Home Daily Blitz Air Conditioning Is a Lifesaver. It’s Also a Potential Disaster

Air Conditioning Is a Lifesaver. It’s Also a Potential Disaster

Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1XPHY

The following is an excerpt from Rachel Kyte | August 3, 2017 | Time.com |

There’s hot and then there’s extreme hot. Hot is uncomfortable. Extreme hot pushes the limits of human survival. In late May, mercury readings soared to 128.3 degrees in Pakistan, a swelter that coincided with Ramadan, when millions of Pakistanis forgo water and food from sunrise to sunset. A month later, temperatures hit 129.2 degrees in Iran, likely the hottest temperature every reliably measured on Earth. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Arizona, 118-degree temperatures grounded airplanes and triggered record-high power demand at several local utilities.

Access to cool air, safe food, safe medicines is something most Americans and the fortunate across the world take for granted. But in parts of the world where hot spots are intensifying, and where the less well-off lack access to cooling, it can mean suffering and death.

As urban populations grow in parts of the world where extreme heat events are intensifying, cooling is not a luxury good. It is as a fundamental component of modern life — from cold supply chains for fresh food, to safe storage for life-saving vaccines and medicines, to cooler, safer work and educational environments that can elevate productivity. But as the latest Global Tracking Framework shows, at least one billion people in the world currently lack access to electricity — and therefore can’t access basic cooling solutions, such as air conditioning and refrigeration. In short: We need to provide more people with access to cooling.

For more visit: Time.com