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Is cooling the inside making the outside hotter? Analysis of air conditioning on climate change

By: Diya Ram Mohan

The entire world has seen numerous concerning environmental changes in the past couple of years, from forest fires lining through Australia and California, and floods lining the south coast of India, the impact that climate change and industrialization are having on the Earth, is undeniable to most. The steady increase in world temperatures and fluctuations in climate throughout the globe is often thought to be caused by industrialization and the automobile industry, but there are thousands more than such. One such factor is the excessive use of air conditioning throughout homes and businesses during the past few decades in an effort to combat the rising temperatures outside.

The excessive increases in temperature through the past decade- reaching over 125 degrees F daily in certain states- results in numerous attempts to cool the body during these hot times. The increased amount of air conditionings utilized throughout the US, specifically, has resulted in numerous blackouts and power outages across major cities. Nevertheless, blackouts are the least of our problems concerning the overuse of air conditioning. According to the International Energy Agency's Future of Cooling reports, the numerous cooling units and devices will triple, resulting in around 6 billion units by the mid-century. Not only do air conditions produce significant heat when cooling down buildings, by the release of dangerous greenhouse gases while doing so. The combined need for almost, if not every building in urban areas to contain a high powered and functioning unit is deadly to our already crippled o-zone. As well as this, there have not been any major changes in such products over the last few decades, resulting in outdated products that could-if interested in- become far more environmentally friendly and less power consuming.

The world has been bustling with solutions to try and fix our current climate problems, but almost all of them result in rampant and severe backlash from major corporations and citizens who enjoy the comfort of these products. However, air conditioning provides the opportunity to not only cut CO2 and environmental damage but to expand and grow an industry to be more versatile and friendly in its products. Especially as temperatures continue to rise, investors will flood into the industry, however, it is up to us to convince and look for innovative opinions and solutions to prevent this innovation from resulting in simply more damage to our environment. As well as this, laws and regulations may be implemented to limit the use of airconditioning units in large scale buildings, for example, implementing a cap on how cold such units can be set to. The current generation of children already missed so many of the blessings of the environment ( snow, stars, natural forests, and more), and in return, they are given forest fires, red skies, 120 degree summers, and floods. Though small, by innovating the air conditioning industry, implementing laws, and simpling reducing unnecessary use, we can help make a difference in our current climate’s downfall and build up to the larger industries and corporations that kill the atmosphere.


Temple, James. "Air Conditioning Technology Is the Great Missed Opportunity in the Fight

against Climate Change." MIT Technology Review. Accessed October 4, 2020.



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