Jun 17, 2019 at 8:50 am



One of these days, someone at The Stranger will learn why modern, energy-efficient high-rise buildings -- which we're constructing by the dozen, I hear -- don't have windows you can open.

Until then, we'll keep getting reposts of this same uninformed, scolding tract, under a different byline every summer.


If you look at the the evidence of newcomers to WA at the DOL site, you’ll see that first time ever the last few years have the most newcomers from the southeast and southwest. The come for jobs, jobs that will last a few years, and then they are going back. They aren’t interested in how things are done in the PNW. They desire to transfer their way of living to this location, for a few years, until they go back. Density is also a factor. Dense housing prevents the air flows and heightens the passive solar heating of buildings, requiring AC in many cases. But density is only an evil symptom, permitting out-of-control growth is the cause.


70% of our power is renewable. Fire up that AC I say!


AC is in buildings for the reasons mentioned in #3.



The words to type into Google are "stack effect efficiency"


Seattle likes to lecture the rest of the nation about how woke and enlightened and concerned for the planet they are but when the rubber hits the road it doesn't actually do any more than anyplace else to save the planet. As will become clear when Inslee's shitty record on Climate Change (record of actions, not talk...) is exposed.


Great article - totally agree on all points. I grew up in the PNW, and I have lived in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. I have never lived in a building with AC. Don't miss it. I would much rather open the windows and sleep on top of the blankets. Heat pumps are fine in the winter, but in the summer time, they make it hard on neighbors who don't have them and want to let the cool breezes blow.



People lived in the southwest before air conditioning, but people also abandoned entire cities there because the climate was unlivable, if we're to believe the archeologists.

Without A/C, Phoenix wouldn't even be the 5th largest city in Arizona, let alone the US.



Well, well, look who suddenly cares about saving the planet, and Inslee's record on climate change.

Are you OK, friend? You sound almost... concerned.


nice article, Katie.

AC makes people soft, when times get tough they will wither and blow away.

AC profoundly changed the way the Federal Govt operates, for the worse.
Back in the day congress and the lobbyists got out of town once DC became a humid hot hellhole; after AC they stick around all year, screwing the nation up .

Those high-rises with windows that won't open are literally unlivable in the summer if the grid/AC is not up. When the shit hits the fan and the grid goes down they will be death traps.
(most all current residential construction is not much better; w/o AC most dwellings will not be habitable in hot weather, for reasons Katie mentioned)

Speaking of the grid, studies reveal that if the national grid goes down for a year the mortality rate will reach 90% by the end of the year. Not so much from the lack of electricity itself (unless you live in a high rise) but from the lack of clean water. When water can no longer be purified and pumped within days hundreds of millions who do not have access to natural sources of drinkable water will be in desperate straits. And pretty much every bad actor on the planet has figured out how to hack the grid by now. It was nice knowing you.


Sick of the hypocrisy and Climate Disaster Porn that doesn't even rise to the level of Junk Science the Left constantly shovels...
but thank you for your concern.



That's some pretty weird fanfic, but OK.

Let me know if you need help with the sex scenes, I've got some ideas.


AC DC dear, Seattle's power is 94% renewable. If you have the misfortune to live in PSE territory, their power is 70% renewable.

We have an air-conditioner at Maison Vel-DuRay. I couldn't live without it.


I blame all the people moving here to flee from the increasing temps.

Fun fact: humanity has survived for millenia without air conditioning.

Now, go live in Yakima and tell me about how hard it is to live in Seattle.


Residential air conditioning is a laughably small contributor to CO2 levels. Turn on your air conditioning when you need it.

Also, buildings didn't used to be better insulated. In fact buildings used to be completely uninsulated. Energy Codes (most commonly used is International Energy Conservation Code) governs minimum insulation resistance in all types of buildings, and it has become more and more strict over the decades.

The author is grossly misinformed about energy usage and energy efficiency, and it shows.


I do all of the cooling-down tips you mentioned, Katie, but living in a 3rd-floor unit with only east and west facing windows, my bedroom can still be 87 degrees at midnight, during those weeks of the hottest weather. Spending the summer sleepless and exhausted sucks. I'm trying to hold out, but every year the idea of a portable AC unit sounds more and more appealing.


Yeah, some of us "poors" don't own a house with multiple windows facing different directions. I have a studio apt that ONLY has west-facing windows and only a small opening (because the architect was a sadist I guess). On the hottest afternoons it can get up to 90 degrees in my apartment and only cool down to maybe 82 by well-past midnight. So get tf out of my face with your "shut your windows and lower your blinds....It's simple, but it works" BS. Only if you're wealthy enough to own a home or a corner apartment.


I don't have a car and I'm not having kids. I've done my part for the planet, so it's gonna have to take a hit on this one. AC is one of the best inventions of humanity.



Not to worry, no doubt he's already outlined numerous scenes where all his various online incarnations / each other.

