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Gingersnap
05-28-2009, 09:49 AM
Energy Secretary's White-Paint Proposal Puzzles Climate-Change Experts
Thursday, May 28, 2009
By Paul Wagenseil

Energy Secretary Steven Chu stunned the audience at a London scientific conference Tuesday with a radical but simple proposal to combat global warming: Paint all the roofs of all the buildings in the world white.

If we did so, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist said, and if we also made sure the world's roads and sidewalks were light-colored, it would have the same effect on global warming as taking all the cars in the world off the world's roads for 11 years.

The idea is to harness the "albedo effect" -- the theory that a reflective planet warms up less as heat from the sun is bounced back into space.

Chu, speaking at the St. James' Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium, said the calculations are based on work done at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he used to work and where three researchers concluded last year that changing surface colors in the world's 100 largest cities would offset 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

But at least one science expert thinks Chu is nuts.

"It's past simplistic -- it's ridiculous," says Steven Milloy, publisher of junkscience.com and an avowed climate-change skeptic. "Imagine the glare on roads, in urban areas, imagine the UV radiation bouncing around. Snow blindness would be replaced by road blindness."

But Dr. Gordon Bonan, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., says there's a kernel of truth in the science behind Chu's idea.

"That's been a pretty standard idea many for many years now," says Bonan. "It's related to the idea of an urban heat island -- that a big city will generate a large amount of heat. In urban planning and urban design, the idea is that painting roofs white will absorb less solar radiation and keep the city cooler."

"In terms of roads, that does work," he continued. "You can test it yourself by walking barefoot on a hot summer day. The asphalt is going to be much hotter than the concrete and the white lines painted on top of the asphalt."

Still, it's not clear how well the practice would work on the world as a whole.

"You could try to extend this idea to the entire planet, but I've never seen any numbers on how much impact this would have on the Earth's surface temperature," says Bonan. "The urban [surface] area of the world is pretty small."

(snip)

As for the assertion that painting everything white would offset the greenhouse-gas emissions of hundreds of millions of cars for more than a decade, Bonan demurred that he wasn't qualified to judge.

Milloy was more critical: "It sounds like some dubious global-warming calculation that someone made on the back of an envelope."

"Pretty small" is kind of a huge understatement.


Fox (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522411,00.html?test=latestnews)

Rockntractor
05-28-2009, 10:00 AM
Now I know why Sweden is colder than Ethiopia!

patriot45
05-28-2009, 10:00 AM
Liberal moonbats come up with some of the cutest cures! I'm going to have to invest in white paint and paint brushes!
Why can't we all get real big umbrellas to put over our houses? Or if everybody in the world would just take a big breath and blow out at the same time it would cool things down! :D

Rebel Yell
05-28-2009, 10:03 AM
Wouldn't white paint reflect the heat back into the atmosphere? Seems like black paint would absorb the heat keeping it out of the atmosphere.:rolleyes:

Rockntractor
05-28-2009, 10:09 AM
Wouldn't white paint reflect the heat back into the atmosphere? Seems like black paint would absorb the heat keeping it out of the atmosphere.:rolleyes:
Silence! The science is already settled. We need not question this.

Rebel Yell
05-28-2009, 10:11 AM
Silence! The science is already settled. We need not question this.

Just sayin'.:D

Gingersnap
05-28-2009, 10:19 AM
Silence! The science is already settled. We need not question this.

Yes, the science of roofing materials and paint reflectivity. Of course anybody with a simple bachelor of science degree spends roughly 5 semesters mastering the scientific application of paints. Some people had trouble with organic chemistry but for me those brutal hours spent memorizing the albedo of paints were the worst college experiences I ever had. :rolleyes:

/sarc

They really are just making stuff up to feel ecologically pure. There is some truth to the effect of paints and materials reflectivity in managing extremely local heat island effects but it doesn't really extrapolate to even regional effects, let alone global effects.

Then there's that pesky unintended consequences thingy to deal with.

Lager
05-28-2009, 10:23 AM
Actually, I have heard that if the entire population of our planet would hold their breaths for two minutes a day, we could cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by 25 percent.

Lager
05-28-2009, 10:28 AM
What's the du reaction to this? Are they swallowing it whole, being the cult followers they are? If all we have to do is paint roofs white, then this can't be the super serious, requiring life changing behaviors, apocalyptic disaster that Saint Al preaches about. A whole devotion and way of life was just crushed!

Rockntractor
05-28-2009, 10:29 AM
Actually, I have heard that if the entire population of our planet would hold their breaths for two minutes a day, we could cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by 25 percent.
If liberals would hold their breath perpetually it would completely solve global warming.

patriot45
05-28-2009, 10:30 AM
Actually, I have heard that if the entire population of our planet would hold their breaths for two minutes a day, we could cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by 25 percent.

I believe you! Also if everyone would just leave thier refrigerator doors open for 1 hour a day we can drop the earths temp at least .000001 degree! We are on to something here!

Lager
05-28-2009, 10:32 AM
See, we're cooking with ideas and we don't even need no Noble Prize. :D

Rockntractor
05-28-2009, 10:33 AM
This would make a great t-shirt. "save the planet suffocate a liberal"

AHeneen
05-28-2009, 11:30 AM
I believe you! Also if everyone would just leave thier refrigerator doors open for 1 hour a day we can drop the earths temp at least .000001 degree! We are on to something here!

Refrigerators simply transfer heat from the inside to the outside (like AC in a hose/car). Doing something like that would have a 0 effect (not to mention waste lots of electricity)!

Speedy
05-28-2009, 11:45 AM
Refrigerators simply transfer heat from the inside to the outside (like AC in a hose/car). Doing something like that would have a 0 effect (not to mention waste lots of electricity)!

Shut...the...fuck...up! What are you thinking? Bringing discourse into a discussion where the science is settled!

Rockntractor
05-28-2009, 11:46 AM
Shut...the...fuck...up! What are you thinking? Bringing discourse into a discussion where the science is settled!
Bunch of conservative rethug no we can't negativism.

FlaGator
05-28-2009, 01:42 PM
If Al Gore, Ted Kennedy and John Edwards all hired someone to paint ther roofs of their houses white, that should lower the average global temperature at least a degree or two.

noonwitch
05-28-2009, 02:52 PM
Wouldn't white paint reflect the heat back into the atmosphere? Seems like black paint would absorb the heat keeping it out of the atmosphere.:rolleyes:


That's how it works with car seats, at least.

Nubs
05-28-2009, 03:55 PM
Refrigerators simply transfer heat from the inside to the outside (like AC in a hose/car). Doing something like that would have a 0 effect (not to mention waste lots of electricity)!

Almost correct. The temperature would actually rise due to the motors running.

patriot45
05-28-2009, 04:03 PM
Almost correct. The temperature would actually rise due to the motors running.

You can't stop me! I'll leave the freezer door open too! Just for doubting me I am turning down the house A/C and opening the front door, I'm doing my part!:cool::D

FlaGator
05-28-2009, 05:06 PM
You can't stop me! I'll leave the freezer door open too! Just for doubting me I am turning down the house A/C and opening the front door, I'm doing my part!:cool::D

Just paint your roof white and be done with it! :D