Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another sweltering day

It's supposed to be almost as hot today as yesterday.

I'll admit that we have an advantage here. Having a home that's built into the side of a hill means that our lower floor (although not the upper floor) stays cool most of the time. It's great to have a whole floor to escape to on hot summer days and nights (we slept downstairs last night), although the downside is that our heating bills almost killed us this winter, and this summer we have also found the biggest spiders crawling on the walls. (Although no other insects. I assume the spiders kill them all!).

One of the challenges for this region is that very few people have air conditioners. "Challenge" might not be the right word from an environmental perspective, because AC is one of the biggest household users of electricity. A community-oriented solution to this problem has been that several libraries, stores and community centers have declared themselves "cooling centers" where people can come and remain for hours if they wish, just to cool off.

I hope that we continue to explore community-oriented solutions. I would hate to see, if hot temperatures continue, that the Pacific Northwest responds with an increase in air conditioner sales. 10,000 people in Pierce County lost electric power yesterday, so increased use of AC is not a good option. Finding other ways to keep cool is what we should be striving for.

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