If you’re not familiar with your climate “skeptics,” Lomborg isn’t exactly a denier, he just pushes for people to largely ignore mitigation to focus on adaptation — for example, the message he kept pushing in the discussion was that shifting away from fossil fuels is too expensive and we need to invest significantly in air conditioning instead.
A typical response on a hot day might be to turn up the aircon. But this fuels a vicious circle of heating the outdoors to cool the indoors, making external spaces more uncomfortable still, and at a significant cost.
It’s actually quite a good piece with a number of suggestions on how to reduce heat sinks in urban centers.
If anything, the Guardian
’s series is a critique of the idea pushed by Lomborg that we need more air conditioning, not to actually tackle climate change head on. Another piece in the series details how air conditioning has had a negative effect on architecture
, causing us to ignore traditional techniques to regulate heat because we can rely on air conditioning instead.
Environmentally speaking, air conditioning is anti-social. It buys its owner comfort at the cost of shifting the surplus heat somewhere else, on to surrounding streets and ultimately into the atmosphere of the planet.
Heat is a very important consideration, particularly in major cities which can trap heat and be much warmer than their surrounding areas. However, simply ascribing more air conditioning is not the solution. Rather, we need much more significant changes in how we build, and we do need to rapidly get off fossil fuels.