Friday, July 23, 2010

Poll: How do you beat the summer heat?

It has been a hot summer this year in Chicago. For that reason, I was surprised when my parents told me that Chicago had a heat advisory yesterday. I hadn't kept my eye on the weather, but sure enough, the heat index was 105 at its peak. It just felt like another hot, muggy day in Chicago.

If it feels like 105 degrees outside, it is even warmer in our apartment when we don't continually run our window-unit air conditioning. With such punishing heat, it is hard to do anything aside from trying to stay cool.

So, given that I am unable to think about anything but the heat, here's the poll question for the week:

How do you beat the summer heat?

(a) Crank up the AC
(b) Ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream
(c) Go out on the town or to some coffee shop (to use their AC)
(d) Go to a water park or fountain and get drenched.

As always, the poll is open for a week. Vote early and often (and on the sidebar) and tell your friends to vote. If it is hot where you are, do your best to stay cool. If you have some beautiful summer weather, enjoy some of it for me. Regardless, I'm anxious to hear what you have to say.


  1. Tony - This poll is a little too hoi polloi for me. This seems like something that would be on

    Where's the economic insights?

  2. Fair enough. As I said in the post, I couldn't think about anything else at the time. Maybe I should have gone to a nice air-conditioned public place to write it.

    In thinking about it this way, the economic insight is that excessive heat has productivity-sapping consequences. There's plenty of research on this in the literature on the determinants of cross-national differences in economic growth. Here's a link to some research by Jeffrey Sachs on this:

    This debate is far from settled (mostly due to lack of good data). Here's a perspective from the other side:

    There is some cool research being done in this area by some amazing researchers like Acemoglu, Sala-i-Martin, Easterly, and so on. It's worth reading.

  3. Poll Results

    AC: 5
    Ice cream: 4
    Go out: 3
    Get drenched: 2


Please feel free to share your ideas about this post in the open forum. Be mindful that comments in this blog are moderated. Please keep your comments respectful and on point.