Is air conditioning killing the planet?

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A building with many air conditioning units fitted to the exterior.

Last week, there was a power cut in my street and all the houses were without electricity for some time. Without electricity, I mean no internet, no TV, no computer, no air conditioner, no fan and the list goes endless. After barely an hour, people were suddenly going out of their houses to get fresh air because it was too hot. You could hear people complaining that the heat is too much and they can no longer tolerate it. Why were they not complaining all these days? Well, they had their air conditioner.

Have you ever heard of air conditioner and the amount of pollution it leads to?

I recently read an article that says that it is possible that world consumption of energy for cooling could explode tenfold by 2050, giving climate change an unwelcome dose of extra momentum. Between 1993 and 2005, with summers growing hotter, energy consumed by residential air conditioning in the U.S. doubled, and it leapt another 20 per cent by 2010. The climate impact of air conditioning our buildings and vehicles is now that of almost half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. In India, about 40 per cent of all electricity consumption in the city of Mumbai goes for air conditioning.

According to a recent forecast by the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, refrigerants mostly from air conditioning and refrigeration that accumulate in the atmosphere between now and 2050 will add another 14 to 27 per cent to the increased warming caused by all human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.

It is of no doubt that the planet is getting hotter and to be honest, in my country, it's so hot in summer that I prefer not to go out. And the temperature keep on increasing that old people face many health implications. People can no longer study or work properly if there is no air conditioner. It has been so difficult to cope with the heat.

But then? Who is to be blamed? Those innocent children who just came to this world and are already paying for what the previous generation is doing? Someone may also ask me - " It's so hot what do you expect. Air conditioner is a must, don't be stupid"

I agree! I can't tell people to change their lifestyle but I can surely make people understand that climate change is the result of pollution and if we continue to use so much of air conditioners we might need to face another side effect. Even worst!

So to sum up everything, we are trapped in this vicious cycle where the hotter it gets, the more of air conditioning we use, and consequently, the earth gets even hotter.

Maybe if we didn't pollute that much, air conditioners wouldn't rule our lives. I am not saying that we should ban all air conditioners but instead of doing nothing good for the environment and buying more and more air conditioners, we should start to attack the root of the problem itself. Let’s start working to stop pollution, and this may, in turn, prevent climate change to some extent and decrease the use of air conditioners. And while we are using air conditioners, let's try to use sustainable sources of energy instead and please be sure to do regular checkups.

Please, the earth is our only home. Let's keep it beautiful and healthy. Our small actions matter a lot. I thought of excessive use of air conditioners but I’m sure that you know many other things we use that can prove to be harmful to our planet. I will end this post on a quote that says “ Change our habits and change the world”

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Mauritius