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epub Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) download

by Stan Cox

  • ISBN: 1595584897
  • Author: Stan Cox
  • ePub ver: 1328 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1328 kb
  • Rating: 4.6 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: The New Press; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Formats: doc lrf txt docx
  • Category: Hobbies
  • Subcategory: Home Improvement & Design
epub Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) download

Losing Our Cool book.

Losing Our Cool book. Losing our Cool shows how indoor climate control is colliding with. Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) is an interesting read that ties together electricity use, fossil fuels, global warming, and the fate of our planet as it relates to the use of air conditioning.

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In Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer)," Cox lays out a convincing portrait of the evils caused by air conditioning - from overdeveloped landscapes in the hottest climates to a dangerous overload of power supplies with no relief in sight. Circulating fans, moving through the home to avoid the sun’s rays, and a healthy diet all contribute to their ability to comfortably enjoy the summer.

Losing our Cool shows how indoor climate control is colliding with an out-of-control outdoor climate

Losing our Cool shows how indoor climate control is colliding with an out-of-control outdoor climate. In America, energy consumed by home air-conditioning, and the resulting greenhouse emissions, have doubled in just over a decade, and energy to cool retail stores has risen by two-thirds. Now the entire affluent world is adopting the technology. While the book proves that the planets atmosphere cannot sustain even our current use of air-conditioning, it also makes a much more positive argument that loosening our attachment to refrigerated air could bring benefits to humans and the planet that go well beyond averting a climate crisis.

As Stan Cox details in his excellent new book, Losing Our Cool . I joke that here it gets up to 90 degrees during the day, and cools off all the way to 89 at night. 19 people found this helpful.

Bradford Plumer, The National. Losing our Cool does a remarkable job describing our limited world view through the lens of air conditioning. At a time when we are being called to (and often stubbornly refusing to) look at the balance of convenience and comfort versus long term destruction this book provides a wonderful lens through which to view this problem.

Losing our Cool shows how indoor climate control is colliding with an out-of-control outdoor climate. As the biggest economic crisis in eighty years rolls across the globe, financial concerns threaten to shove ecological crises into the background.

Uncomfortable Truths about Our Air-Conditioned World (And Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer).

Losing Our Cool : Uncomfortable Truths about Our Air-Conditioned World (And Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer). Losing Our Cool exposes the surprising ways in which air conditioning changes human experience: giving a boost to global warming that it is designed to help humans endure; enabling an otherwise impossible commuter economy; and altering human migration patterns.

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With summers growing hotter and energy demand heavier, Stan Cox shows how air-conditioning transforms human experience in. .

With summers growing hotter and energy demand heavier, Stan Cox shows how air-conditioning transforms human experience in surprising ways, by altering our bodies’. Bradford Plumer, The National. What I like about Cox’s book is that he isn’t an eco-nag or moralist. Tom Condon, Hartford Courant. Books by Stan Cox. How the World Breaks. Life in Catastrophe’s Path, from the Caribbean to Siberia. Stan Cox, Paul Cox. Any Way You Slice It. The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing.

Losing our Cool shows how indoor climate control is colliding with an out-of-control outdoor climate. In America, energy consumed by home air-conditioning, and the resulting greenhouse emissions, have doubled in just over a decade, and energy to cool retail stores has risen by two-thirds. Now the entire affluent world is adopting the technology. As the biggest economic crisis in eighty years rolls across the globe, financial concerns threaten to shove ecological crises into the background. Reporting from some of the world’s hot zones—from Phoenix, Arizona, and Naples, Florida, to southern India—Cox documents the surprising ways in which air-conditioning changes human experience: giving a boost to the global warming that it is designed to help us endure, providing a potent commercial stimulant, making possible an impossible commuter economy, and altering migration patterns (air-conditioning has helped alter the political hue of the United States by enabling a population boom in the red-state Sun Belt). While the book proves that the planet’s atmosphere cannot sustain even our current use of air-conditioning, it also makes a much more positive argument that loosening our attachment to refrigerated air could bring benefits to humans and the planet that go well beyond averting a climate crisis. Though it saves lives in heat waves, air-conditioning may also be altering our bodies’ sensitivity to heat; our rates of infection, allergy, asthma, and obesity; and even our sex drive. Air-conditioning has eroded social bonds and thwarted childhood adventure; it has transformed the ways we eat, sleep, travel, work, buy, relax, vote, and make both love and war. The final chapter surveys the many alternatives to conventional central air-conditioning. By reintroducing some traditional cooling methods, putting newly emerging technologies into practice, and getting beyond industrial definitions of comfort, we can make ourselves comfortable and keep the planet comfortable, too.
Comments (7)

Mave
As a chemical engineer, I found some of the science reasonable even though I can tell from the energy balance another writer noted shows he is in over his head.

Probably the biggest waste of money for an ebook on Amazon.

My biggest complaint is that there seems to be an ever present belief on the part of the author that we can stop generating CO2 and other gases with only a little effort. Good luck on that.

I was surprised a lot that the average American household only spent a couple hundred bucks a year on the a-c. Perhaps Kansas and other places are cool. I don't know anyone with a large home in the Houston area that pays less than an average of several hundred per month. Pane that's with high SEER units, insulation and radiant barrier like crazy. That's with a set point of 76F.
Ghile
Read this, and you'll understand everything. I bought extra to give to my HVAC repair person and family members.
Yannara
Losing our Cool does a remarkable job describing our limited world view through the lens of air conditioning. At a time when we are being called to (and often stubbornly refusing to) look at the balance of convenience and comfort versus long term destruction this book provides a wonderful lens through which to view this problem.

