Friday, July 31, 2015

If I see one more preachy Facebook post about air conditioning. . . .

Look: I know air conditioning costs money. I know it's bad for the environment, it makes people fat, it destroys the great plan that the universe has for us, and that it's one small step from central a/c to us telling our children and our children's children what it was like in America when men were free.

But I live in Texas. Central fucking Texas, where even the Native Americans didn't hang out in the summer, unless they could do so while standing up to their necks in spring-fed rivers.

So when I get tagged by well-meaning friends who live in Michigan and Wisconsin and Maine, where sure it gets hot during the day but it cools down to less than 80* at night, I get homicidal. They send me fun little articles about how people lived "before the age of air-conditioning." There's then this competition, with Europeans chiming in (bless their hearts), talking about how *they* don't use a/c until mid-July, and only then if their aged Aunt Maude is visiting. Hot? Just open a window, they say. That's what people used to do.

Yes, people had fourteen-foot ceilings and transom windows and heavy draperies they could pull to keep out the sun. They had cross-ventilation and attic fans and houses built on pier-and-beam foundations that allowed cool air to circulate. They had strategies for allowing cooler air in at night. They had huge ice blocks with fans blowing across them.

And you know what? They still left this part of the country and went to cooler places if they could possibly afford to. Whether it was a few miles away, to the Comal and Guadalupe and Frio, or down to the coast, or back East or to the mountains, they got the hell out of Dodge while things were baking. If they didn't, they either were miserable or they died.

Next time those friends get buried in snow, I'm going to post articles about how shoveling snow is bad for the planet and makes you a lesser person.

Yes, I'm a little grumpy. It's the heat.

21 comments:

Liz Harris said...

And don't forget to point out that shoveling snow is unhealthy.
Heart attacks, frostbite, icicles falling, etc.

Air conditioning has prevented all kinds of heat-related health problems.

You go, girl. Keep those know-it-alls at bay.

Kate the Great said...

You know what else is bad for the environment and causes obesity. Snowblowers. Preach!
Your WI friend, KT

Silliyak said...

Don't forget the 2 foot thick stone walls some old buildings have.

gela said...

Lol! Menopausal don't even mention no AC. I'm running the damn thing allllll year!

Anonymous said...

Well, I wouldn't disagree, but it's also arguably true that air conditioning gave rise to the modern Republican Party, so from your preachy environmentalist friends' perspective, that probably is equivalent to the apocalypse.

See:

Why do Republicans suddenly appear down there? And the answer is, they migrated down there. Why did they migrate down there? Well, basically, a fair number of them had spent winters down there, but with the introduction in the early 1950s of residential air-conditioning, people began to stay down there. It was interesting to me that the first safe Republican seat in the South, outside of the ones up in the Appalachian Mountains -- there are only four or five of those -- but the first safe Republican seat under the new dispensation was St. Petersburg, Florida, which was a winter resort, and it happened in 1954. And then Dallas, Texas.

http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people2/Polsby/polsby-con4.html

messymimi said...

Reminds me of the brainless gits who live in cooler climates who tell me you don't really need A/C in a car. They've never driven when it's over 100 degrees out, and the steering wheel will put blisters on your hands, and you can't drive fast enough with the windows down to cool off because even the wind is hot.

RehabRN said...

We can use A/C almost year round here in RehabLand. Usually, we're far enough north to have a winter but stuck in just the right place in the middle where the Canadian highs and the c*)p from the Gulf of Mexico likes to come and rumble.

If it were dry heat, I wouldn't complain. It's so soupy, it's like being hit with a wet washcloth in the face as soon as you open the door.

BTW anything below 80 at night is cool. Last week it was 90 degrees F at 10PM. That stinks.

I wish you the best. I'll actually turn my A/C off for a bit later this year, but I know you won't.

Elle said...

I'm from Okla, so I know what you're talking about. I used to live in Kentucky, and I'll never forget how hard I belly-laughed when I heard a TV weather guy say on the noon news, "Right now it's a *sweltering* NINETY-TWO DEGREES!" Yeah, buddy, if you've never seen tar on the street bubbling because of the heat or experienced 92 degrees at 10 p.m., you don't know sweltering.

Aviana said...

I agree with you Jo. I live in Vegas. :)

CrowsCalling said...

I'm in Seattle and I still turn the AC on in August.

Crazed Nitwit said...

Go for the AC! I live in Seattle where it was 95 degrees yesterday and 78 degrees at 11PM. I used my AC! No one's business.

Nurse Dee said...

What's funny is that's the sort of heat I'm looking for (hubby and I!) and we're Canadians - we look at each other and agree that snow sucks and heat is awesome.... but that's not to say that I wouldn't have or RUN the AC!!!

Anonymous said...

The southern Architecture dealing with the heat sounds interesting. Is there a book you might recommend on the issue for a loyal European Minion?

clairesmum said...

I read an article somewhere several years ago that listed all of the changes in the southern and western parts of the US after air conditioning became an affordable technology - first for wealthy people, then businesses, then homes. We now know there are environmental costs to everything. Those folks who are proud of not using the AC in summer - ask what they do to heat in the winter? How low do they keep the thermostat? How well insulated is their house? (relevant in all climate areas). Also, I have always thought that the fact that computer servers and other technologies essential for business require a strict range of climate control. I remember when office areas only had fans, now everything is 'climate controlled'. The existence of AC has led to the expectation that we all work at top speed all day every day - no slacking off due to heat or humidity!

nicoleandmaggie said...

Air conditioning is life and don't let anyone tell you differently.

Allison said...

We're living in a motorhome in Seattle for the summer, with two air conditioning units on the roof - both of which are running. Our friends who do not have A/C (because it's never hot in Seattle) are just dying. I feel bad for them, because it has been so hot here, but not as hot as Texas. So yes! Crank up the air!

Anonymous said...

Oh honey,
I live in Ohio and have had the a/c on since June. When even the dog doesn't want to go out because it's too hot and humid, it's a sign. I lived in Texas (San Antonio area) for 5 years--take that a/c and run it, run it gooood.

Traci said...

Once those folks spend a few days in lovely Central South Carolina, I feel they will be singing a different tune. We have had 15 straight days of 100+ temperatures and heat indexes. They and their good intentions can suck it.

Wayne Conrad said...

We who live in Phoenix understand what you're saying.

pfongk said...

We use the air-con a fair bit in the summer here. Currently it's quite literally the middle of winter and we're at a pleasant 25c (77F). Our humidity is also only at 34%

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