PBS: Whitest of White Paint Might Cool Buildings, and Even the Planet

October 22, 2021

9 Responses to “PBS: Whitest of White Paint Might Cool Buildings, and Even the Planet”

  1. Anthony William O'brien Says:

    Barite in paint is not new, it has been used a a filler and a whitener. In this paint they are specifically looking as using a wider variety of sizes of barite particles to get greater reflectivity.
    http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/materials/whitest-paint-09570.html

    Some of the titanium whites get into the 90% plus reflectivity. ??up to 97%.

  2. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    Rocks were painted in Peru (?) some years ago to slow the melting of a (water supply) glacier. Dunno if it was successful.

  3. indy222 Says:

    I wonder how expensive it will be at climate-significant scales. Barium doesn’t sound like a particularly common chemical element.

  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I rolled my eyes when the reporter used the line “eliminate air-conditioning”. It’s just the sort of overhyped phrasing the Gotchas use to undermine any good news. The value in whiter paints (even the old-fashioned kind), is to reduce heat and reduce the need for A/C.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wrap my house in aluminum foil….

    • jimbills Says:

      Depends where. It’s impossible to imagine it in Texas, when in summer the temp outside in the middle of the night is often in the 80s, but for a marginal place that only needs A/C one month a year, I could definitely see this as a legitimate statement.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        I suppose it didn’t seem like such a goofy thing to say in West Lafayette, Indiana where the temps hitting 90°F is a “hot” day (in 2021).

  5. J4Zonian Says:

    There’s a lot of sense in making things white, but this is complete nonsense. The only ways to stop climate catastrophe are:

    Replacing fossil fuels with efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe renewable energy.

    Replacing chemical industrial agriculture with small scale low meat organic permaculture.

    Replacing industrial GHGs with other, non-GHG substances or other processes.

    Replacing destructive industrial processes and substances with benign, closed-loop, biomimicing ones.

    If we don’t do those 4 things as fast as humanly possible, nothing else will matter.

    • jimbills Says:

      Re-watched the video, because I thought you were OCD over-reacting (you seem to be on a bender about that lately, and you’re playing fast and loose with your thumbs). Judy Woodruff only says “could help”, not “stop”, but the inventor does indeed claim his paint will solve climate change (0:50).

      Funny – I passed over that statement on the first view. People are saying sheet like that all the time. It’s become meaningless to me.

      Still, this is a positive tech. If (big if) it could be brought to scale, and if (a much bigger if) it was adopted broadly, it would reduce energy use considerably. Even used at small amounts, it’s still a positive. Stopping climate change by itself is complete nonsense, though.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I’m getting to the point where artificial cooling (the dreaded “geoengineering”) looks like it’s worth the risk. Of course, cooling the Earth to counter the greenhouse effect without reducing CO2 will just accelerate the acidification of the oceans, but the warming is doing far more damage.

      I’m also getting to the point where I want to kidnap the CEOs of all of the coal and oil companies and their bought politicians and put them into a deep dark dungeon.


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