These days AC has become very common in India. A decade ago, only the privileged few (like business men, actors, etc) flaunted it but with the economic development and fat pay packet jobs, AC has become affordable for the middle class. Sleeper 3-Tier folks will now opt for AC 3-Tier, the AC room is now better than the normal noisy dining hall in restaurants, windows of the AC car are now shut out to the noisy traffic and the heat outside, BMTC Vajra buses are “standing” full, etc, etc.
While AC indeed provides comfort and luxury, I feel it is somehow a temporary solution to a growing problem and not just that, it is something that’s adding fuel to the growing problem, the growing problem of increasing global temperature. If my understanding is correct, AC blows out more heat outside to keep the inside cold (You only have to stand beside an AC vehicle at a traffic light to feel the heat). So, when there are lots of such air conditioners blowing out heat outside, wouldn’t the global temperature increase? It might be an insignificant amount, but then when a complete country starts affording AC, and at the same time cuts a hell lot of trees to make way to wider roads thanks to economic development, that would be a lot of hot air added to the global temperature.
So, this is what we have: There is bearable heat both inside and outside; but people use AC; AC blows more heat outside to make the inside cold; so, outside heat increased; so more people opt for ACs; more ACs blow out more heat outside; so outside heat increases even more, and becomes unbearable, and hence we end up with this vicious cycle that’s actually tightening the noose over our own neck, and we are not even realizing.
If, like the decade ago, we had continued to stay without the amount of ACs that we currently have, who knows, perhaps we would not have had to sweat out as much as we are currently when not under an AC. ACs make more sense in ultra-cold and extremely-high temperature countries like US, Russia, Europe, etc but India is a country that could have lived without ACs in the first place.
1. If my understanding is wrong and ACs do not blow out hot air due to enhanced technology, then this post can be ignored! Suffice it to say that I am in bliss (read ignorance)!
2. For the uninitiated, increase of global temperature is not a problem just because people have to sweat more but it has another serious issue of melting of ice in the Polar Regions which has a two-fold problem:
a. More water in the oceans which will merge coastline cities
b. Currently the ice in the Polar Regions is reflecting much of Sun’s rays out of the atmosphere. But when all the ice melts, the complete set of Sun’s rays gets stayed within the earth’s atmosphere and this leads to a number of skin diseases (and many more as yet unknown diseases deeper than just skin) due to the Sun’s Ultra Violet radiations.