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Wash Post laments using your AC in summertime causes a ‘vicious cycle’ that creates more CO2 emissions which lead to more heatwaves

‘Vicious cycle’: Heat waves ramp up U.S. burning of fossil fuels – Americans, cranking up their air conditioners, are helping to break summertime records for daily consumption of natural gas, a contributor to climate change


Excerpt: As temperatures have soared, so has consumption of natural gas, burned for the electricity needed to run air conditioners across much of the Northern Hemisphere. The United States this week has twice broken its summertime record for daily gas consumption, and it could break it again Friday, according to estimates from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

The trends illustrate how extreme heat is complicating efforts by the United States and other countries to phase down use of fossil fuels, despite how these fuels contribute to climate change and more intense heat waves. While the build-out of renewable energy is increasing, the world’s power grids are so reliant on gas and coal that burning more of them — and thus producing more planet-warming emissions — is often the only way to cool buildings and protect people from life-threatening conditions.

“The projection for how much energy you need is higher and higher because the cooling needs to go up,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. “There are these tragic ironies all over the climate space.”


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