How to Destroy the Planet

By Eric Roston - 2012-04-20T12:50:43Z

Photograph by Alpha/Landov

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Air Conditioning

THREAT: Rising incomes in developing nations are allowing millions of people in hot climates to afford air conditioners for the first time. That's driving up electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants, already high in countries such as the U.S., where more than half of households have air conditioners. A warming climate only encourages more demand.

REALITY: Increased emissions will make climate change worse, and runaway carbon-heavy power consumption in the developing world won't help. Powering AC with renewable fuels would help keep both us and the planet cool.

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