Friday, February 20, 2009

Hashem Akbari's cool anti-global-warming plan

February 20, 2009 - If Hashem Akbari's plan to stave off global warming is realized, it will come one rooftop at a time.
Akbari, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a group of fellow geoengineers who are trying to counter the effects of climate change, have developed a relatively simple idea to offset carbon emissions and cool the Earth's urban surfaces: Make all rooftops and paved surfaces white.

Or at the very least, convert them to cool gray colors to reflect the sun's rays, instead of attracting and absorbing heat.

"We won't be solving the problem of global warming, by any means," Akbari said, "but we will be buying ourselves a little bit of breathing time."

Akbari, 59, who has published several papers and studies on the cooling effects of white surfaces, is hoping to launch a 100 Cool Cities program in which the hottest urban municipalities internationally would convert government-owned buildings to white roofs and offer homeowners incentives to make the switch.

"There are billions of roofs out there we'd have to change," Akbari said inside his office at the Lawrence Berkeley campus, beneath a roof that converted two years ago at Akbari's suggestion. "So this cannot be purely an informational program. This would have to be an action program, where the entire world organizes under one winning flag." More >>>