Thursday, May 28, 2009

I See A Black Roof And I Want To Paint It White

No, it's not Hillbilly Mom's garage band, Mommy's Got A Headache, mangling Paint It Black. It's the dream of the U.S. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu. Not so much HIS dream as the dream of the Obama administration. Whoever that is. Wouldn't Steven Chu himself be one of the Obama administration? But let's move on, there's no time for splitting hairs.

I am confused. Painting the roofs and roadways white would reflect light waves (and thus heat energy) back into the atmosphere instead of absorbing it at the Earth's surface. But there's one little problem. Once reflected, the wavelength of the light energy is longer than the wavelength of the light energy when it arrived here as sunlight. That means that the longer wavelengths can't pass back through the atmosphere easily, like the short-wavelengthed sunlight slipped through. It's trapped. Ever hear of a little thingy called the Greenhouse Effect? Yep. We can reflect that heat energy until the cows come home to their white-roofed barns, plodding down their white-paved roads, and we are not actually making the Earth any cooler. Unless you think white roofs and white roads look cool. We would not be reflecting that heat energy out into space, but only up to the atmosphere, where in a manner of speaking it bounces back to the surface of Earth to be reflected again, much like throwing a superball as hard as you can against the wall of a small room. It bounces back and forth until the energy dissipates. Meanwhile, more sunlight is streaming through the atmosphere every second, and being reflected over and over.

How is this going to make the Earth cooler, people? How? The roads would still reflect that heat into the cars. Houses? They should have attic insulation already, shouldn't they? This wouldn't be much of an effect on their air conditioning usage, and it would probably be offset by the homes in colder climates that would use a bit more energy for heating in the winter.

And what about that energy needed to manufacture all that paint and ship it and painters driving to each house and road to paint them? What about all of those emissions that will enter the atmosphere during the implementations of this plan? Won't they just make more of the greenhouse gases that are holding in the heat?

I'm not getting it.

1 comment:

DeadpanAnn said...

BUt think of the jobs it will create. If by job you mean temporary employment and by create you mean not really create but just cause to be available for a short time.

Presbo doesn't worry himself with things like MAKING SENSE. As long as he pretends to think he's doing some good, his liberal media will have plenty of b.s. to shovel at us. It serves its purpose because it distracts us from more important things, like the fact that we're about to start the freakin' armageddon war with N. Korea and Iran.