Australia's Favourite Air
I recently had a conversation with one of the guys in the office over coffee and we got talking about air-conditioning – one of the fundamentals of new homes these days and a love obesession of many Australians. Perhaps to a lesser degree here in Melbourne where the cold is a much more regular occurrence (as in now), but definitely in the warmer cities of this ‘sunburnt country’ of ours we call home.
But what was so interesting to hear was the implications something seemingly simple like an air-conditioning can have on our social environment.
Just stop for a moment and think back to a time where we didn't have air conditioning at home. While this might not be a reality for some, think about what you did when it was too hot to be cooped inside your house which was now radiating much of the heat it absorbed earlier in the day. Would you go sit out on the front deck of your Queenslander, or on the front lawn, did you go out to the shops, the beach, play with the kids next door, and the list goes on…
One thing in common however, is that in all of the above scenarios, there is an ability to engage with others.
Chances are your neighbour would be doing the same thing as you. It might start off with a smile, a wave, or a simple ‘G’day mate,’ but that ice-breaker would slowly develop into something more. Soon the kids would be next door cooling themselves down in the sprinkler, the parents watching on as they had a drink of something cool, and the rest as they say, is history.
As a result of these casual encounters, meaningful relationships and bonds would form between people; cultures, ideas and probably some recipes would be exchanged and suddenly there is a rich tapestry of social cohesion going on, all because it’s too hot inside. Not to mention the MASSIVE amounts of energy saved by the fact there weren't thousands of machines placing demand on the system at any given time…
Perhaps you'll read this thinking ‘I think you've over analysed the whole thing,’ and perhaps I have. But next time you’re about to turn on the air conditioning (which could be a while if you’re in Melbourne), think twice. Hopefully your neighbour read the article too and you'll have someone to share the time outside with.