Is airconditioning turning us into wimps?
We (and I’m as guilty of this as anybody) go from our sometimes-airconditioned houses in our airconditioned cars or our airconditioned trains to airconditioned offices or airconditioned shopping centres.
If it’s not 20 degrees indoors, we’re complaining. If the train is not airconditioned, we’re complaining. If we have to walk around in the heat, we’re complaining.
And we abuse it. People drive along (on suburban roads, not at freeway speeds) in 25 degrees with the windows shut and the aircon on. On hot days shops leave their doors wide open and pump up the aircon to compensate — evidently they’re not brave enough to shut the doors (or use automatic ones) and put a big “Open” sign up.
And most new buildings are built with big windows and no shade, so they heat up quick. Seriously, I was in a friend’s apartment recently on a sub-20 degree day, but the sun was shining straight in and the aircon was running to keep it cool.
And why? Because energy is cheap, and we can afford it… though of course all that energy generation causes all those emissions, which is slowly making it even hotter…
(By the way, you can open the window. The cool change just came through.)