Air Conditioning as a “Powerful Solution” to Global Warming

(p. A11) SEATTLE — For two decades, Becky Lichenstein embraced a custom of the Seattle area: doing without air-conditioning. . . .

But summers in the Pacific Northwest aren’t what they once were. With more regular bouts of soaring temperatures, Ms. Lichenstein a few years ago surrendered and bought a portable air-conditioning unit. This year, considering a changing climate and how it’s hitting home, she decided to turn to a more powerful solution — a permanent system installed just this week.

“I’m very grateful that I’m getting it done,” said Ms. Lichenstein, as workers finalized the installation at her split-level home in Tacoma, south of Seattle.

. . .

. . . , like many parts of the country where air-conditioning was once considered an afterthought or a luxury, the region’s relationship with air-conditioning has started to change. In 2013, just 31 percent of households in the Seattle metro area had some sort of air-conditioning, according to data in the federal government’s American Housing Survey. Just six years later, that had risen to 44 percent, accounting for hundreds of thousands of new units.

For the full story, see:

Mike Baker. “Once for ‘Weaklings,’ Air-Conditioning Wins Over a Baking Seattle.” The New York Times (Saturday, June 26, 2021): A11.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated June 30, 2021 and has the title “Air-Conditioning Was Once Taboo in Seattle. Not Anymore.”)

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