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The Green Life: Painting the Town White

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May 28, 2009

Painting the Town White

Other white houseThe newest revolution in the fight against global warming could be as simple as a brush and a bucket of paint. Energy Secretary and Nobel laureate Steven Chu  recommends painting flat roofs of homes and corporate buildings a heat-reflecting white. Making roads and roofs a paler color could have the equivalent effect of taking every car in the world off the road for 11 years, Chu said.

The light color favored by villages in southern Europe and northern Africa would enable buildings to stay cooler, use less energy for air-conditioning, and reflect enough sunlight to delay some of the effects of global warming.

Not a huge fan of white? Scientists have developed other colors that contain pigments that reflect the invisible, near-infrared radiation responsible for more than half of sunlight's energy.

--Jordana Fyne

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