Air Conditioning Is a Human Right… Because of Climate Change? – Is it good?

Customers “Goods and Services Are Not Rights” by David Middleton

HEALTH & EXERCISE | May 16, 2022 2:29 ONLY
Why air conditioning should become a universal human right
This century will get hotter. Expanded accountS for cooling has become necessary.


It’s too hot out there.

Pick a country, choose a title, choose a statistic, it all tells the same story – the planet is warming at an alarming rate. Just in the last few days, Southeast Asia Be recorded temperatures of 122°F, as parts of Pakistan and India experienced an incredible early-season heatwave; corpses of old mob attacks wash in Nevada’s historic arid Lake Mead; and those rare stifling peaks of late June reached France and Spain.


Considering rampant human energy consumption is to blame for this crisis, it seems counter-intuitive that leading researchers are now calling for expanded access to air conditioning. . In a recent article for American Science, the four authors argue that AC should be seen as a fundamental “human right” and will be a prerequisite for climate justice in the years to come. Surname write:

“As the world heats up, billions of people need air conditioning. This 120-year-old technology was once considered a luxury, but in an age of climate change, it is a necessity for human existence.”

However, how can the planet contain billions more AC units? (Only 12% of people living in the hottest parts of the world now have air conditioning, while 90% of Americans use the technology.)


Hook inside

Having lived in Texas since 1981, I fully appreciate the value of air conditioning.


Heat is a major cause of weather deaths in the United States. The increase in temperature and humidity, at least in part related to anthropogenic climate change, suggests a possible long-term increase in heat-related mortality. We calculated annual excess mortality on days when apparent temperature – an index that combines air temperature and humidity – exceeded the threshold value for 28 major metropolitan areas in the United States. United States from 1964 to 1998. Heat-related deaths decreased significantly over time in 19 of the 28 cities. For the 28-city average, there were 41.0 +/- 4.8 (mean +/- SE) heat-related deaths per year (per million standards) during the 1960s and 1970, 17.3 +/- 2.7 in the 1980s and 10.5 +/- 2.0 in the 1990s. During the 1960s and 1970s, almost all the cities studied had mortality rates. Mortality was significantly higher than normal on days with high apparent temperatures. During the 1980s, many cities, especially those in the southern United States that were typically hot and humid, did not have excessive mortality rates. During the 1990s, this effect spread northward across inland cities. This systematic desensitization of urban populations to elevated temperatures and humidity over time can be attributed to a range of technological, infrastructural and biophysical adaptations, including increase the use of air conditioning.

Davis, Knappenberger, Michaels and Novicoff, 2003

Without a doubt, air conditioning has saved millions of lives.

Research published in 2016 found that Americans’ risk of dying on a very hot day has decreased 80 percent since 1939-1959, with most of the profits being made after 1960 – an improvement researcher almost entirely attributed the popularity of home air conditioners. That’s a number that could lead to an additional 20,000 deaths a year in the US if we maintain today’s mid-day heat death rate. The researchers also found that this protective effect was particularly strong for vulnerable populations, including black Americans and people 65 years of age and older. This pattern holds true globally. A key research report for 2021 inside Lancet It is estimated that, globally, air conditioning use prevented 195,000 heat-related deaths in people 65 years of age and older in 2019.

In the simplest terms, millions of people alive today would die without air conditioning.

Foreign Policy

However, calling it “human rightsReminds me of a scene from the classic 1985 movie, Police Academy 2

You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney appointed by the court. You have the right to sing the blues. You have access to cable TV… that’s very important. You have the right to sublease. You have the right to paint the walls… no need for too many colors.

Steve Guttenberg as Carey Mahoney in Police Academy 2: Their First Mission

Goods and services are not rights

While I believe poor energy As a serious problem and increasing access to affordable, reliable energy should be a priority for society, air conditioning cannot be a benefit over cable television. No one has a right to the goods and services provided by another individual. If air conditioning were a right, those who manufacture and sell air conditioners would become committed servicers.

Access to affordable, reliable energy isn’t a right either, but it’s the answer

Aug 23, 2019
Carbon pricing is not the fix for climate change

By: Scott Tinker

There is much discussion today about pricing carbon to reduce CO2 emissions and address climate change. Unlike many environmental pollutants that have local or regional effects, carbon dioxide (CO2) is global – there is only one atmosphere. If actions taken to reduce emissions in the atmosphere in one region lead to increased emissions elsewhere, then atmosphere one will be affected.

Some form of carbon pricing – carbon taxes, carbon trade, carbon credits – is favored by many politicians, NGOs, academics and even some in the industry. But the reality is that a carbon price won’t be imposed by developing and emerging economies because it makes their energy more expensive, and they’re too busy trying to build their economies and get out. out of poverty.

In developed countries, carbon pricing increases production and product costs, which in turn drives production to developing countries, where it is more affordable due to lower labor costs and less stringent environmental regulations and emission standards. Global emissions increase in one atmosphere.

In other words, the well-intentioned carbon pricing has an unintended negative impact on climate change. This is not a hypothesis. It is happening.

If carbon pricing doesn’t work, what happens? Energy science tells us how to actually reduce CO2 emissions into an atmosphere within the required timeframe. Unfortunately, those most dedicated to tackling climate change don’t seem to like answers from energy experts.


So what options does energy science suggest that will have a big impact on climate change?

Natural gas and nuclear replacing coal for power generation in major developing countries like India, China and Vietnam will have a big impact. Capture, use and store carbon; capture carbon directly from the atmosphere; and perhaps nature-based solutions like scaling up forests would be helpful, especially in fossil fuel-producing regions such as the US, Russia, China and the Middle East.


These affordable and economically sound energy solutions present a problem. Many are unpopular with those most concerned about climate change. As a result, politicians seeking climate votes continue to enthusiastically promote programs and policies that do not really address climate change.

But we have a remarkable opportunity. The right can recognize the need to tackle climate change. The left can acknowledge the energy science needed to make real global emissions reductions into one atmosphere. And developing and emerging countries can continue to emerge from energy poverty.

Unfortunately, this seems far from happening. Climate politics seems to dominate energy solutions in Europe and the US, and the developing world continues to burn coal.

Scott Tinker is the Daily Endowed Subsurface Geology Chair and director of the Department of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.

UT News

There is no denying that “those most dedicated to tackling climate change do not seem to like the answer” and that “politicians seeking climate votes continue to enthusiastically push for Processes and policies do not really address climate change”. While the need to address climate change is controversial, the need to combat energy poverty is not.

It really is a Weird world… Those who see climate change as an existential threat are less likely to support natural gas, nuclear power and CCS/CCUS. Instead, they support Green New Deals that will destroy our economy, leave the weather untouched while exacerbating energy poverty.

Authority to solve

Davis, RE, Knappenberger, PC, Michaels, PJ, & Novicoff, WM (2003). Heat-related mortality varies in the United States. Environmental health perspective, 111 (14), 1712–1718. 10.1289 / ehp.6336 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

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