Hello, I’m Holly Michael – farm wife, mother, blogger , DMM crazy headline writer and communications professional who has worked at some of Dayton’s largest companies. I straddle the sometimes equally stinky worlds of agriculture and corporate life, so you don’t have to.
Oh, and I’ve been hot. Real hot. Eighty-four degrees in my kitchen H-O-T. Why? Well, we don’t have air conditioning. I’ll let that sink in. We. Don’t. Have. ANY. Air Conditioning. In 2010.
Our decision is one part economics (the cost to retrofit our old farmhouse would be high), one part physical (Husband works outside, so coming in and out of the AC would make him feel sick on hot days), and two parts stubborn (we didn’t have AC growing up and we do fine without it now).
I thought we were just sweaty country bumpkins who prefer to keep the windows open, but it turns out we have been saving the planet—who knew?
Salon published a great article in early July about Stan Cox’s new book titled “Losing our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths about our Air-Conditioned World.” According to Salon, Cox’s book points out the “dizzying rise of air conditioning comes at a steep personal and societal price. We stay inside longer, exercise less, and get sick more often — and the electricity used to power all that A.C. is helping push the fast-forward button on global warming…”
See, every morning when I get up and attempt to apply makeup to an already sweaty face, I am saving the planet.
I do find it interesting that people consider air conditioning to be an essential home amenity. I consider not being able to look in your neighbor’s windows from the kitchen table an essential home amenity—but I don’t usually say, as people do when they hear I don’t have AC, How do you stand it?
I do agree that people with asthma, people in the hospital, people in movie theatres , people in airplanes and elderly people of poor health really do need air conditioning (there are lots of other situations, of course) but I do agree with Stan Cox that all this AC is making us soft.
When the National Academy of Engineering picked its 20 greatest engineering achievements of the twentieth century, they ranked air conditioning above the Internet, space travel and the mass production of antibiotics. I’m just not sure how the technology that made it possible for people to live comfortably in Phoenix is more important than, say, penicillin—but obviously, I don’t get it.
So come visit me in Farmersville, we’ll sit under the ceiling fan and drink a long, tall lemonade while the kids play outside (yes, my tough little farm kids play outside in this weather). You might be surprised how comfortable it can be.