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Paint The World White Essay

1346 words - 6 pages

Global Warming is a serious problem affecting everyone. The earth’s temperature increases, the ice melts and therefore the sea level rises. Lately, increases in natural disasters are causing more damage and devastating millions of victims and scientist predict that Global Warming may be the cause. What causes global warming is a build-up in greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitrous oxide and methane; which contributes to the ‘greenhouse effect’. This effect is when the sun rays come through the atmosphere, but then the heat is trapped in the atmosphere, by these gasses. However, without these gasses the earth would not be able to sustain life as it would be freezing, ...view middle of the document...

The main concept of his idea is that white coloured surfaces would reflect back 80% of the visible radiation back into space, instead of only 20% on darker surfaces. (Green Packs, 2009) Such measures aim to increase the earth’s Albedo.
The earth’s ‘Albedo’ has a powerful effect on climate. When the planet’s Albedo/reflectivity increases, more incoming sunlight is reflected back into space. Snow and ice have a high Albedo rate, so when they melt, the earth’s reflectivity or Albedo lowers. Therefore a drop in Albedo warms the planet. (Cook J, 2009)
‘Painting the World White’ would have a positive impact on the environment. It has been calculated that, changing the surface colours of the world’s top 100 largest cities would offset 44 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. It’s a slow process but if everyone in the world painted their roof white it could add up to the equivalent of everyone taking their car off the road for eleven years!
In addition to this white surfaces ensure lower temperatures. So there would be a cut down in energy consumption, as air conditioning would not be turned on as often; therefore less electrical pollution is being sent into the air. ‘Home cool, therefore the earths cool’ (Professor Chu, 2010)
However, paints contain many chemicals and compounds that are bad for the environment and may cause a threat to humans. Fortunately non-toxic paints have been created and work just as well.
There are many positives for people who choose to paint their roofs and cars white. Society in hot regions would be most benefited as there would be a great reduction in air conditioning bills. Simultaneously a white roof cost no more than a traditional dark roof and California has already made it a law to make all flat roofs a lighter colour.
Despite, money saving positives; painting the world white would be a nuisance for society. Shouldn’t the world paint their roofs black in winter to attain as much energy from the sun thus reduce energy consumption and cut down in heating bills? So paint the world white in summer and black in winter! Therefore, if society painted their roofs white, money would be saved in summer but heating bills would increase in winter!
Furthermore ‘painting the world white’ would have a serious effect on the general public. Too light of a colour reflects more sunlight and creates a stronger glare; It would be irritant for motorists as the lighter coloured roads would have a stronger glare and streets filled with white sloped roof houses would blaze under the sun. However it has been noted that other colours such as grey will reflect sunlight as well, but reduce the glare. (Adam D, 2009)
Global warming is becoming a reality fast; the world needs to accelerate on plans to reduce global warming soon before it’s too late. Professor Chu believes it is as simple as ‘painting the world white’. It would reflect back 80% of the sun’s heat instead of absorbing up to 90% on darker surfaces where it...

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