Near the end of May, President Obama’s Energy Secretary (a highly decorated physicist by the name of Stephen Chu) publicly stated that painting all building rooftops white would produce a benefit to the environment equivalent to removing every single car in the world from the roads for eleven years.
This proposal banks on elementary physics, as the albedo of a dark object is far less than that of a white object, and will thus result in the lighter colored surface absorbing less heat energy from the sun. My father’s business converted to a white rooftop a few years ago, and experienced substantial energy savings during the summer. Because the building absorded less heat, the AC units were not taxed as greatly.
I support encouraging people and businesses to make the transition, for no other reason than energy conservation (I’m not worried about “Global Warming”). Such gentle persuasion should take place through the mechanism of tax breaks or benefits, but I disagree with Chu’s assertion that we should “make people paint their roofs white”. Chu’s willingness to use government force in areas of life like one’s choice of rooftop color reflects a disturbing trend toward micromanaging individual civilians. It is a trend that is socialist, entrenched in both parties (though perhaps moreso among Democrats), and extremely dangerous. It can lead to the death of liberty, if allowed to continue.