Steven Chu, the 1997 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics Winner and current US energy secretary under Obama, wants to paint all roofs white. He also wants to spread knowledge about energy efficiency to developing countries by open source code.
Open source is very useful, but whoever holds a patent holds the power because they have the money. Think of what would happen if the US or maybe Russia published a guide online, howtobuildyourownnuke.com. Freedom is relative.
When it comes to painting roofs white. A lot of people are rightfully confused about the climate change debate. Is it happening or is it not, and what is happening and what do humans have to do with it? Let’s try a brief summary.
Temperature fluctuates naturally because of the sun’s cycles, the Earth’s cyclic proximity of the sun and things like the concentration of certain gases in the athmosphere.
The amount of cattle and oil-consuming artifacts are unnatural, therefore we have a human-induced increase in greenhouse gases. The increase is tiny and can only change the temperature on Earth by the tiny, little amount. However, a tiny, little increase in temperature is enough to kill a mammal. It won’t kill bacteria who can survive changes of hundreds of degrees Celsius, but humans can die if they are 5 degrees too warm.
Therefore, even the tiny impact humans have on the Earth is enough to stir things up. In time a different climate is just an opportunity for evolution to trade species, but evolution is slow.
Painting all human buildings white also has a minute impact on the amount of heat absorbed by the earth. In comparion, freezing all the oceans to white reflective ice would have a huge impact. But white roofs could still be enough to counter the oil and meat consumption on earth and balance the temperature. It’s also possible to extract methane and carbondioxide straight out of the air, making it into oil och whatever you like. Just by planting a tree or putting a few algae in the sea you can absord carbondioxide from the athmosphere. Balance is the only important factor.
What’s left is of course all the other impacts on nature, like turning all biotopes into human farmland and exterminating hordes of species or burning oil and releasing nitrogen into the air, producing acids that rain down and kill all life in lakes.