July 28, 2016

Denver Post: Climate change is as dangerous as ISIS, and part of the problem is your air conditioning

Climate change is as dangerous as ISIS, says Kerry, and part of the problem is your air conditioning

When Secretary of State John F. Kerry was in Austria’s capital Vienna recently to join discussions on climate change, chances were low that he encountered too many air conditioned rooms.

To Americans used to cooler rooms in summer, this may just have been a simple cultural difference. But for the climate negotiators, it most likely reflects a bigger divide between the U.S., Europe, and developing economies. European nations, and other countries, are looking with growing anger and skepticism at the United States’ heavily reliance on air conditioning.

“If the second, fourth, and fifth most populous nations – India, Indonesia, and Brazil, all hot and humid – were to use as much energy per capita for air conditioning as does the U.S., it would require 100 percent of those countries’ electricity supplies, plus all of the electricity generated by Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the entire continent of Africa,” said Stan Cox, a researcher who focuses on indoor climate controlling. Within the next 80 years, global electricity consumption is expected to rise by more than 80 percent due to more air conditioning, and an increased use of fridges and fans.

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