Global cooling

It’s July in Washington. The weather is forecast to be sunny and 90 degrees, with 40 percent humidity, for the next 10 days. Ah, sweater weather!

This time of year, I don’t go anywhere, except maybe the beach, without a sweater.

Now that we finally have central air in our home, I sometimes put my bathrobe on over my clothes.

Don’t get me wrong; I welcomed A/C with open, goosebumped arms. It’s great. I sleep like a baby.

But overall, I feel that air conditioning is overdone. Do humans really need to spend their days and nights in 65-degree temperatures? I don’t know about you, but too much A/C makes my nose run, gives me a headache and makes my muscles ache. Can we just tone it down a little and maybe save the planet in the meantime?

The last office in which I worked was like a walk-in refrigerator. While my burly Norwegian colleague controlled the thermostat on our hallway, our boss came in every morning and did a Mister Rogers ritual, exchanging suit jacket for cardigan sweater. Everywhere I go—the mall, the grocery store, the movie theater, church, any hospital, every office building, every airplane, airport and restaurant—the air is cranked so high (or is it low?) that I can barely function without cover. When I travel, I carry a big shawl that doubles as a blanket. I can’t recall a flight in the last few years on which I haven’t buried myself under it. I’d wear gloves and a nosebag if I thought to pack them.

Are there any environmental scientists or engineers out there who can tell me how much energy could be saved by bumping up thermostats up a few degrees? Wouldn’t businesses also save huge amounts of money? Could we put a dent in our nation’s economic and environmental troubles with a simple flip of a switch?

If you agree, let’s huddle together and make it happen.


Filed under Health, Rants and Raves, Travel

4 responses to “Global cooling

  1. Sue

    Jimmy Carter asked those same questions not that long ago, and asked
    Americans to set their home thermostats a little higher to save energy!

  2. Bruce McGuire

    I totally agree! I keep the thermostat at a cool 78 degrees in the summer. My girlfriend complains so we have an ongoing thermostat war. Most stores, malls, etc. are freezing in comparison. Besides the energy concerns if we are venturing out into 90+ degree weather then I believe that it must be unhealthy to keep ones house really cool. I was in the best condition of my life before ac in the car, house, etc. Sweating is one way to remove toxins from the body. Great Post!!!!!

  3. Mom

    My response is almost too obvious. Today it will be 114 (dry) degrees in Phoenix. Come on down!

  4. Deidra Darsa

    I’d rather put a sweater on than feel like I have to start ripping clothes off. Wait until you start getting hot flushes. You’ll love the AC.

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