A white roof in Winnipeg
Although Sarah Palin, John McCain and Rush Limbaugh thought it was darn funny during the campaign to deride then candidate Obama for his support of easy fixes to save energy and fight climate change like keeping auto tires fully inflated and painting roofs white to reflect sun light, new scientific evidence finds that the president was right all along. The National Center for Atmospheric Research has a new study soon to be published that shows that white roofs do cool cities, save energy and fight climate change.Says lead author Keith Oleson (via EE news):
"Our study shows that white roofs are effective at reducing heat islands and decreasing daytime temperature...The effect is probably more effective for warmer regions, as you save on air conditioning."
Oleson's study shows that painting every roof white could cool the world's cities by an average of 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit, an amazing stat for sure. Cities collect heat by absorbing the sun's energy on their black asphalt streets and between their tall buildings. Painting every roof over the next 20 years would offset all of the emissions from the world's cars, the study's authors said.
Energy Secretary Stephen Chu came to the same result when he studied the phenomena when at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Perhaps he can lobby from inside the White House to make this an administration priority.