The paradox of air conditioning is a great sociological metaphor for the myriad ways we as a culture "drive right by" evidence of our doing great destruction to the ecology when realistic other options are available.

Cox's book evidences careful research, very approachable prose and a wry sense of humor. This is one of those books that was waiting to be written and Cox has done an excellent job. You will enjoy and be challenged by Losing Our Cool.
I'm a Russian Occupant
For a book on energy issues - it is under the radar (at least for me). Very clear on the history and impact of A/C - along with possible improvements.
Taulkree
This book covers a topic of great importance and relevance in a highly readable way. Every aspect of air conditioning, beneficial and baneful, is examined through the eyes of an investigative writer who has really done his homework. The writing style is concise and reads easily, without insulting your intelligence. It's also incisive without being judgmental. We all think we couldn't live without AC, but if we want our grandchildren to have it, we should pay attention to Stan Cox's book.
Still In Mind
This had great shipping. It's a very nice book and it's very clean. Thank you so much for this book!
Walan
The book does a good job describing the problem, but I was expecting more about how to solve it. It really didn't have a lot to offer in that regard - just things like swamp coolers that really don't work in our area because of consistent high humidity.

Our climate also doesn't get very cool in night during the summertime, so opening the windows doesn't help. I joke that here it gets up to 90 degrees during the day, and cools off all the way to 89 at night.
There are many points raised by this book that are worth thinking about, but at the same time there are numerous problems with the logic and the conclusions. In fact, it's difficult to know where to start. I think the most pervasive problem is that Cox associates air conditioning with other things that he deplores, such as suburban sprawl and the supersizing of houses and cars. I'm with him on most of that, but damn it all, I don't like being hot and miserable; and air conditioning is not to blame for those other evils he cites.

Don't get me wrong. I like bright sunshine. I open my windows, and my blinds, any chance I get. And it feels good to go for a long walk, even if it means working up a sweat. But that's only if I can jump right in the shower afterward; sitting around at work at 25 C or even 30, or worse yet, trying to sleep in those conditions, is something I will never acquiesce to. I suppose I really should not be living in an area with hot and humid summers, but it's not as if we all have a completely free choice in the matter (just as living in a pleasant but small dwelling, or living a short walk to work, are not always available options).

Cox makes a very weak case for the notion that we get addicted to AC, that we lose our ability to handle hot weather due to being able to escape it easily. I thought he might present some detailed evidence from physiology of some insidious effect on the body of not exposure to heat, but all he really seems to say is that not getting hot means that—*Duh*—you will not handle it as well when you get hot. I saw no indication that the effect is irreversible or cumulative, or that there are other, more wide-ranging health effects. Indeed, most of the places with the longest life expectancies have cool or even cold climates.

This sort of good-leads to-bad seems to pervade "green" analyses of many environmental and social issues. For Cox, questions of whether the electricity for AC comes from carbon-free sources, or whether the refrigerant chosen damages the ozone layer or is a GHG, seems secondary; the real problem is our insistence on not being hot. He exhorts us to develop a "broader definition of comfort," to avoid "thermal monotony." "Without the extremes, enjoyment of moderate conditions declines." I'm almost surprised that he doesn't proceed to chastise us for wanting not to smell, aided by all that sweating. OMG, people in places like Quito or Tasmania or Monaco must be truly in a wretched state, with all that thermal monotony!

The dreaded Jevons effect (the "rebound") had to make its way into the discussion. I do have to give credit to Cox for quantifying the amount of rebound that has been reported for various activities: "0 to 50% for air conditioning, 10 to 30% for heating, 10 to 40% for water heating, 5 to 12% for lighting, 65% for overall home electricity use, 5 to 25% for home weatherization, and 5 to 50% for vehicle fuel consumption." I had not seen much quantification of this elsewhere. Yet even though the amount of rebound never approaches totality, Cox asserts that greater energy efficiency in AC units is not enough to prevent continuing growth in energy use. Part of the trouble with this argument, which has been used in so many settings, is that, apart from the fact that it is generally only a partial cancellation of the benefits, is that it doesn't even matter what the source of the improvement is. If switching from incandescent bulbs to LEDs means that people will use more lighting, then presumably cheaper coal, or higher incomes overall, would have the same effect.

It's not clear that air conditioning is the energy hog that is claimed. Early in the book, it is said that if you look at the heating-degree days in the US vs the cooling-degree days, and compare 1950 to 2007, you find that there are actually slightly fewer days when some temperature adjustment could be called for. So if there is much more energy used now that we've migrated partly to the Sun Belt, it must be for other reasons: population increase, bigger houses, and of course the fact that we compensate more for the temperature extremes in the hot areas than we did before AC was available. Living in a hot climate, with AC, is not itself more energy-wasteful than living in a cold climate with indoor heating.

There are a few specific points to mention in passing. Other reviews have already commented on how the ability of heat pumps to move more calories than the energy they consume is not actually connected to the efficiency of power generation. I do find it remarkable that Cox does not manage to clear up this issue, even after returning to it in an appendix, and even after consultation with an expert on the subject.

On page 177, the book says that fans can bring hot air into an air-conditioned space. But it's decisively important to run the fan in the right direction; normally this means running it to draw air up from floor to ceiling. Then you won't have that problem.

Finally, I find the idea of putting vegetation on the roof of a building, to keep it cool through transpiration of moisture upward, frankly quite silly. If you want to cool your roof, you can make it white-colored. You can go farther and arrange to adaptively change the roof color to dark in the winter. You can even arrange for moisture to trickle over the roof, providing evaporative cooling (an approach that works better in lower-humidity areas). There is no need to heap loose dirt overhead, the problems of which require no explanation.

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