OPINION | Ideas on how to be cool

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s been a bit warm of late. Now, I love the heat, but even I have cracked and let the kids keep the air conditioning on all day once or twice (although I still walk by and raise the temperature past freezing every time they sneak it down).

I know our reliance on air conditioners is a shocker for the environment, but there comes a time when ideals go out the window (usually it’s about 1pm).

It’s made me think about all the inventions for which I’m grateful. The printing press and the polio vaccine have their place, but right now I’m thanking the Lord for all the things that get us through a long, hot summer.

Of course, there’s room for improvement. I came up with a few suggestions for the mechanical types to tinker on.

Personal air conditioning unit. The most annoying thing about air conditioning is that you feel trapped in the house or office. Why not a mobile unit? I’m not talking about walking around with a battery-operated fan, cool as that would be. I’m thinking more of a space-age suit or an umbrella-style device that offers full-body chilling. Indulgent? Maybe. Especially considering most of the poor in the Middle East, Africa and Asia still do without the standard kind. But this is my fantasy invention list, so leave me alone, okay?

Underground dwellings. They’re a thing in Coober Pedy, but why not elsewhere? As global warming sends our temperatures sky high, why not dig down and bury ourselves in the lovely, cool earth? This would make a nice change from those McMansions built from cardboard and string, with no eaves and no shade trees. Ugh.

Oceanfront extensions. You know how Australians like to live on the coast, catching those cool breezes and swimming on hot days? But there’s this great, big country filling in the middle. How about we cut long canals from the coast into the outback? Bingo. So much more oceanfront property and a nice place for an afternoon dip. Unrealistic? That’s what they said about Dubai, and look how well that’s worked out.

In the meantime, stay cool.

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