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August 22, 2019



America is 87% air conditioned. The government says 48% of all energy consumption in homes is due to heating or cooling the air, including Air Conditioning. We are also told we have 12 years to resolve carbon emissions before the world will permanently change. Reports are the electrical draw for air conditioning of developing world will have a 300% increase in the next 11 years. Our computers now require it. Our bodies are becoming less tolerant of heat.

What has changed? As of this week, my wife and I have lived in our home with no AC for 35 years. Why can’t others? Joining us are a group who deal with AC every day, a remarkable group:

Shane Cashman’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Atlantic, BBC Travel, Penthouse, and VICE. He teaches Narrative Studies at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. His latest stories can be found at But most importantly for this program, Mr. Cashman wrote the piece “The History of Air Condoning – calling air was once seen as sinful. Maybe that idea wasn’t entirely wrong.”

Stephanie Lesnik. Owner and farmer of Field House Farm in Madison. Mom of four and registered nurse. Stephanie has scores of animals: How does she she deal with the heat as it affects humans and beasts?

Curtis B. Wayne is a storyteller, a voiceover artist, a former radio producer and host, author of an architectural manifesto, and incidentally happens to have been a licensed architect since 1979. He has designed highly energy-efficient houses that do not require AC cooling.

Leigh Whiteman is born to a real estate family in Guilford, now 3 generations, is a Real Estate Broker and leader of a full-service real estate team, The Whiteman Team, at William Raveis Real Estate: Leigh, a 30 year real estate veteran is a “Luxury Properties Specialist” and went to school at Mount Holyoke College and Sarah Lawrence College. Is AC our future?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Broyles permalink
    August 22, 2019 8:54 am

    Hi Duo..while I share your concerns completely, I think your stats are off. According to this source, it’s 48% of all residential energy used in space heating and cooling…and that was in 2011. Is this the source you referenced or was it somewhere else?

    • August 22, 2019 10:04 am

      YOU ARE CORRECT! the stat was from the government, next to the 87% figure, I erroneously connected the two; FIXED: thank you!

      • marksbroyles permalink
        August 23, 2019 10:50 am

        No worries- it’s still a big energy number in toto due to the extent of single-family dwellings in the US that are air-conditioned and the environmental cost of current methods of electrical generation and its transmission inefficiencies from central generating plants.

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