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Cooling Off During Heat Wave Doesn't Have To be a Summer Bummer

During California's heat wave, don't just turn down the AC. Turn it off altogether with some (super basic) suggestions.

While much of the country is finally cooling down after weeks of grueling heat, for the nearly one-tenth of Americans who live in Southern California, summer is just starting to get real. Today marks the peak of a week-long heat wave that's brought triple-digit weather and record-breaking moments to the valleys, mountain ranges, and desert areas—and remarkably beachy weather to the beaches—throughout the Southland.

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Our Reign as Biggest Air Conditioning Hog Will Soon End

Fifty million air conditioning units were sold in China in 2010 alone and these days 40 percent of all energy consumption in Mumbai is from AC.

We're creeping into the dog days of summer—a recent heat wave scorched much of the eastern United States while wildfires have devastated the west—and it's now official that the first six months of 2012 were the hottest ever recorded. New research indicates that climate change will make these heat waves even more likely. There's no doubt that we live in a warming world.

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This Is Why We're Hot: Sun-Absorbing Black Roofs Need a Coat of White Paint

This heatwave would suck less if all our roofs were painted white.

If you live anywhere in America other than the shores of the Pacific, you are probably sweating right now. A lot. And it's likely that the paint job and materials on your building's roof are making it worse. As we've reported on GOOD before, painting white the black roofs that top many of American cities can deflect 70 percent more sun, keeping interiors cooler, reducing the urban heat island effect, and curbing global warming. Luckily it seems like 2011 could be the summer where this idea goes mainstream, with the combination of powerful heat waves and politicians (Bill Clinton!) getting behind the idea.

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