I learned about summer layering during a recent visit to Lawrence, Kansas. I wondered why they needed to keep buildings so damn cold—why cool would not be enough. Haven’t these people heard of global warming? (Turns out they haven’t—many of them went to see “An Inconvenient Truth” last summer, but because the theaters were so cold they were all wearing earmuffs and so no one heard what Al Gore was saying—with all the graphs on screen they assumed it was a longer, more-boring, live-action version of “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”)
I had idle time to think upon these things when I was in Lawrence, stopped at a railroad crossing, waiting for a long long train to pass. I decided that they—we—keep it so damn cold because we can. We must prove we’re stronger than nature. When it’s night time we must light ever square foot of land with street lights: Darkness is conquered! And when it’s hot we must prove to nature that we can beat her heat.
The train I was waiting on was a coal train, delivering its regular load of coal to the nearby power plant. 143 cars stuffed with coal that will warm the globe so that we can chill every bit of indoor space to temperatures lower than those we bundle up against in the winter. As the last of the 143 cars rolled on by I thought about our collective societal I.Q and wondered: If only we could use our stupidity for good instead of evil.
- If only we could use our stupidity for good instead of evil.
Summer safety tip: If you’re visiting Walmart this summer, be sure to bring along a thermal reflective emergency blanket in case you get lost in an aisle. You don’t want to end up like this guy.