Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Sad Strange Waste of AC

Here in Boston we experience a handful of days each year with high heat and humidity. Yesterday was one of them. I guess you could call it uncomfortable. But really, most of the year here is bone cold. As if by reflex the air conditioners have roared into action.

It's a strange thing in the morning to walk outside and hear the steady crash of the AC, window units, central units, each with a distinctive unpleasant growl. Each gobbling electricity, wasting resources in the dewy cool morning. Meanwhile the garden sends up its moist aroma after last night's thunderstorms, shoulder high plants cooling the air passively through photosynthesis.

At night when it cools down we like to keep our windows open. Everyone could. No one does. Our reward for letting in a breeze is the mechanical thunder of air conditioners, the stupidest solution to making a comfortable house/neighborhood/city.

I know I sound like a throwback. People will complain that AC is a lifesaver, allowing them to sleep, preventing allergies, enabling work and play. But really, in this cold city where we live by the weather, would it hurt to turn off the motors and relish the tropical warmth?

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