Access to cool air, safe food, safe medicines is something most Americans and the fortunate across the world take for granted. But in parts of the world where hot spots are intensifying, and where the less well-off lack access to cooling, it can mean suffering and death.
As urban populations grow in parts of the world where extreme heat events are intensifying, cooling is not a luxury good. It is as a fundamental component of modern life — from cold supply chains for fresh food, to safe storage for life-saving vaccines and medicines, to cooler, safer work and educational environments that can elevate productivity.
This is where the environmentalists come in.
Cooling presently relies heavily on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the climate-polluting chemicals we have long relied upon for our air conditioners and refrigerators.
So get ready to say adios to your air conditioner if the environmental community has its way.