Higher demand for air conditioning could further affect the climate
The increased demand for air conditioning in the U.S. has been underscored by record-breaking heatwaves. Experts argue that added air conditioning and energy capacity is necessary for health reasons, as extreme heat is responsible for more weather-related deaths in the U.S. than any other kind of hazard. But, most electricity for the air conditioning comes from fossil fuel power plants pumping more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere and making the planet hotter.
■Class discussion: Has your area suffered from severe heatwaves? Do you have air conditioning in your home? Is you family using more and more electricity to keep cool during the summer? Has increased heat in your state caused problems like wildfires, more severe storms or flooding? What do we need to do to adapt to a warming world? Do we need to retrofit our homes and other buildings? Do we need to switch more quickly to other sources of power? Are you optimistic about our ability to cope with climate change?