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When I moved to California twenty-five years ago, I didn’t have air conditioning. Didn’t need it. The humidity was always low and anytime it got hot, I just opened a window. Great breeze. Great sleeping weather.
Then the cooling breeze started becoming more infrequent so I reluctantly bought air-conditioning. Humidity was down so I used it maybe ten days a year, and turn it off at night ‘cause it was still good sleeping weather.
Now I can’t live without air conditioning. Turned it on for a few days last month (April!). Humidity has gone up over the past five years. The AC stays on most of the summer. It stays on at night because it makes for good sleeping weather.
Last year I went to China in August. You want hot? A cooling trend meant it would only reach sweltering. We were in Xian visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors. It was 110. Not good. Unfortunately the warriors are housed in a special building to prevent decomposition that has no air conditioning. The temperature inside the building was 135 degrees. I kid you not. What does 135 degrees feel like? Well, after 115, there really isn’t much difference except for the number of passed out people you have to step over.
Things got so bad that one night in Shanghai we stood in front of a Gap store on Nanjing Road for an hour just to soak up some of the AC wafting out the front door. You’d buy a bottled water to cool off, and if you didn’t drink it up fast, the water would start to boil.
So maybe the global warming naysayers should take a few minutes and watch the Weather Channel. Me? I’ve learned my lesson. Never travel abroad during the summer. I’ll stay home this July and August and turn on my beloved AC. And pray there isn’t a power failure.