I appreciate air conditioning–particularly after moving to North Carolina. However, there is one area where I have a sightly different view of air conditioning. The biggest mistake America ever made was air conditioning Congress. Had we allowed our Congressmen and Senators to sweat it out in the former swamp that is now Washington, D.C., we would probably have been a lot better off. They would have gone back to their districts in the summer and might have done a better job of staying in tune with their constituents.
Perhaps the head of the Catholic Church, who condemned “the increasing use and power of air-conditioning” last week in a market-bashing encyclical, is unaware of the pioneering private company that has donated its time, energy and innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment to the Vatican‘s most famous edifice for more than a decade.
That’s right. While the pontiff sanctimoniously attacks “those who are obsessed with maximizing profits,” Carrier Corporation — a $13 billion for-profit company with 43,000 employees worldwide (now a unit of U.S.-based United Technologies Corp.) — ensures that the air in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel stays clean and cool.
Has the Pope considered the benefits of air conditioning to people with asthma and allergies–the fact that it filters out pollen and can limit the number of mold spores coming into the house?
Just for the record, industrialized countries have not destroyed the planet–most industrialized countries have made an effort to control pollution and improve the environment. That is the result of having the money available to do those things–as a result of their industrialization.
The Pope is a spiritual leader. Air conditioning is a little out of his area. Until he is willing to give up his air conditioning, speaking against air conditioning seems a little over the top.