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Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) Hardcover – May 25, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
David Owen, author of Green Metropolis
As Stan Cox details in his excellent new book, Losing Our Cool, air conditioning has been a major force in shaping western society.”
Bradford Plumer, The National
This book is the go-to source for a better understanding of the complexity of pumping cold air into a warming climate.”
Important. . . .What I like about Cox’s book is that he isn’t an eco-nag or moralist."
Tom Condon, Hartford Courant
Stan Cox offers both some sobering facts and some interesting strategies for thinking through a big part of our energy dilemma.”
Well-written, thoroughly researched, with a truly global focus, the book offers much for consumers, environmentalists, and policy makers to consider before powering up to cool down.”
Top Customer Reviews
The paradox of air conditioning is a great sociological metaphor for the myriad ways we as a culture "drive right by" evidence of our doing great destruction to the ecology when realistic other options are available.
Cox's book evidences careful research, very approachable prose and a wry sense of humor. This is one of those books that was waiting to be written and Cox has done an excellent job. You will enjoy and be challenged by Losing Our Cool.
Probably the biggest waste of money for an ebook on Amazon.
My biggest complaint is that there seems to be an ever present belief on the part of the author that we can stop generating CO2 and other gases with only a little effort. Good luck on that.
I was surprised a lot that the average American household only spent a couple hundred bucks a year on the a-c. Perhaps Kansas and other places are cool. I don't know anyone with a large home in the Houston area that pays less than an average of several hundred per month. Pane that's with high SEER units, insulation and radiant barrier like crazy. That's with a set point of 76F.
"Notice that the air-condition system pictured [in the figure on the next page] is using only one kilowatt of electrical energy* to expel a quantity of heat energy equivalent to four kilowatts. This does not mean that an air conditioner violates the laws of thermodynamics. The electricity running the unit comes most often from an electric utility, where the quantity of useful energy converted to waste heat - typically by burning coal or natural gas to generate electricity - is greater than the quantity of heat energy removed from a room or house by the air conditioner."
As an engineer, I want to scream: "By what magic does the air conditioner care how or where the electricity came from?" As though there is somehow a signal from the generating station telling the air conditioner that it can extract more energy than it uses. Would the air conditioner run less efficiently if the electricity came from a hydroelectric dam where the efficiency could be quite high? No! The generating station and the air conditioner run by the laws of thermodynamics quite independently! The author partly clears this up in the notes at the back of the book.
* The above quoted paragraph also illustrates the very common error of confusing power and energy. A kilowatt is a measure of power; a kilowatt-hour is a measure of energy.
Now that I got that off of my chest, I will praise the book. (I do like this book.)
I especially appreciate Stan Cox's understanding the difference between efficiency and conservation. He nicely illustrates this by simply stating that an ordinary 1500 square foot house generally uses less energy than a highly efficient house of 3000 square feet. Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are many points raised by this book that are worth thinking about, but at the same time there are numerous problems with the logic and the conclusions. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ronald W. Garrison
This had great shipping. It's a very nice book and it's very clean. Thank you so much for this book!Published on March 13, 2014 by JaxChoi
For a book on energy issues - it is under the radar (at least for me). Very clear on the history and impact of A/C - along with possible improvements.Published on July 1, 2013 by Henry A. Bonges III
Stan Cox's exposition on why we don't need air-conditioning starts with a strange example - the hundred or so Phoenix-area Hohokam Indians that lived there without air-conditioning... Read morePublished on January 15, 2013 by Loyd Eskildson
I was really excited to hear about this book. Having moved from a town dependent on air-conditioning to a town where nobody used it, I was curious to learn more about the... Read morePublished on July 3, 2011 by Z. Levin
It seems that everyone these days is going on (and on) about excessive greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, air pollution and the unsustainable lifestyle of wasteful North... Read morePublished on February 16, 2011 by Get A Grip!
Stan Cox's "Losing our Cool" is thought-provoking. If the standard line of thinking is to take air conditioning as unequivocally good, then "Losing our Cool" reveals the down-side... Read morePublished on November 1, 2010 by James Denny
LOSING OUR COOL: UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS ABOUT OUR AIR-CONDITIONED WORLD (AND FINDING NEW WAYS TO GET THROUGH THE SUMMER) is the first book to address air-conditioning's past and... Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by Midwest Book Review
I found Losing Our Cool to be an excellent book on the impacts and history of a/c. This book is oriented towards people like me - a 'non-expert' on a/c systems but with an... Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by Emma Flemmig