The Right to Air Conditioning

A good friend of mine is currently enduring exceedingly uncomfortable temperatures in Munich, and says that he’s “been spoiled by the energy sucking AC’s in the US.” My response:

Is it possible to be “spoiled” by a basic necessity? Food, clothing, shelter, and air conditioning – that’s what we learned in school. Indeed, though I have North Cambridge resident attitudes aplenty, I’d rather be “spoiled” by an energy-sucking air conditioner than RUINED by will-to-live-sucking heat and humidity.

Had this wonder been available in the eighteenth century, some of our country’s most important documents would look slightly different:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, the pursuit of Happiness, and Temperatures in the Summer that don’t make everyone want to Kill Themselves.

And the Preamble to the Constitution (and methinks air conditioning should also be added to the Bill of Rights – it could replace the unused “protection from the quartering of troops” or “right to a speedy trial” amendments):

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, prevent intolerable indoor Temperatures in Summer, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

(So the irony is that today is probably the only day in both the past and coming weeks that we may not need our a/c. Still, it should be freely available to all who have no use for temperatures above 80°F. [If I wanted to experience such temperatures, I’d move to the sun.)

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