Do We Really Need to Heat Our Homes?
DATELINE: 3 December, 2017. Alabama. 50 miles inland from the South coast.
In early June of this year, the Boston Globe republished this ridiculous piece of Luddite fluff from 21 July, 2013, as they do every year around that time. Many other hypocritical and self-important people with ‘good intentions’ write and speak on this subject as well. Especially in Europe, which I suppose makes sense, as many in the media and on the Eastern Seaboard want to remake America in the outstanding model the European Union has provided the world. Except for their positions on abortion, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
As a resident of the southern part of Alabama, where our winters are relatively mild but our mosquitoes have ticks in the hot and humid summers, I humbly suggest our neighbors in more northern climes not use any form of artificial (‘man-caused’) heating for their dwellings this winter. It turns out artificially heating an interior space is 2 to 3 times as expensive as cooling the same space. In dollars, sure. We all know that, but it’s a small price to pay to have warm happy people, right?
Here’s the thing: It also costs more in terms of environmental friendliness. Thermodynamics has laws, but no courts. You can badger the witness with a Bic lighter or an ice cube if you don’t believe me. It takes significantly more energy to heat a space than to cool it. This is an undeniable, objective fact. You could look it up. I did. Any system we call “air conditioning” is designed to draw warmer air out of enclosed spaces, thereby cooling said spaces to a comfortable level. Any system we use for heating that same space is required to warm the ambient air to a comfortable level. If we recall elementary physics, heat rises. In real terms, this means heated air spends all of its time trying to escape cooler air. I’m sure there are some laws governing this, but I can’t be bothered to google that for you. But this explains in layman’s terms why it costs more in both money and Earth-killing, planet-destroying climate change anthropogenic global warming catastrophe OMFG… sorry, I got carried away. Anyway, warm “green” morons in the “smart” places cost Gaia a lot more than a few flyover plebes like me do so we can cool ourselves enough to sleep at night.
As to the idea that one can just vent the attic and party in the basement: The water table here is maybe 10 - 12 feet down. I can’t even dig a pool, much less a basement. And the air doesn’t usually move in summer unless it moves so much that people on television panic about it. But that’s a moot point because there are no basements. We also don’t have a lot of high-angle, tall roofs. Wind is a bitch.
For those of our friends up north who have difficulty overcoming hypothermia, I recommend something I discovered in the Republic of Korea. It’s called a “mink blanket,” but I don’t know if it is really made from mink. I also don’t care if it is. I do know that the first night I was in Korea, I was in a GP Small tent with five other dudes. And I know we took turns refilling the oil heater’s reservoir and I had to take a turn. That sucked. And I asked around the next day and a lot of people seemed enthused about these mink blankets. So twenty bucks later, I never filled the heating oil reservoir again. Those things are warmer than… never mind. I got kind of irritated because I tended to sweat under that blanket when it was maybe 10F outside that tent. Meanwhile, other guys were yelling about whose turn it was (to get oil, gorrammit!). ‘Fuck you dude, I’m warm’ is a valid argument in military tent life.
So get yourselves a mink blanket and help our sun stay cooler next winter, my silly northern friends. We’ll be here, having slept comfortably in our global-warming-friendlier-than-you smugness waiting for you to join our quest to save the planet.
Think of it this way, cold people: You’re killing the planet by keeping yourselves and your families warm. You cold, heartless bastards.
Hat tip to @hboulware for the idea behind this piece. Thanks Heather!
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.