Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brit Plan To Live Without A/C Fails

A year ago, I wrote a Rant for Contracting Business titled, Is Air Conditioning The Next Tobacco? in response to Joe Klein's screed in Time Magazine, Kill Your Air Conditioning. Well, the Brits tried it. It didn't work.

The UK's Direct.Gov website makes the following recommendation:

You could cool your home naturally instead of using air conditioning, which can damage the environment:

  • create a breeze through your home by opening the windows at the highest and lowest points in the house, or on opposite sides of the house
  • when it’s very hot, open windows at night to let cool air in; close windows and curtains or blinds during the day to trap the cool air inside

The notion of cutting air conditioning is apparently quite popular among British elites.

"Opening a window," exclaimed a London Assembly member, "is the cheapest, most climate friendly way of cooling a building."

So how is the British Department for Energy and Climate Change, which is responsible for cutting carbon emissions nationwide, going to meet its goal of reducing department carbon emissions 10% by March? Why cut the A/C, of course.

"As part of our efforts to save energy over the summer," they announced, "we decided to turn off the air conditioning and open the windows."

It lasted three days...




That's a whole 72 hours.

The UK's Daily Mail reported...

The trial was abandoned after three days because officials complained about noise from building works, security risks and "the wrong kind of breeze."

An internal memo said: "We have therefore decided to revert to air-conditioned cooling for the building."

Staff were told other "innovative ways" to reduce the building's carbon footprint would be looked at instead.

Environmental campaigners said the decision sent a terrible message to the rest of the country.

I've lived in southern England. It doesn't get all that hot. Even with London's urban heat island effect, it's still not that hot. The chart below shows average monthly temperatures from

And the committed environmental bureaucrats still couldn't take it more than three days.

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