Steven Chu has a geo-engineering proposal that won't backfire horribly.
The thing is, secretary Chu actually understated the potential benefits of global whitewashing. The Lawrence research he refers to (which we wrote about last fall) says that white roofs and pavements could mean a one-time reduction of 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide. That, Art Rosenfeld said, translates to removing all the cars in the world for 18 years.
Of course, that’s the best-case scenario. Most roofs are sloped, not flat. Using “cool colored” paint on sloping roofs—as California will require starting this summer—would lead to a global reduction on the order of 24 billion tons.