe keeps on warming, and if we don’t cut our carbon emissions drastically, we’ll need a lot more than air conditioning to save our skins. But air conditioning is not a luxury item like SUVs or those pools that you swim in without going anywhere.
Air conditioning makes life bearable. You flip a switch and a wonderful cool breeze caresses your tired body with a lover’s touch. Air conditioning, not opposable thumbs, sets us apart from the uncivilized animals. We used our gigantic brains to come up with this miraculous invention; why don’t we take more advantage of it? When it’s 95 degrees outside and you’ve been out all day, how does it feel to come home to a 90 degree apartment? Not too good. When you’re trying to think of witty jokes and you can’t move due to the heat, how easy does that make your task? Not easy at all, dear readers. Good jokes can come from anger, but so can heart attacks. Also, the crime rate is higher in hotter states and during heat waves. I’m not going to even bother finding a reputable source for that information: I just know it to be true.
And don’t tell me to use a fan. Heat makes me angry, but dumb people flapping their mouths about fans enrage me. Fans are a false prophet. Do you know what fans do? They move air. They don’t cool the air, the don’t even run air through water like swamp coolers. They take air that has been sitting in Point A and transport it – magically – to Point B. Does that really change anything? If we’re going to have a conversation about wasting electricity, I’m making fans Exhibit A.
Why are movies so popular? For a long time theaters were often the only places that had air conditioning. Why do so many people spend their weekends at the mall? Again, air conditioning. When it gets to be a certain temperature I begin to think of errands I need to run, just so I can be enveloped in that frosty synthetic air.
Let’s make a deal. All buildings be required to install air conditioning by the year 2010. It doesn’t always have to be on, but it should be there just in case. In exchange, I will take the world-destroying laser I have currently pointed at Earth and redirect it to some lesser planet, like Venus. I’ve heard it’s hot there.