Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Upon reflection

I crank an eyebrow...

Obama's climate guru: Paint your roof white!

As a potential, simple, 'why not?', as this comes from the new President of the US's Secretary of Energy it has to be given a full and fair hearing.

However, I do wonder whether a full ground back to ground enviROI analysis for such a proposal has been carried out. Ignoring the aesthetics issues, the correct paint needs to be produced, applied... and maintained. Looking at an exterior wall to my property, after just a few years the paint is flaking, being subject to aggressive seasonable weather conditions.

So I, or blokes I hire, are to invest in regular multi-litre purchases of paint (what is its manufacture consequences?) to cover a pretty hefty area, on a regular lifetime basis? That's a lot of raw materials and man-hours.

I am also not so sure how many traditional tile materials will take to retroactive application of an alternative coating for which they were not designed.

What may be more productive is with built-in planning, whereby reflective tiles are manufactured and required to installed with new-builds and renovations.

Equally, as they seem to dig our road up four times a year, maybe the various authorities who get excited about such box-ticking efforts might like to ponder light(er) tarmac too?

And all farmers could be required to grow only year-round, light-foliage crops? Is an all rape diet practical?

Telegraph - Obama's green guru calls for white roofs

Guardian - White roofs and 'cool' cars - Obama's US energy secretary gives Prince Charles tips on tackling climate change

One thing I do note in all this is that the press release on this 'gathering' of 'great minds' has been pretty much run as is by most of the MSM. Not too encouraging on the calibre of science reporting and scrutiny in this arena.


Dave said...

It strikes me as rather odd that when Bjorn Lomborg suggested the very same thing 18 months or so ago, he got a load of derision, scorn and contempt from the press. But, of course, he isn't a presidentially appointed 'green guru' is he?

Peter said...

In the highly polarised world of climate 'debate', I fear that when high-profile reps from any perceived 'side' say anything, the default is to take the opposite view.

I am now starting to see this 'discussed' in some quite hi-falutin blogs, and the lack of appreciation of basic physics, enviROI and even geographical/climatic differences around the world is a worry.