Since I moved to Southern California in 1976 I have been lucky enough to mostly live at the beach.
My first apartment was in Santa Monica, a single, which I shared with two roommates.
Over the years I’ve lived in Seal Beach (where I got married in 1981), Long Beach (where we bought our first house in 1990) and for the past 26 years, Redondo Beach.
As a result, I’ve never lived in a place that needed or had air conditioning. A good fan to move the ocean-cooled breezes in circulation through the open doors and windows in summer was all we ever needed.
When the temps were in the 90s inland a few miles it was always in the 70s at the coast. The few days the thermometer hit 100 in Downtown LA, it might get in the 80s here.
But as global temperatures have hit new highs year after year after year over the last decade, so too did the number of days we needed the fan. Then in what quickly became a Fan Arms Race, we needed two fans, then the following year four fans, then five in failed attempt at a Cold War.
Last year the heat and humidity – a weather condition never seen at the coast before – were so stifling and uncomfortable that we needed to up our fan game to warehouse size level fans.
So big and powerful were they that they vibrated the wood floor like a small trembler and loudly drowned out all attempts at conversations, music or television.
It doesn’t take Nosterdamus to see what’s coming this summer or summers moving forward. No, all it takes are the climate forecasts that tell us our days of reliable, cool and comfortable beach weather are gone.
We can no longer count on the trade winds that used to blow like clockwork. The air temperature and ocean temperatures are rising and headed to 90-100 degree temperatures and sea level rise realities short of a radical shift that ends the use of fossil fuels.
Even if the fossil fuel era ended today the amount of warming is already baked-in, since the carbon emissions we put out today have a 20-40 year lag before they show up in our atmosphere.
So, no matter where you live now that hasn’t need AC before, you’re going to need it now.