Hey, All We Need To Stop Climate Doom Is 139 Billion Gallons Of White Paint

As far as ideas go, this is not the worst

Turns out all we may need to stop climate change is 139 billion gallons of super-duper white paint

I hope Purdue University is ready for this incoming order.

In 2021, researchers at Purdue University announced that they had developed the whitest paint on Earth. The color is so white that it can reflect over 98% of light. This is particularly useful because light generates heat — and we here on Earth are running a bit hot these days.

If used on a building, the researchers say, the paint would reduce the temperature on the surface, lowering the temps inside and decreasing the need for air conditioning. But what if there was an even bigger application, like reducing the temperature of the entire planet?

According to Jeremy Munday, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Davis, who researches clean technology, if a material like Purdue’s paint covered 1-2% of the Earth’s surface, the amount of light being bounced back into space would reduce the amount of heat being absorbed by the planet enough to stabilize global temperatures. In other words, it could do a lot to solve climate change. Plus, Munday told the New York Times, the amount of light being bounced back into space wouldn’t harm the cosmos very much. “It’d be like pouring a cup of regular water into the ocean,” he told the Times.

Essentially, it means 139 billion gallons. The most interesting part here is that it is painting (sorry) any man-caused global warming as an issue of land use and urban heat island effect. Which are real. I do not have to explain why, right? You know this. If more dark colored asphalt could be painted white, paint dark shingles white, and so forth, mostly in urban and suburban areas, it could significantly reduce the temperatures in those areas. Of course, you’re still left with heat trapping buildings and the inability of the ground to soak up heat. It would help.

But, how long would the paint last? How often would it require re-application? Better would be roadways made with very light colors going forward.

Oh, and then this schmuck

Yeah, about that

It’s all semantics. He also pitched a fit and refused to identify the people working directly for him. You know, the ones the taxpayers pay for.

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7 Responses to “Hey, All We Need To Stop Climate Doom Is 139 Billion Gallons Of White Paint”

  1. xtron says:

    another option, which i inadvertantly used, would be metal roofing.
    8 years ago i reroofed my house with something called glavalum. it’s galvanized
    aluminum…recycled cans coated with a bright silver coating. sure, it looks kinda like a barn roof, but the difference in heat load, and my electrict bill is impressive. and it has a 50 year warrenty, so it will out last me.
    imagine if every house in the country were refelecting sunlight like mine is….

  2. Dana says:

    Our esteemed host noted:

    If more dark colored asphalt could be painted white,

    Concrete salesmen note, when trying to persuade builders to pour concrete parking lots rather than use asphalt, they will save on lighting expenses, because concrete dries a light grey, and reflects more light than blacktop. More, the maintenance on concrete is far lower.

    But concrete costs a lot more to place than asphalt, and the standard cure time is 28 days.

    • UnkleC says:

      Concrete also makes good street paving, again a bit pricier. There are issues that have to be addressed for higher speed and longer roadways, but it can be done.
      I’ve been out of that business over 20 years, but I seem to remember that a ton of asphalt cost some 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of a yard of concrete and paved about the same area of roadway.

      • Dana says:

        At least in the parts of Virginia where I lived, building codes called for concrete driveways for private residences. It wasn’t something about which I thought much until a trip back to the Bluegrass State, and the asphalt driveways kind of jumped out at me.

        Asphalt is less expensive, and you can drive on it much sooner, but asphalt degrades in ways that concrete does not.

  3. Dana says:

    There’s a red brick house visible from the northbound lane of I-79 in West Virginia, with an absolutely snow-white metal roof. The roof is so white that it’s ugly, but it does meet your point: that home should have lower air conditioning costs. The downside is that, during the winter, it would have higher heating costs, but hey, West Virginia has plenty of coal to burn to power the electric plants!

    Metal roofs are slowly replacing asphalt shingles, because an asphalt shingled roof has a normal life of 20 to 30 years, while a metal roof will last well over 50 years. We have a metal roof, but it’s a darker green.

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