Wednesday, July 21, 2010

White roofs

Interesting.

Since he took over as energy secretary last year, Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics, has urged Americans to help cool the planet by painting their roofs a lighter color that reflects sunlight.

“When you’re thinking of putting on a new roof, make it white,” Dr. Chu told Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” audience in 2009. “It costs no more to make it white than to make it black.”

Now he is following his own advice: on Monday, Dr. Chu directed all Energy Department offices to install white roofs during new construction, when replacing old roofs and wherever an installation is cost-effective over the lifetime of the roof. The secretary urged other federal agencies to follow suit.

“Cool roofs are one of the quickest and lowest-cost ways we can reduce our global carbon emissions and begin the hard work of slowing climate change,” he said in a statement.