Living in an artificial environment
Air conditioning may keep us cool, but it further increases global warming.
People with low economic status tend to think that the wealthy are healthier; and they see that the rich people stay in air conditioned spaces in homes, offices, cars and shops, while they are toiling in uncomfortable ambiences.
As such, the myth spreads hat living in artificial environments is better than living with natural conditions.
Modern construction technology can provide air conditioning to any kind of space.
With the AC costs coming down every season and claims about green buildings adopting more efficient systems like radiant cooling, evaporative cooling and such others besides the conventional HVAC systems, building owners do not feel guilty for installing air conditioning.
However, are all the people living inside such artificial environments happy and healthy? Contrary to what the economically poor may dream, reports suggest otherwise. Living without fresh air, day light and nature is today proven to be very unhealthy.
Many indoor spaces do not have adequate fresh air inlet and air change as required, leading to what is called Sick Building Syndrome. Lack of ventilation can also lead to a feel of suffocation, partly due to increased ambient indoor heat, creating a sense of dryness.
The AC can take away internal humidity at such fast rate, too many people feel dehydrated inside, with dried lips and skin.
In places with short summer spells of a few weeks, like in Bengaluru, it is not worth fixing air conditioners for the short duration, letting it lie idle rest of the year.
When we get out of an AC space, the temperature difference between inside and outside causes what is called thermal shock. It can affect the body immune system.
Despite all these, we continue to live with conditioned air, rather than the natural. However, the indoor cool comes at a cost, further increasing the heat island effect and directly promoting greenhouse gas emissions.
Thus, air conditioning may keep us cool, but it further increases global warming.