Monday, August 07, 2006

Cooking the Planet to Chill Our Toes

From William Salatan:
Have you heard the news? Scientists have found a planet that can support life. Its atmosphere is too hot for year-round habitation, its gases impede breathing, and surface conditions are sometimes fatal. But by constructing a network of sealed facilities, tunnels, and vehicles, humans could survive on this planet for decades and perhaps even centuries.

The planet is called Earth...

Air conditioning takes indoor heat and pushes it outdoors. To do this, it uses energy, which increases production of greenhouse gases, which warm the atmosphere. From a cooling standpoint, the first transaction is a wash, and the second is a loss. We're cooking our planet to refrigerate the diminishing part that's still habitable.

He goes on...

Policymakers aren't facing global warming, because they aren't feeling it. They gave themselves air conditioning in the 1920s and '30s, long before the public got it. White House meetings and congressional hearings on climate change are doomed hours beforehand, when the thermostats are set. One minute, you're watching video of people sweltering in New Orleans. The next minute, you're watching senators dispute the significance of greenhouse gases. Don't ask whether these people are living on the same planet. In effect, they aren't.

And an interesting architectural tie-in...
From 1991 to 2005, the median lot size of single-family homes sold in the United States shrank by 9 percent, but the median indoor square footage increased by 18 percent. If you can't stand the heat, go hide in your kitchen.
Read it all here.


Blogger Saurabh Barve said...


Have you heard the latest cure for global warming? It seems that carbon di-oxide can be pumped into the ocean-bed creating some compound (I don't remember the news story well) that is heavier than water. That way CO2 can stay at the bottom of the ocean while we enjoy the cooler temperatures. Marine life be damned. It's important that we get rid of all the harmful CO2, eh?

11:31 AM, August 08, 2006  

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