Why avoid polluting when air conditioning is more comfortable?

April 30, 2015 by Joshua
in Nature

Say you walk and take the subway even when taxis might be faster or more comfortable. You rarely use the air conditioner in the summer and keep the thermostat low in the winter. You carry my compost a few blocks to drop it off.

Why do all that when it takes extra time, energy, and resources? Air conditioning is more comfortable.

As far as I can tell, most people I see—a small fraction of the world—follow something like “If it feels good and I can afford it, I’ll do it.” Paris is nice, so why not fly there if I can afford the ticket? I’m baffled by how many plastic bottles people throw away when water comes out of the faucet for free and people can go a day without water.

Why not use the air conditioner if you can? Sure it pollutes, but it feels good. Most Americans who can afford it seem to do it. Few businesses could employ people if they didn’t air condition.

Usually I write about solutions. Today I’m looking to understand. If the answer is just that you feel like not polluting is the right thing to do, is there anything wrong with someone who feels like being comfortable is right?

Why bother polluting less if it feels good to do something that pollutes?

Can anyone share an answer?

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