From Embrace See How: Air Conditioning Will Not Save Us

Extreme heat kills more people than any other climate disaster on the planet, including hurricanes, 
floods, and wildfires. —Eric Dean Wilson: “Air Conditioning Will Not Save Us,” TIME, 2022

How we learn
					                                                                to melt  
our refusal to act 	                   to roll                                            the word UNPRECEDENTED
		           on our tongues 	                    knowing                       	 Nothing
		           but the massive reduction         of fossil fuels
		           will slow this trend                              to resist       choke    &  choke 
a creation we refuse 		                	to admit we created.            	   We become 
Dr. Frankensteins 		                	not the Shelley's we believe ourselves to be,   weaving 
					                                a fictional story to step away from when the ink dries &  
					                                drying—long past dry.  
How we watch    
                                                                                                    thermometer needles rise  
our eyes               		                  unable                                                              Celsius/Fahrenheit  
		           how we measure 	        up to the boil                                                    our blood  
		           only tepid of a country’s inaction— 	    americans  
		           make up 5% 	                  of the world’s population      	                      yet we    					
& guzzle & guzzle & guzzle	        	& guzzle & guzzle               		     & guzzle & guzzle  
& guzzle & guzzle & 		                 	guzzle more energy for cooling than the 4.4 billion people                                                      
                                                                        living in all of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East,                                                                                                                          
                                                                        and Asia, with the exception of China.  
How we lose  
						                                    electricity 	     2019     New York City  
our limits 	           	         	    tested 				             blaze in Brooklyn
		           blaze in Queens	                 record-breaking		                   energy loads 
		           how we think of energy un—ending, —breakable, —fathomable  
		           loss			        	                  our immediate utility            in troubling 
in lack of logic, lack of logic, 		        lack of, lack of, lack,      	         lack, lack, lack, lack, lack,  
lack [w]here intentionally 		        cutting power targeted predominately low-income Black and 
                                                                        brown neighborhoods of southeastern Brooklyn as appropriate 
                                                                        buffer zone for the rest of Brooklyn and indeed the entire city.  
How we gut  
						                                                      the body           effects of extreme heat  
higher risk 		 	                       less				                                 green space 
		           more surface area  historical racism 	                   & segregation  
		           fuel heat islands—disproportionately affected—hotter for communities  
		           less 				                                      funding                 less shade  
neighborhood income indicates, 	        indicates, indicates, 		             indicates, indicates,  
indicates density— 			                of vegetation —or lack —Air conditioning divides us by race 
					                                and class—especially during inflation. Since low-income 
					                                neighborhoods of color are hotter, it can take more energy 
					                                (i.e., more money) to cool homes in those communities to the 
					                                same temperature as wealthier neighborhoods.
How we echo  
						                                                      failure 		 thinking subsidizing  
air conditioners		           fix[ation]			                                         systems of conditioning  
		           [w]here healthcare		                              unattainable 	 not a human right 
		           you are not protected—from illness—not protected from heat & heat &  
		           potent				                              fossil fuels	  burning 
solve the air condition crisis 	                with more air conditioning    with more air conditioning  
more air— 				                        cycle caught —in cycle —On the hottest days, air 
					                                conditioning accounts for as much as 70% of peak electricity 
					                                demand. . .at the moment, only 19% of electricity in the U.S. 
					                                comes from renewables . . .other words, air conditioning is 
					                                making the world more difficult to air condition.  
How we [infra]structure  
						                                                      away		from austerity  
sharpen radical 		           invest[ments]			                                alternative methods 
		           beyond america’s		                              knee-jerk 	reaction to regulation  
		           West Virginia vs. EPA—government—unable to regulate, [w]here 
		           regulation		                                              denied	             restrict[ion] 
regulation of emissions			        regulate emissions		         emission of our emissions 
our parts per million—			        energy systems—returning to users— In order to save lives, 
					                                we cannot keep calling for less; instead, we need rigorous 
					                                reinvestment in communities and public health. 
How we regrow  
						                                    communal 	                embrace the bark  
& branch of us			   close				                                        urban green space gaps  
		           improve 			                    mental health 	                physical health  
		           tap into—tree habitat connector—tree cooling spaces  
		           trees				                    nonhuman		             people 
shadeless asphalt			                reversing respiratory problems problems reversing  
in evaporative water— 		                from the ground—cools—from the ground heals— 
					                                A recent study of 97 cities found that the present urban 
					                                tree cover prevents about 1,200 deaths a year as well 
					                                as more than 100,000 trips to the hospital. Trees not only 
					                                save lives; they enhance them. From embrace, see how.