What is the White Square initiative?

Svante Arrhenius was the first scientist to postulate that human activity could effect Earths Temperature trajectory.

   

     The intent of the initiative is to describe the mechanisms that drive Earths temperature trajectory, and to show how we humans can effect change. The IPCC maintains that we must hold warming below a 1.5 degree Fahrenheit threshold. They declare the reduction of CO2 is the only way to achieve that goal, however, they omit the fact that there is another road to achieving even better results...

     Reducing CO2 is a good idea, the initiative supports it. But to achieve a 1.5 degree cap in temperature increase we will have to concern ourselves with more than just emissions. Here is where the IPCC and the White Square Initiative part company.

     Infrared energy emitted from the surface of the Earth can be moderated quite easily by increasing the Earths Albedo. Many coastal Greek towns already use colors to reflect sunlight to promote cooling. The White Square Initiative's claim is that without attention to Albedo, CO2 reduction efforts are a half-measure. This fact exposes the true political nature of climate agreements.

What is Greenhouse effect?

Courtesy of Science clarified.

    Greenhouse effect is a relationship between energy and molecules. The sun shines on the Earth, and some of that energy is re-emitted by the surface as Infrared energy. (Stefan-Boltzmann law) The Infrared energy escapes to space, but on its way out it activates molecules (CO2) in the atmosphere. The activated molecules down-well some of the infrared energy back to the surface where we get to enjoy it. Humans fear that our CO2 emissions will increase this down-welling of energy, resulting in Global warming (climate change). The White square initiative gets around this problem by ignoring the role of CO2 altogether.

How does it work?

Continents covered in white squares.

     Imagine if every-single-one of the 500 million (or so) residents of North America created a white square 1 Meter by 1 Meter, and placed it outside. We would instantly be making 500 million square meters of simulated snow that would be visible from space! And this is the point.

     By increasing the brightness of the Earths surface we reflect more sunlight into space. The Earths cooling would begin in earnest. Now imagine we promote even more white surfaces, and expand our initiative to include public spaces like parking lots, and roadways.

     How many white squares can you fit in your yard? With the White Squares in place, the Earth would look like it had year round snow! There is no question it would promote cooling.

Why do we not hear of this solution?

    Albedo increase cannot be politicized so media outlets cannot produce "Shock value". Some people claim attempts to moderate Albedo (Geoengineering), will just let Oil companies off the hook. However, no exploration or exploitation of resources is needed to make the White Square Initiative happen.

     The White Square Initiative is too boring for media. Not profitable enough for oil companies, or loud enough for Politicians.

Will it work?

    Climate scientists say melting ice contributes to Climate change because less sunlight is reflected back to space after the ice is gone. They even suggest a solution. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/scientists-refreeze-arctic-1.3980429

Wouldn't it be easier for each of us to make our own white squares?

What is the downside?

     Popular media has failed to communicate to the public that increasing albedo will most certainly have a cooling effect. They are laser focused on the CO2 issue. This needs to change for the White Square Initiative to become accepted.

    

Conclusion.

"Where's the Albedo?"

     Climate agreements are entirely disingenuous. A complete and comprehensive agreement that genuinely wants to reduce the temperature of the Earth MUST have an Albedo component. It is entirely possible that continued efforts to reduce CO2 could be thwarted by Albedo heading in the wrong direction. We need to support our emission reduction efforts with an eye to albedo increase to ensure we are not wasting our time and money.

     The good news...the power of our individual actions can make the change we seek. We can lower the temperature of the planet easily. Increasing the Albedo around you is one way to make that change.

     Join the White Square Initiative today! Wink