Air conditioners may save you from the humidity and brutal summer heat, but according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it could also be killing you.
The study, published in early July, found the increased use of air conditioning in buildings could actually contribute to global warming by further degrading air quality, and worsening the toll of air pollution on human health. In fact, researchers estimated that it could contribute to an additional 1,000 deaths per year in the Eastern U.S.
Not everyone agrees with the study though. According to ClimateDepot.com founder Marc Morano, air conditioning doesn’t kill people; it saves lives.
“Thousands die in heat waves,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Wednesday. “Heat waves kill. Air conditioning saves lives.”
During the Chicago heat wave 1995, temperatures soared to blistering heights, resulting in the deaths of 739 people, most of whom could not afford air conditioning. And in 2003, a heat wave across Europe — the hottest summer on record — led to thousands of deaths, with some analysts placing the death toll at more than 70,000.
“[That’s] widely blamed on the fact that they didn’t have enough air conditioning, and air conditioning wasn’t widely available,” Morano said.
Modeling Study: Increased use of A/C to cope with predicted heat waves in 2050 will kill more due to increased air pollution from the A/C
‘The Earth has a fever’ – the only solution is 14 billion air conditioners
‘Turn up the AC — please! – Air conditioning is a human right’ – “If this heatwave has taught me anything, it’s that the 30 UN human rights — including equality, privacy, freedom of expression, food, clothing, housing and time off work — are essential and admirable. But they can’t beat air conditioning.”
2016: Washington’s War Against Your Air Conditioner – John Kerry explained in a speech in New York last month, the Obama administration targeted HFCs. Kerry conceded that since ratification of the Montreal Protocol “nearly 100 of the most ozone-depleting substances have been completely phased out. As a result, the hole in the ozone layer is shrinking and on its way to full repair.” “The bad news is that the substances banned by the Montreal Protocol have been replaced by substances that cause a different kind of danger,” Kerry said. “HFCs may be safer for the ozone, but they are exceptionally potent drivers of climate change itself, often thousands of times more potent than, for example, carbon dioxide.”
Kerry: Regulating refrigerator chemicals are ‘of equal importance’ to battling ISIS – Kerry made the remarks as part of a pep talk for negotiators working through the weekend to amend a 1987 treaty called the Montreal Protocol to deal with the chemicals used as refrigerants. “Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations — defense ministers and foreign ministers — as we were working together on the challenge of [the Islamic State], and terrorism,” he said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we — you — are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”
2016: Wash. Post writer: ‘I don’t need air conditioning, and neither do you’ – ‘A/C made Americans greedy and silly’ – Touts ‘lower carbon footprint’
Sign Petition: ‘Remove air conditioning from all US State Department property’ – Prompted By Kerry’s comments
2015: Discovery Mag.: ‘Is Air Conditioning Killing the Planet?’ – ‘The desire for a more comfortable and cooler home and office will likely make the planet bake even faster.’
2013: NYU Sociologist: Stop using air conditioning to save planet from global warming
2010: Lifestyle Control: In the heat wave, the case against air conditioning — Call to end ‘lavish use in everyday life’ – ‘Turning buildings into refrigerators burns fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases, which raises global temperatures, which creates a need for — you guessed it — more air-conditioning…health benefits during severe heat waves do not justify its lavish use in everyday life’
2010: Americans urged to end their reliance on air conditioning as heat wave endures — AC contributes to global warming
2018: ‘The World Wants Air-Conditioning. That Could Warm the World’
NYT: ‘Should Air-Conditioning Go Global, or Be Rationed Away?’ — Is A/C a modern-day right like clean water…or an unsustainable luxury that we should give up or ration?’ – Author Stan Cox [email protected] says A/C is ‘A Luxury the World Can’t Afford’ — ‘The resulting greenhouse emissions create need for even more air-conditioning there’s little we can say until we end our own society’s dependence on lavish cooling’
NYT laments: ‘How Bad Is Your Air-Conditioner for the Planet?’ ‘Releases 100 million tons of CO2 each year’ – NYT: ‘Air-conditioning releases about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.’ ‘The widespread availability of air-conditioning has allowed for more development in the hotter parts of the country — the South and the Southwest — where air-conditioning use is the highest in the country.’ ‘There may be a time in the future when the climate in some places will be so hot that air-conditioning won’t be able to maintain comfortable temperatures.’