Living with less air conditioning

Posted by Christine, September 22, 2011

NPR reports that according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this summer has been the second-hottest ever recorded in the United States, helping to push power demand in homes to record levels. As some worry that the growing use of fossil fuels to produce electricity for cooling is unsustainable, one man is urging Americans to live without air conditioning.

With wire-rimmed glasses and a neatly trimmed salt-and-pepper beard, Stan Cox doesn’t stand out in a crowd. But with his book arguing that our climate-controlled lifestyle in modern America is unsustainable, Cox has drawn quite a bit of attention. He lives in a modest two-story house in an older neighborhood in Salina, Kan. Built in the 1930s, the house has a screened-in porch — and, on a recent visit, lots of open windows.

“It does have central air,” Cox says. “And we run it one day each summer, to make sure it’s still working okay. And so far, for 10 years now, it works fine on that day.”