Synopses & Reviews
One of the Mother Nature Networks ten must-read environmental books” of the year, Losing Our Cool is the first book to examine how indoor climate control is helping send our outdoor climate reeling out of control. With summers growing hotter and energy demand heavier, Stan Cox shows how air-conditioning transforms human experience in surprising ways, by altering our bodies sensitivity to heat; our rates of infection, allergy, asthma, and obesity; and even our sex lives. It has also enabled an irrational commuter economy, triggered a migration toward the American South and West, and created the kind of workplace in which employers wear sweaters in July. But, as Cox shows us, by combining traditional cooling methods with newer technologies, we can make ourselves comfortable and keep the planet comfortable as well.
First published in hardcover as an unprecedented heat wave swept across the country, Losing Our Cool
received extensive national and local coverage for exposing indoor climate controls collision with an out-of-control outdoor climate. As air conditioning approaches 20 percent of year-round electricity consumption by U.S. homes (the highest percentage in history), Americans use as much electricity for air conditioning as is currently consumed for all purposes by the one billion residents of the continent of Africa.
Author Stan Cox documents the surprising ways in which air-conditioning changes human experience: giving a boost to the global warming that it is designed to help us endure, enabling an otherwise impossible commuter economy, and altering human migration patterns. Though it saves lives in heat waves, it may also be altering our bodies sensitivity to heat; our rates of infection, allergy, asthma, and obesity; and even our sex lives. Losing Our Cool convincingly argues that by reintroducing traditional cooling methods and putting newer technologies into practiceand by moving beyond industrial definitions of comfortwe can make ourselves comfortable and keep the planet comfortable, too.
About the Author
Stan Cox is a plant breeder at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. He has written on environmental issues for newspapers nationwide, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, as well as for CounterPunch, AlterNet, and many other online publications. He is the author of Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine.
Table of Contents
1. Theres No Power on Earth That Can Stop It!”
2. Making the Weather
3. The Air-Conditioned Dream
4. Going Mobile
5. The Business Climate
6. Surviving the Great Indoors
7. India: Where A/C” Means VIP”
8. Inconspicuous Consumption
9. Coming out of the Cold