The NY Times Names New Products that Will Help You Cope With the Heat
We all know that July 2012 was a record heat month. Your discomfort offers opportunities for profit seeking firms and they are stepping up. That's free market adaptation and the NY Times has written a good article "naming names" of the new generation of "heroes". Neither the Obama Administration nor Mitt Romney deserve credit for these efforts. This is capitalism at work so now permit me to present the honor roll.
These are quotes from the article by Farhad Manjoo;
"The next time I set off to broil, the first thing I’ll pack is a personal fan called the Handy Cooler. The device, which sells for about $49.95 and is about the size of a 1980s-era mobile phone, works like most other hand-held battery-powered fans: you turn it on and aim it at your face. But the Handy Cooler has an ingenious innovation that distinguishes it from its competitors. Tucked behind the fan’s blades is a spongelike “cooling filter” that you’re supposed to douse with cold water. Turn on the fan, and air passes through the wet filter, reducing the surrounding temperature by several degrees, creating an oasis of cool air that you can take anywhere.
I had more success with Omni-Freeze Zero, a new apparel line by Columbia Sportswear that will be available in 2013. Columbia is best known for its winter fashion, but the company recently employed a team of researchers to wrestle with the paradoxical challenge of designing clothes that make you cool.
“For thousands of years we’ve focused on the opposite problem,” said Michael Blackford (known as Woody), Columbia’s vice president for global innovation.
Omni-Freeze Zero consists of men’s and women’s athletic shirts, pants and shoes. All are made of a fabric treated with a compound that is “endothermic” in an aqueous state. This simply means that the material feels chillier when wet.
During a regular workout at the gym, I tested an Omni-Freeze Zero athletic shirt, which will sell for about $60, and I found that after I began to sweat, the shirt kept me substantially cooler than did my ordinary athletic shirt. It didn’t feel cold, exactly — just not unpleasantly warm.
One easy solution is the Brookstone Bed Fan, a an instrument that sells for $99.99, sits at the edge of your bed and, through a thin chamber aimed at your feet, blows cold air under your sheets. I found the fan well designed and easy to operate: it comes with a handy wireless remote control.
I much preferred another product by Chili Technology, the ChiliPad. This invention cools (or heats) your entire bed by piping cold water through capillaries under your slumbering body. To set it up, spread the ChiliPad on your mattress, then place your fitted sheet and the rest of your bedding on top. Connect the pad to an electronic control unit that’s outfitted with a thermostat and a pump. Fill the control unit with water, set your desired temperature — from a chilly 46 degrees Fahrenheit to a sweltering 118 — and turn on the device. In a few minutes, your bed will achieve the desired thermal condition. (Even better, the model I tested had two control units, which meant my wife and I could set two different temperatures.)"
I DO NOT OWN SHARES IN ANY OF THESE COMPANIES AND I ACTUALLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THESE specific FIRMS EXCEPT for what I read in the NY Times article. The point I'm trying to hammer home here is how capitalism steps up. By a law of large numbers, there will always be an upcoming ambitious firm who is looking to supply products that people want. If climate change causes discomfort and it is anticipated that this discomfort will only get worse over time, then this is a new market and capitalist firms will enter the void and create new products. The evolutionary impact is adaptation and this is the logic of Climatopolis.