I just spent a week in New York City without air conditioning while doing some heavy lifting. I drank like a fish. I staggered to and fro. I felt dizzy at times. By the end of the week, the unrelieved humidity had left me weak and exhausted. And I was thrilled to return to LA and an earthquake.
And that's New York. Not Texas or Georgia. Or even Washington D.C.
Air conditioning during the summer in many parts of the country is a vital necessity. It makes it possible for people to function during the hotter months of the year. (Though there's probably an argument for pulling all cooling technology from D.C. as a reform measure.)
So of course the New York Times published an insane warmunist screed, "Do Americans Need Air-Conditioning?"
Or food. Or shelter.
But, before we take a closer look at the screed, let's look at how the New York Times was keeping cool while I was going through a gallon of water a day.
The NYTB's cooling load is served by a 6250 ton chilled water system while heating is provided via high-pressure steam purchased from the utility. Air distribution is achieved via variable air volume boxes for interior zones and fan powered boxes with heating coils for exterior zones. The floors occupied by the New York Times Company utilize an UFAD system, the first of its kind in a New York City high-rise. There is a cogeneration plant provides 1.4 MW of electricity for the building year-round.
A $1 Million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) helped offset the initial investment in a cogeneration plant.
You don't need air conditioning. But the New York Times needed your tax money to help fund its 6250 ton system.
"Fire, the saying goes, made us human. Does air-conditioning make us less so?" the Times piece asks.
Go to Nevada or Arizona. Live there with 100+ temps without air conditioning. See if you feel more or less human, Penelope.
“Think about that term: air-conditioning,” said Mark Feeney, a culture critic at The Boston Globe who suffers at work and does without at home. “Do you want to condition your air? Your skin maybe, or your hair. I’m a vegetarian, but I didn’t become one for any specific reason. It just happened. But there are all sorts of ex post facto good reasons for not eating meat. Same with AC: If you modify your actions, it’s good for the planet, it’s good for everyone. Also, I’m a lapsed Catholic and I’m Irish so I need a certain degree of self-imposed suffering in my life and I guess this qualifies.”
It's not self-imposed when you're imposing the suffering on others.
That's the difference between masochism and sadism. Lefties seem oddly vague on that point.
Many offices, including those of The New York Times, set their thermostats to 74 to 76 degrees, which you would think would feel balmy (imagine a thermostat set to that temperature during winter). Yet the other day, my colleagues — probably about 20 percent of them — were shivering in sweatshirts and sweaters.
In the summer months, temperature is similarly considered: The thermostats are set to 72 to 74 degrees, said Zara Rahim, senior director of communications, a number gleaned from reading studies that suggested men were happier at 70 degrees, and women at temperatures 2.5 degrees higher.
So much for the self-imposed suffering.
In 2015, Kieran Timberlake, an architectural firm with more than 100 employees in Philadelphia, tried to work without any air-conditioning at all. The firm renovated a former bottling plant — a concrete and steel warehouse built in 1945 — with many, many design flourishes and technologies, but without modern AC.
That first summer, however, staffers found themselves increasingly hot, limp and damp, their experience captured by daily surveys that included this plaintive report from one suffering soul: “I am physically melting.”
That's the difference between preaching your politics and living them. As so many lefties who moved to communes or the USSR discovered.
People in countries with lower G.D.P.s, said David Lehrer, the communications director and a researcher there, are more comfortable with a wider range of temperatures. It appears that first world discomfort is a learned behavior.
So is eating non-rotten food and showering every day. And not murdering your neighbors.
People in countries where air conditioning is not an option for most of the population learn to survive and manage. Or die. Ditto for public sanitation, clean water, vaccines, and all the other comforts of civilization.
This doesn't mean that heatstroke is an imaginary first world problem.
The people dying in France would suggest that it's very real.