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Posted Tue May 26 2009: from Times Online (UK):
Steven Chu: paint the world white to fight global warming
The Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as US Energy Secretary wants to change the colour of roofs, roads and pavements so they reflect more of the Sun's light and heat to combat global warming, he said today.... By lightening all paved surfaces and roofs to the colour of cement, it would be possible to reduce carbon emissions by as much as taking all the world's cars off the roads for 11 years, he said.... Pale surfaces reflect up to 80 per cent of the sunlight that falls on them, compared to about 20 per cent for dark ones, which is why roofs and walls in hot countries are often whitewashed. An increase in the number of pale surfaces would help contain climate change both by reflecting more solar radiation into space and by reducing the amount of energy needed to keep buildings cool by air-conditioning.... Professor Chu said: "There's a friend of mine, a colleague of mine, Art Rosenfeld, who's pushing very hard for a geo-engineering we all believe will be completely benign, and that's when you have a flat-top roof building, make it white.
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