Environmental Outlook: The Growing Demand For Air Conditioning

Apartment air conditioning units in Kwai Tsing, Hong Kong. - Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user Plastic_Bat

Apartment air conditioning units in Kwai Tsing, Hong Kong.

Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user Plastic_Bat

Environmental Outlook: The Growing Demand For Air Conditioning

In this month's environmental outlook, as worldwide demand for air conditioning is growing, so is concern over how increased use will contribute to global warming. The search for a cleaner way to cool.

In this month’s environmental outlook, a look at the growing reliance on air conditioning. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the air conditioner. Since its invention, air conditioning has provided relief from the heat and allowed industry to thrive in the hottest of places. But flipping on the air conditioner to cool off may be warming up the earth. The U.S. is the biggest air conditioning consumer, but use in countries like China and India is skyrocketing. Some scientists say the gases and electricity the units run on are contributing to global warming. Diane and her guests discuss the demand for air conditioning and the search for a cleaner way to cool.

Guests

Durwood Zaelke

president for the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.

Steve Yurek

president of the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.

Stan Cox

senior scientist at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas and author of "Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World."

Elisabeth Rosenthal

international environment reporter for The New York Times.

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