Fighting Climate Change with White Paint

Painting roofs white could have a major impact on global carbon emissions, according to three scientists. But what may seem like a wacky idea has years of data to back it up.
April 8, 2009, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"An Iranian-born nuclear engineer who, for the last three decades, has worked as a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Hashem Akbari would like to see $3 billion of the economic stimulus package directed toward painting white or a light color as many of the nation's roofs, and as much of its pavement, as possible - all with the goal of directing more solar radiation into space.

Akbari, along with Surabi Menon, another LBNL scientist, and Arthur Rosenfeld, a former LBNL scientist and now a California Energy Commission board member, claim that painting urban surfaces in warm parts of the world white or a light color could offset the carbon emissions of all 600 million of the world's cars for 18 to 20 years - at a savings equivalent to at least $1 trillion worth of CO2 reductions.

This is not a hoax: Akbari, Menon and Rosenfeld are three of the country's leading experts in their field, and their study published in the journal Climatic Change is backed by years of carefully calculated data."

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Published on Friday, April 3, 2009 in Miller-McCune
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