Air conditioning can literally be a life saver. According to a new study, heat-related deaths in the United States have plunged dramatically since 1960 because of air conditioning. In the last half century, an average 600 Americans died prematurely each year as a result of overheating. That’s one-sixth the number of annual deaths due to heat recorded prior to 1960.
Air conditioners will help avoid deaths that could otherwise occur due to global warming. However, there is also a need for more electricity to power these air conditioners, and this will only accelerate man-made climate change.
According to Michael Greenstone of MIT, one of the study’s authors. “The painful part of that is the solution involves more energy consumption, and that is going to exacerbate the problem of increased temperatures.”