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In Losing Our Cool, scientist and environmental journalist Stan Cox shows that indoor climate control is colliding with an out-of-control outdoor climate. In America, energy consumed by home air conditioning and the resulting greenhouse emissions have doubled in just over a decade; energy used to cool retail stores has risen by two-thirds. And six out of every seven gallons of diesel fuel U.S. forces haul into Iraq and Afghanistan are used to run air conditioning.
Reporting from some of the world’s hot zones — from Arizona and Florida to India — Cox documents the surprising ways in which air conditioning changes human experience: giving a boost to the global warming that it is designed to help us endure, providing a potent commercial stimulant, making possible an impossible commuter economy, and altering migration patterns. Though it saves lives in heat waves, it may also be altering our bodies’ sensitivity to heat; our rates of infection, allergy, asthma and obesity; and even our sex drive.
About the author:
Before joining the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., as senior scientist in 2000, Cox worked as a U.S. Department of Agriculture geneticist for 13 years. His environmental writing has been widely published. He is the author of Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine.
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