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Air Conditioning

Rajkiran Bilolikar, who led the cool-roof experiment, has a personal stake in the project. As a child, he would visit his grandfather in Hyderabad. There were trees all over the city. It was known for its gardens. He could walk, even in summer.

Now a professor at the Administrative Staff College of India in Hyderabad, Mr. Bilolikar can’t walk much. His city is hotter. There are fewer trees. Air-conditioners have proliferated but they spew hot air outside.

Mr. Bilolikar says it’s hard to persuade policymakers, even the public, to take heat risk seriously. It’s always been hot in Hyderabad. It’s getting hotter slowly, almost indiscernibly. Heat, he says, is “a hidden problem.”

At home, he had resolved not to use his air-conditioner. Through his open windows, though, his neighbor’s machine blew hot air into his apartment. His three-year-old daughter became so overheated that her skin was hot to touch. Reluctantly, he shut his windows and turned his machines on.
A New Delhi street. Air conditioners can contribute to heat waves by blowing hot air out into the city. Credit...Saumya Khandelwal for The New York Times
- Somini Sengupta, In India, Summer Heat May Soon Be Literally Unbearable, NYT, July 17, 2018




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