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Chilling Facts About Air Conditioners

The heat is on. But before you crank up the A/C, some cold hard facts about the impact of air conditioning on the environment.

A Washington state man wheels his air conditioner out of storage during 100 degree temperatures in 2008. (AP)

It’s automatic now. Summertime moves in, and the A/C goes on in millions of American homes and workplaces. 

We don’t live in the heat. We chill. 

Meanwhile, outside, the planet’s getting hotter. We may not want to hear it, but my guest today says we’re deep into a collision course between air conditioning and the environment. 

We now spend far more energy on cooling than heating. And the rest of the world – India, China – has just begun to crank up the A/C. 

This Hour, On Point: as summer moves in, global A/C on high, and a call to look back to the open window, the porch, and the fan.

Guests:

Stan Cox,  a writer, scientist, and plant biologist who lives in Salina, Kansas. His book “Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths about Our Air-Conditioned World,” will be published in June.

Alicia Silva, interior designer and architect at Synergy Design Studio in Seattle, Washington. She writes for the blog “Building Seattle Green” for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 31, 2015
Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence stand on the Statehouse's south steps during the 2-hour-long rally. (AP)

Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics call it anti-gay. Business leaders say bad for the economy. The governor’s not backing down. We’ll dive in.

Mar 31, 2015
Jazz icon Billie Holiday performs in New York City's Club Downbeat in February 1947.  (Library of Congress / Creative Commons)

A meditation on the life and music of Billie Holiday. The lady who sang the blues.

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Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

 
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

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Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

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Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

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