Skip to comments.Professor Steven Chu: paint the world white to fight global warming
Posted on 05/26/2009 8:59:19 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
Professor Steven Chu: paint the world white to fight global warming
Mark Henderson, Science Editor
The Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as US Energy Secretary wants to change the colour of roofs, roads and pavements so they reflect more of the Suns light and heat to combat global warming, he said today.
Professor Steven Chu, speaking at the opening of the St Jamess Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium, for which The Times is media partner, said this simple and completely benign approach to geo-engineering could have a vast impact at low cost.
By lightening all paved surfaces and roofs to the colour of cement, it would be possible to reduce carbon emissions by as much as taking all the worlds cars off the roads for 11 years, he said.
Building regulations should insist that all flat roofs are painted white, while visible tilted roofs could be painted with cool coloured paints that look normal, but which absorb much less heat than conventional dark surfaces. Roads could be lightened to a concrete colour so they do not dazzle drivers in bright sunlight.
I think with flat-type roofs you cant even see, yes, I think you should regulate quite frankly, Professor Chu said. I would be in favour of that.
Asked whether governments should be promoting white paint as a solution to climate change, he said: Yes, absolutely? White roofs everywhere, yes.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
I had to make sure this wasn’t satire. It’s so hard to tell when Liberals open their mouths whether it’s satire or not.
ooooh MR. cHU....DAY NOT GONNA LIKE DA WHITE!
How does this reduce emissions? LOL! What an idiot.
Exactly. I wonder what Dr. Chu knows the carbon numbers on the increased production of white paint? The amount of white paint needed to do this UNECESSARY task would be, in my estimate, an order of magnitude more than is currently in demand.
Why can’t these ‘doctors’ think before engaging their mouths?
Ordinary humans can barely comprehend it.
So that is why Bill Clinton went jogging in those short shorts?
His white legs reflected the sunlight, which in turn helped fight global warming?
mirrored roofs!!!!!!!!yeah, that’s the ticket!
>> The amount of white paint needed to do this UNECESSARY task would be, in my estimate, an order of magnitude more than is currently in demand.
I think you’re underestimating — by a LOT.
As I seem to recall from my sailor days, once you paint something, you’ll be painting it again. And again. And again. And...
Here’s your answer:
By reflecting the light and heat instead of absorbing it in buildings and pavement,
it will reduce the load on air conditioning systems,
and that will reduce demand for electricity,
which reduces emissions required to make electricity.
That’s the theory. Did you hear they’re not allowing black cars to be sold in California for the same reason?
Typical liberal nutbar solution.
But what about in the winter when the dark roofs absorb heat (a little) and then we don’t have to run furnaces as much? Don’t furnaces emit CO2 also?
I guess they need jobs for all those new young “volunteers” they are going to conscript - they will make them roof police.
I thought this guy was smart. He sounds like just another
Gore-moron to me.
Amen. And all that chipping in between paint jobs.
True, true, true.
Dang. I just got back from my trip to the hardware store to buy my tire pressure gauge. Now I have to burn more fuel to go buy paint!
don’t forget primer....
Hopefully he will talk this up...but I suspect he will get orders to keep quiet.
>> Amen. And all that chipping in between paint jobs.
Hey, maybe we’ve discovered the 3 million new jobs Bambi was promising...?
(Or was it three billion? Bambi’s Big Big Numbers all run together after awhile.)
On the downside, of course, I have to put up with a driveway which is extra hot in the summertime. But the science of surface coloring, unlike the science of global warming, is sound. If global warming were a real problem, this would be a far more realistic remedy than cap and trade, CO2 emission regulations and some of the other cockamamie solutions being bantered about.
Here's another logical remedy:
If Greenland melted down completely, 88% of the excess water produced could be contained by flooding the uninhabited Qatarra Depression in northwest Egypt, producing thousands of miles of valuable lakefront property, generating electrical power as water flowed from the Medditerranean to the depression and potentially turning much of the surrounding Sahara Desert into arable land.
It took Greenland 18,000 years to accumulate as much ice as it has now. How long do you think it will take it to melt?
How long do you think it will take the global warming Chicken Littles to even propose a simple countermeasure such as this?
So who’s going to pay for all of this?
Oh, wait - I know this one...
I’m sure glad he’s not suggesting anything crazy or nonsensical like the scientists in the 70’s who seriously proposed dusting the ice caps with coal dust to fight “global cooling.” God I hope somehow the sheeple get a clue and fight this nonsense!
Drop us into an ice age. Death become him.
I think the black asphalt drive ways in the north, are also valuable in the fact they absorb what little heat there is, and helps melt the snow..thus saving a snow blower, or snow plow on a pick up, or a regular snow plow...if the snow is not terrible deep on the drive way...
Ah yes, led based paint will work best. Mixes well with the mercury in the new light bulbs....
And I want white solar panels too!
Death becomes him ... need more caffeine for slow fat fingers ...
BUT, don’t give me any of those nasty wind turbines that hurt all those nice little birdies and have those ugly power cables all over the place. I don’t want any of that even if it is white.
Uh-oh....but his skin absorbs lots of heat too! Maybe we need to bleach everyones skin! Michael Jackson had the right idea for the environment..
led = lead. Duh. (sigh)
To all those making fun of this solution.
It works. I do building inspections, part of which is inspecting roofs and attics. Buildings in which the roof is more reflective don’t pick up nearly as much radiant heat as those that are less reflective. Radiant heat transfer is largely not stopped by insulation and is a major cause of discomfort even in air conditioned homes.
Every roof must be replaced every so often. What’s so terrible about picking a more-reflective material when you’re replacing it anyway? As a neat side benefit, dark roofs, because they get so much hotter, don’t last as long as more-reflective roofing materials.
Save money on energy, save money on roof maintenance and replacement, have a more comfortable building.
What’s wrong with that?
government legislation of accepted colors.
What a great idea. Good thing he’s in charge. [/s]
I could never understand why in states in the Deep South where you run the A/C year round, the roof shingles are always black. If you are building new or re roofing, often the only shingle choices are black or dark brown. Why aren’t there white roof shingles?
Nice to know we have such reasonable pragmatists at the levers of power. NOT!!
Tell ya what, Professor Chu — YOU pay the costs and I’ll have my house re-roofed with lighter-colored shingles. Deal?
And, uh... what color again is the sand on the Sahara??? How’s THAT cooling effect working out?
“As I seem to recall from my sailor days, once you paint something, youll be painting it again. And again. And again. And...”
Ah! AFTER chipping the old stuff, of course. Did you have one of those commanders whose philosophy was: “the troops are happy only when they’re busy?”
A resident of Nome, Alaska, would probably not be wise to follow this advice. There are probably large areas in the lower 48 where the net heating season is longer and more costly than the need for cooling that would also find this a bad choice.
Is it too much to ask for a Ph.D and Cabinet Secretary of Energy to consider these factors in a sit-down interview? Or is he entirely motivated by predisposition to mitigation of human-caused global warming?
I agree the recommendations are overstated. That said, Alaska doesn’t get much solar radiation during its heating season. The sun is down most of the time, and when it’s not it’s at a very low angle.
Actually, during our long heating season, the roofs on most buildings ARE white. Every so often, I have to shovel that D&%$ white off.
Even a mild event like the Little Ice Age would kill billions. This is utter insanity.
I’d like show these folks my environmentally-friendly white ass.
If the atmosphere is a closed system wouldn’t reflecting heat from the surface displace it into the atmosphere where we don’t want it?
“If Greenland melted down completely, 88% of the excess water produced could be contained by flooding the uninhabited Qatarra Depression in northwest Egypt,”
Desert nomads affected most.