Summer nights in New York City are imbued with the sultry sound of tank-top men and braless women bathed in a sheen of sweat and bone moonlight, leaning from clanking fire escapes while smoking weed and yelling at boisterous strangers in the noisy streets below.
Those steaming summer days where the heat wafts over you like a swirl of dirty pigeons and the sneering sidewalk smells of shit baked in piss that hangs in the heat like wet paint on a soiled mattress canvas.
And the air conditioners hum from above like nervous animals. That mysterious drip of water suddenly pings your scalp like bird shit before you realize those boxes spewing life-saving cold wind into sweltering apartments are a symbol of everything wrong with a scorching world that not even resilient New York City can absorb or ignore.
NYC AC units, sadly, consume large amounts of energy while producing heat and leaking greenhouse gases. Our City’s electricity is generated through hydroelectric power, natural gas, and nuclear energy. Heatwaves – when everyone blasts their AC at the same time – place a particular strain on our electric grid.
What can we do?
Talk about reality. Acknowledge the situation and find, fund, and empower smart people who want to solve tough problems. Even better, become one of those people yourself. Support organizations that want to make NYC, and the world, a better and healthier place for people they have never met and animals they’ve never heard of.
Do you know of any people or organizations like these? Please give a shout-out in the comment section.