Monday, June 29, 2009

Picking our readers' brains.

By Ariel

Folks, I know you read this, some of you for some reason read us again and again (and we thank you for it). Generally we are content to do the research and thinking for you, but today I hope you can help us.

For some time I have had a theory that the general population explosion in the South could not have been made possible without the creation of the air-conditioning unit. Recently, while in South Carolina, I made that assertion in mixed company. By mixed company I mean I was the only Yankee amidst an assortment of Southerners... So now I want to test my theory. While it should be fairly easy to track Southern demographic growth via the census, figuring out how to track the spread of air conditioning in the south is a bit harder. Any suggestions? Or comments? (I am sure the massive electrification of the south also had something to do with it as well, though I would welcome any sources on that as well, aside from Robert Caro's biography of Johnson)


Dan Pohlig said...

The air conditioning topic is pretty popular. Here's just one example that theorizes how the rise of air conditioning has changed national politics.

I read about this somewhere else too but I can't recall where I saw it. Same idea though. Not that you shouldn't write about it, just that there has been plenty of thought given to the topic.

Gay, Married, with Cat said...

Your post sounds somewhat conceited, that you usually do the thinking for your readers. :-(

The idea about a/c is not new -- many have theorized about it causing the south's population explosion.

It would be difficult to separate the impact of a/c from the growth of the South's infrastructure in general: transportation, electricity, clean water, all of which were developed extensively under Franklin Roosevelt's administration.

Indeed, you could track the demise of the mosquito in Florida and make the case that it was eliminating the mosquito as a nuisance that caused Florida's population growth. :-)

Ariel said...

Erm, Apologies for sounding conceited, I will be more careful with my words later. Thanks however for the tips and suggestions.