NEW YORK CITY – Tourists in the Big Apple shared whether they would give up air conditioning to reduce their carbon footprint amid a worldwide heat wave.
"You would never sleep again," one man from Chicago told Fox News. "It’s just too hot."
He said there are methods to reduce carbon emissions, but air conditioners are essential.
"I’m sure there are other ways, just don’t take away the AC," the man said. "Especially when it’s 95 or 97 [degrees] and high humidity."
But one woman said she would give up her air conditioner.
"I have the windows down," Blake, from North Carolina, said. "No AC needed."
More than 85 million Americans, from the Pacific Northwest to the southern Great Plains to the East Coast’s heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor, were under excessive heat warnings or heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service this week.
A Berlin-based writer, Paul Hockenos, highlighted in a CNN op-ed how Americans rely on air conditioning despite high energy usage and environmental implications. He suggested that Americans ditch the air conditioner units for renewable energy options.
"I'm from Austin, and it's a lot hotter there," one woman, Kris, said. "It's worth it because you need it almost for survival."
More than three-quarters of U.S. homes have air conditioners, releasing roughly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, according to the Department of Energy.
"I can see how that would probably be making a big impact on the environment," Allison, from New Jersey, said. "I know that it’s very detrimental."
"I’d be fine with no AC," Allison added. "I could survive."
Some tourists said they would limit energy use.
"I’d be willing to reduce," Cameron, from California, said. "I wouldn’t be willing to cut off entirely."
"I like to rely on natural remedies such as windows," Cameron added.
Harold, from New Jersey, said he could give up air conditioning to reduce carbon emissions with exceptions.
"On days like these honestly, I think it’s dangerous not to have it," Harold said.
One man visiting from Florida said air conditioner use should be based on location.
"It all depends on needs," he said. He added that a mass effort would be needed to make a difference environmentally.
"If it’s just gonna be just me I’m not gonna move the needle," the Floridian said.
Only 20% of Europeans have air conditioners in their homes, according to an estimate by The Inaba Denki Sangyo Group.
"Since I’m European I do not have an AC," one man visiting from Germany said. He added that the U.S. overuses air conditioners, but said Europe under utilizes them.
"To find a middle to use AC where it is necessary might be the way to do it," the German told Fox News.
Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.