And as an apartment dweller in a brick building with East, South, AND West facing exposure and nary a shrub for shade, I say fuck all-y'all and your "just open the doors/windows, and shutter the blinds" contingent. My apartment becomes a pizza oven when all that sun-drenched brick starts shedding off heat in the evening. Unfortunately, my building is also from the 1950's or so when aluminum hinged windows were all the rage, so I don't have a convenient slide out or sashed window that will accommodate an A/C unit. I've installed heat reflecting blackout curtains, reflective Mylar sheeting, and enough box fans to probably get some sort of DOE subsidy as a small wind farm, but without the portable AC unit in the bedroom the place would be unbearable when the temps go above 80 for days on-end.


While you enjoy your "moral superiority" I will be burning your future for my comfort today.


I almost never use my air conditioner at home, though I did have to get a portable one for my bridge games in a church hall. It lives in the church nursery.


Do you know what a Heat Pump is? Look it up.


Sawyer bags, 12.

I enjoy road trips with Seattleites more than with other people, because the windows are down.

I saw that 50 million people were without power in SA yesterday.

Her economy crashed when I took a break because her feet put ringworm on my shins.

Can’t make it up.


After density increases went into effect, developers turned my neighborhood of 2 story homes with breezy gardens into a vast expanse of 8-10 story sheet metal behemoths. The old Wurshington adage, “Do you think you are you from California or something? Just open a window,” fell apart. Ain’t no sea breezes blowing through here anymore with Bezos’ balls blocking it. Too make a long story short, do you WANT my cat to get heat stroke?!?!


Pretty sure there are plenty of power redundancies, to boot. Look up the interconnections.

The power grids were there before the internet.

Life straw, wells, desalinization devices, rain water, macgyver shit, etc. etc.

You’d want to dig the well beneath your abode.

Have a little imagination, man.


People romanticize a lot about what life was like in the SW and the S w/o a/c. Truth is that during the hottest months, things pretty much shut down. Everyone had to arrange their schedules around the temperatures. Fewer people lived there. People spent a lot more time outdoors and in public places. It was fine- that's how life was- but you would have to trade current productivity and efficiency if you want everyone to switch off their a/c's. I mean, I guess we could go back to everyone just sitting around sweltering on really hot days, having the ice man drive around to deliver ice to people, old people and babies dying, sitting out on the porch under the fan instead of going to work, loads of aloe to deal with heat rash, and we'll have to reduce the population dramatically so that people have the space to start dragging their mattresses to sleep outdoors- of course the summer evenings here are also full of mosquitos so I guess we'll have to completely change the way our housing is planned to have so many screened patios and outdoor bedrooms. Before a/c, we used swamp fans- loads of ice with fans blowing over them, you sit in front of them and try to cool off. Before electricity, hardly anyone lived here- those that did live here didn't spend so much time indoors, so I guess we'll have to ship away millions of people- maybe they can come to Seattle and feel morally superior.

People here keep their indoor spaces TOO cold in the summer- there's a case to be made that everyone needs to reacclimate to the summers a bit and keep their a/c's at a reasonable temperature, but it's absurd to say that people in places with economies and housing that has literally developed upon an airconditioned foundation could somehow just kick that out from under them and carry on, as if they are spoiled or morally depraved. We live in this world, not some world that developed without a/c (which would look quite a bit different here since the high today was 98, the humidity was 86% and we have months of this to go). Solutions to energy efficiency and climate change are not going to be made at the consumer level. Do you tell people in the north to give up their heating and just sit around freezing all the time? How about we direct that moral superiority at the defense industry or the oil lobbies.


Grouchy old herhog rants against modern conveniences. Refrigerators are dumb too. Spoiled food isn't that bad. I also think we should stay away from indoor plumbing because all that shlt going down the pipe is a waste of compost.


God forbid rentors provide rentees with sleepable quarters, year round. That's probably gonna Double your rent. So, suck it up, whiners.


So exactly how does an AC unit spew out carbon dioxide? Exactly where from the SEALED refrigeration system does this nonexistent CO2 come from?


Likely a syntactical misunderstanding, 35.

AC uses energy that contributes to warming. A lot of it.

CFCs used to be the thing. Everyone but China is on board with that any more.


I have an idea. Let’s build dams to harness the forces of nature. We shall call it hydroelectricity.

But First Nation fishes, you say!

Ok. Let’s destroy the dams.

Let’s burn fossil fuels for your AC.

I have an idea. Let’s build dams to harness the forces of nature. We shall call it hydroelectricity.

Get fucked kthx.


I find that people who complain against air conditioning generally work in an office...where there is air conditioning. Talk to me when you're home daily between noon and 4pm during the summer and tell me you still disapprove; then we can talk. (And no, I don't have AC, but I hate being a stay at home parent and scheduling my days around finding shade and coolth.)


The pipeline Canada is arguing about being built is being built mostly so that Washington State can get fossil fuels.

Yes, it's your fault.

Now stop melting the permafrost and setting the forests on fire and open the fricking window.


If anyone missed it, Katie has recently moved to a new home on an island and the neighbors who were already there use air conditioning. She complained on Twitter about the noise cancelling her serenity (and weirdly mentioned her neighbors were foreigners). This is some passive-aggressive entitled crap.

Please wait...

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