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The NY Times ran an interesting article in yesterday’s Sunday edition about “The Cost of Cool” and why air-conditioning is an environmental quandary. Give it a read while you sit in your comfortable/freezing/sub-arctic office and consider how your own A/C habits could stand a tune-up.

Who’d have thought that as the population explodes in tropic areas, people want more access to cool working and living conditions? With a focus on India in particular and the country’s recent massive blackouts, we’re reminded that

if all those new city dwellers use air-conditioning the way Americans do, life could be one stuttering series of massive blackouts, accompanied by disastrous planet-warming emissions.

We can’t live with air-conditioning, but we can’t live without it.

But soft! What hope through yonder window breaks?

Scientists are scrambling to invent more efficient air-conditioners and better coolant gases to minimize electricity use and emissions. But so far the improvements have been dwarfed by humanity’s rising demands.

We could wait for the lab coats to solve all of our problems, but who likes being a passive technological determinist? Act now and do your part to ease the cooling needs of an overheating planet:

1) earn the Be Cool badge on JouleBug,

2) check out and share our infographic below on “How To Be Cool” (not the Fonzie kind).

an infographic for how to beat the heat

Image courtesy of JouleBug and Walter Baumann