Get out the white paint

I want to assure conservative readers that this letter, although it deals with global warming, is not another liberal rant and that you can safely read it without being exposed to any idea which challenges your world view. However, I will describe a new idea, new at least to me because I never heard of it before talking to Darrell, the contractor who is doing working on my house. I call it “Darrell’s Idea,” and offer it as a partial solution to global warming, and I promise conservatives that, even with a limited tolerance for science, you can understand it.

First, I want to congratulate conservatives on winning the global warming war. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement effectively squelched any kind of a global commitment to reduce greenhouse gasses because other countries are not going to make any effort if the world’s number two emitter, America, has jumped ship. Trump’s appointments of slugs like Pruitt to dismantle the EPA and repeal all the Obama-era environmental regulations are just additional nails in the coffin. Therefore, the effort to keep average global temperatures from rising less than 2 degrees C. by 2100 will fail and scientists’ direst predictions, that temperatures could rise double that and render the planet uninhabitable by humans, will probably come true. So, good going conservatives.

Darrell and I were discussing these matters and I explained how global warming has two major causes, one, the human and also natural production of greenhouse gasses which trap heat, and the other the diminishing ability of the planet’s surface to reflect the sun’s heat back into space with the prime example being the melting arctic ice which is causing less white reflective surface and more dark (the ocean) absorbing surface. Darrell then said, “Then the world needs more white, reflective surfaces. All roofs, vehicles and concrete surfaces should be white.”

I’m not competent to evaluate a program implementing this idea at the national or global level, but an additional one or two million square miles of white, reflective surface would surely reduce global warming (P.S. Just read that Ahmedabad, India, has ordered its roofs to be painted white). As a bonus for conservatives, the program could be promoted by the slogan (no drooling): “White is right,” making Darrell’s idea a win-win since humans would still probably be headed for extinction. Think of it as a toasty “rapture” for the grandchildren.

Patrick Radcliff

Vienna

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