The Race Against Heat
EPIC Director Michael Greenstone talks about the demand for air conditioning in India.
When Rutam Vora was growing up in Vadodara, a city of about 2 million people near the western coast of India, his parents kept cool each summer by drenching bedsheets in water and hanging them in the windows of their house. When the scorching westerly wind known as the loo swept in and hit the sheets, the evaporating water absorbed the brunt of the heat. White chalk spread on the roof reflected the sun and dropped the temperature further. They were old methods of coping with the heat, like drinking lassis or chaas when “struck by the loo,” and they were effective.