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.