Beyond the Cusp

June 20, 2011

Modern Life and Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning may not appear to be a news subject, but have faith; I can make it into one. Over the past Memorial Day weekend we had our air conditioner have its annual compressor and main fan capacitor blowout some time Friday evening. Out in the middle of barely anywhere, my place of residence and hideaway, getting it looked at had to wait until the next Wednesday, they don’t come out this way on a whim. I fully realized the extent of the high temperatures as I noticed the cats had ceased chasing around the house and had basically stopped in place and moved only when absolutely necessary. I got to experience four and a half days in Dante’s Inferno and am only writing about the ordeal now as the heat rash has cleared and some semblance of sanity on the subject may be possible. Now, to make this into a news story.

My first observation was that life without air conditioning must have been awful back in the primitive Blistering Heat Days of Semi-Pre-History before airconditioning became one word. As you can tell from the first paragraph, I was alive in those borderline prehistoric times before universal airconditioning became as close as it ever should to a right in the United States and the civilized world. Believe me when I tell you there had not existed airconditioned places for those without it to seek shelter from the summer heat way back in the Blistering Heat Days of Semi-Pre-History like exist today. People actually had fans with wet towels in the rooms which were declared “livable” when the temperature climbed to abnormal heights, above 85 with over 75% humidity was the usual level depending on where one lived.

Since the onset of the age of airconditioning, the life expectancy has been raised by close to twenty years. Scientists and other considered experts attribute this to modern nutrition, health advances and generally better lives. I now contend it is solely due to universal airconditioning. Obviously, back in the Blistering Heat Days of Semi-Pre-History many people would expire in the summer heat before reaching their sixtieth birthday simply for lack of available cool shelter. There really should be a reassessment on the critical role airconditioning has played in the extension of life past seventy in our times. Airconditioning may come to be recognized as the greatest medical advancement for the aged given its proper due and study. I would gladly volunteer to be part of the control group on any study where the control group is the ones with guaranteed functioning airconditioners.

The one problem with bringing attention to the wonder of airconditioning would be the immediate reaction by that section of the environmental movement who desire making everybody else live as if they were still living in the Blistering Heat Days of Semi-Pre-History. There will be claims that airconditioning is a major cause of global climate change. They will claim that whether you selfishly close all your doors and windows thus keeping all the airconditioned coolness inside causing global warming, or contrarily, you leave a window open with the airconditioning running bringing on the next ice age, you are contributing to global climate change.

Then there will be those who will attempt to determine exactly how much electricity is used to run all these airconditioning units and call for saving the demands made on the power industry thus causing the increased use of fossil fuels and carbon output. Needless to point out, these studies will not take into account how much electricity was used to run ten, twenty, or how ever many fans with wet towels over them to make life almost bearable back in the Blistering Heat Days of Semi-Pre-History. Hopefully, somebody who, like me, actually finds these modern life expectancy boosting inventions to be a good thing will do a study that massages the numbers to make the use of fans over airconditioning more wasteful and save humanity from returning to living in the conditions prevalent in the Blistering Heat Days of Semi-Pre-History.

All things considered, here is to hoping I, and everybody else, never have to go through an extended weekend living in the Blistering Heat Days of Semi-Pre-History. Such suffering is completely inhumane and causes strange red itchy bumps that science had assured me had been eliminated from modern life. I believe the term used way back was ‘heat rash’. Whatever, it is a malady that should not be inflicted on anybody living where such can be avoided. I have learned my lesson and have now gotten a maintenance plan that comes with the top secret number that will provide a service person, at extreme cost, on any day of the year, even during three day weekends. I consider myself now privileged and was made to swear to never divulge the secret number unless tortured mercilessly. I plan to take that number to my grave, which will also have airconditioning, I hope.

Beyond the Cusp

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