Cold enough for you? New York Times analysis says America is over air-conditioned _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Martha Landry is masked by a scarf wound around her face to keep out the cold, as she walks to her car in a student lot south of Tiger Stadium, after class in a 2011 file photo.

It’s summertime. And a particularly hot summertime at that.

So, why can you write your name in the condensation on the windows at Starbucks? Why are people pulling on parkas to go to the movies? Why are office workers huddled under fleece blankets in their cubicles?

According to a news analysis by The New York Times, it’s because America is over air-conditioned — and it’s costing us financially and environmentally.

Much of the reason is cultural.

“Being able to make people feel cold in the summer is a sign of power and prestige,” Richard de Dear, director of the Indoor Environmental Quality Laboratory at University of Sydney, Australia, told The Times. And there’s also the widely held misconception that colder temperatures make workers more alert and productive when, in fact, research shows the opposite.

See The New York Times news analysis here.