Why, indeed we should all paint our roofs white

Why painting your roof white won’t help #climate change … just in
case you were thinking of doing it.

Response by Dr Paul Taylor

In the article, http://tinyurl.com/3um2znt , it might be sensational for
Jacobson to say, painting your roof white may worsen global warming but this
claim is premature on two accounts.

It does not calculate the decreased warming due to reduced use of fossil
fuel for air conditioning, which could be significant. In Australia air con
is an accelerating use of energy from coal, which produces both greenhouse
gases and black carbon.

The paper argues that the increased radiation reflected back to the
atmosphere by white roofs would be absorbed by black carbon particulates in
the atmosphere, but does not take into account that reducing black carbon
particulates is one of the fastest ways we could reduce global warming. In a
real world we should paint our roofs white AND reduce particulates and its
the net effect as both those project proceed over decadal times scales that
concerns us – likely to be quite beneficial to most rapidly decelerate
global warning. (Cleaning up CO2 is also necessary, but won’t have much
impact on present warming in the pipeline because CO2 has an effective
residence time in the atmosphere of 100 years.)

Jacobson is the capable Stanford scientist who published the paper on
achieving 100% renewable on global scale in 2 or 3 decades, which supports
BZE work. It is interesting that he has developed a fine scale climate model
but he needs to take the next steps of including fossil fuel use and black
carbon reduction feedbacks as well.

Neigbours in the caldera have achieved 12 deg temp reductions inside their
home by using highly IR reflecting white paint treatment on their roof,
providing increased comfort while reducing fossil fuel and making a house
more capable of running off sunshine = even more fossil fuel reduction.  Now
we need to advocate cleaning up black carbon as an early an urgent step.

Yes, cleaning up particulates will also reduce global dimming and expose
more warming, which will need to be cured by transitioning to C free energy
and extracting C from the atmosphere. this will all be required to get
the camel of civilization through the eye of the global warming needle.

Dr Paul Taylor


About jboydedu

The Australian Centre for Sustainability Literacy is a division of Julie Boyd and Associates, who have been working for three decades to educate students in becoming positively contributing world citizens. We use a careful integration of solid research and evidence from a broad range of fields across education, community, business and leadership to support the 7th Generation concept which says that all decisions need to be made for the benefit of 7 generations forward.
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