Brave Thinkers 2012 November 2012

Readers' Choice: Stan Cox

Plant Breeder/Author

This year, we asked for your help in nominating and then selecting a Brave Thinker. Among the scores of candidates submitted, Stan Cox received the most votes from readers of TheAtlantic.com.

As global warming heats up the planet, who could be opposed to air-conditioning, an invention that has shaped our culture in the name of keeping us comfortable? In his book, Losing Our Cool, Cox takes a strong stand against it: the widespread use of air-conditioning, he argues, not only damages our health by spreading microbes and unbalancing our hormones, but also intensifies the very problem it’s supposed to solve. “The hotter summers get, the more we become dependent on air-conditioning, and the more of it we use,” he told me, “which ensures that summers will be even hotter.” If Cox is right, you’d better turn off your A/C and open your windows, before it’s too late.

See all our 2012 Brave Thinkers.

Presented by

Megan Garber, staff writer, The Atlantic

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in National

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In