• ToddMorris
  • Air-conditioning gases are warming the planet

I wrote Monday about a price we’ve paid for air-conditioning: a loss of community. In neighborhoods throughout Chicago, we used to spend more time outside on summer evenings, and as a result we commonly knew neighbors by name. Now we’re more likely to be chilling inside, while we enjoy some of our other technological gifts.

I didn’t bring up the environmental price of air-conditioning, but the New York Times does so on its front page today.

Air conditioners have become a “new status symbol” in developing nations, a “must-have dowry item,” the Times reports. Air-conditioning sales are increasing 20 percent annually in China and India.