the light side of global warming
Listen to this, from Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate in physics and President-Elect Obama's Energy Secretary:
"There’s a recently published paper from people in our laboratory (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) that says, if you take only the city buildings that have flat-topped roofs and make them light-colored, and make the roads light-colored by using cement, the amount of carbon dioxide decreased is equivalent to taking all the cars in the world [carbon emission] and turning them off for 10 years." (Steven Chu, quoted in Taipei Times 15 December 2008 - from off-grid.net website)
This is certainly one of the most creative and inexpensive contributions to stemming global warming. Maybe all car roofs and truck roofs could be made white as well. We created this problem through the millions of little things we do everyday and we can help fix it the same way.
Let's just hope that Dr Chu does not lose his scientific edge when he enters the world of politics. It seems, though, that he already got a strong dose of real politik before his hearing today. His scientific stand against coal was softened in the face of coal-state senators who vote on his confirmation. Let's hope he and the administration guiding him won't retreat too much.