Obama's green guru calls for white roofs - Telegraph "Professor Steven Chu, the US Energy Secretary, said the unusual proposal would mean homes in hot countries would save energy and money on air conditioning by deflecting the sun's rays. More pale surfaces could also slow global warming by reflecting heat into space rather than allowing it to be absorbed by dark surfaces where it is trapped by greenhouse gases and increases temperatures. The Nobel Prize-winning physicist said the US was not considering any large scale "geo-engineering" projects where science is used to reverse global warming, but was in favour of "white roofs everywhere". He said lightening roofs and roads in urban environments would offset the global warming effects of all the cars in the world for 11 years. "If you look at all the buildings and if you make the roofs white and if you make the pavement more of a concrete type of colour rather than a black type of colour and if you do that uniformally, that would be the equivalent of... reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars in the world by 11 years – just taking them off the road for 11 years," he said." You might think that it's a joke that he's recommending roofs and highways be painted, but listen up; at least some who speak out for Obama are saying just that. Never mind the impracticality of painting roofs period, the heat that is produced by the roof-plane escapes by convection from vents in the ridge and the eaves. Present requirements of R-38 resistance to heat/cold penetration in building codes have reached the point of diminishing returns for the cost of increasing the insulation and the dollars saved. Only flat roofs where insulation is limited by it's thickness, or the space is not accessible would be only improveable by painting them white, and they are for the most part covered with a light colored aggregate mineral surface already. How many highways are really black, even "black-topped" or asphalt paved surfaces turn a medium grey in just a few years. In subdivisions we "coat" our black-top drives to make them look black and fresh once again. Highways paved with concrete are a pretty light grey immediately. I for one question if this suggestion should even be given the light of day, especially in a public forum as is being reported. There is an advantage to letting these people talk their fool heads off; the American people are for the most part practical, and recognize when they are being led by fools. "In a wide-ranging discussion at the three-day Nobel laureate Symposium in London, the Professor described climate change as a "crisis situation" It almost seems that he went there unprepared with anything better, to pull that idea out of his hat at a symposium like this one.