Forget It, Envirowackos, We’re Not Giving Up Air Conditioning.

One thing that cannot be emphasized enough when talking about the environmental extremists on the Left is that despite the fact that they’re always prattling on about “science,” they’re luddites at heart. Pretty much any and all technological progress that makes your life easier? They oppose it.

Cars run on internal combustion engines? They don’t like them. Oil, coal, and nuclear power? Airplanes? They don’t think you should be using them for domestic flights. If the choice is between sitting in the dark and using those forms of energy — and incidentally, that’s exactly the choice we face — they’d rather sit in the dark. It just goes on and on.

The latest technological villain for the enviro-wackos on the Left? Believe it or not, it’s air-conditioning. We’ve been treated to a number of anti-air conditioning pieces in recent days and the latest one is by Stan Cox in the LA Times. Lamely, it’s titled, AC: It’s not as cool as you think,

Running full blast, a car’s air conditioner dramatically increases levels of noxious exhaust in the surrounding air, guaranteeing that other drivers will have to keep their windows closed and the air running. In that, as in many other ways – by aggravating global warming, by encouraging poor building ventilation, by increasing our own biological susceptibility to heat – dependence on air conditioning always seems to generate demand for more air conditioning.

Air conditioning buildings and cars in the United States has the climate impact of half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. That exceeds the total annual carbon dioxide emissions of any one of these nations: Australia, France, Brazil or Indonesia. In an effort to reduce energy use and curb greenhouse emissions, industry and government are pursuing more efficient cooling technologies for cars and buildings. But greater efficiency can’t reverse the unsustainable living, working and transportation patterns that air conditioning has helped foster.

Greener building designs that favor natural ventilation will help, but in the millions of existing homes, workplaces and schools that we’ll be using for decades to come, the most important adjustment will be not in our thermostats but in our own comfort expectations.

Businesses can help. Studies find that the majority of office employees are already dissatisfied with their workplace temperature, and that the most important improvement employers can make is to give workers more control over windows, shades, air movement, clothing, position and location.

The key to reducing the impact of mobile air conditioning is to keep as many cars as possible at home and switched off. That will mean restructuring cities and suburbs as pedestrian havens, discouraging car travel (and keeping cities cooler) by replacing parking lots with parks, and launching a crash expansion of inexpensive, convenient and cool mass transportation.

In other words, we need to back out of the ecological dead-end alley we’ve been traveling down for half a century. It won’t be easy. With air conditioning so thoroughly integrated into American society, we’re going to have trouble finding reverse gear. But it’s there.

So, using air conditioning is “unsustainable” and we need to find the “reverse gear” on it as a society. Here’s a thought: Why don’t you envirowackos try it first? Then, once all of you move into log cabins, start riding around on horses and wearing home sewn clothes, maybe the rest of us will be inspired by your example. But of course, that never seems to happen, does it? Instead, what typically happens with libs is that they want to find a way to use the government to force everyone to live by their rules — except of course, them. Because like Al Gore, they’re simply too important to have to live by the same rules they say everyone else should live by.

Here’s my response: We’re not finding any “reverse gear” on the AC. There’s no way the kooks will ever convince the public to give up on air conditioning. Quite frankly, if the average person has to choose between the extinction of polar bears and living the rest of his life drenched in sweat in his own home every summer, then the bears will just have to go the way of the Dodo.

PS: It’s rather notable that this sort of utter kookery is considered mainstream enough to run in the LA Times.

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