What is the White Square initiative?
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 says that we must hold warming below a 2 degree Fahrenheit threshold, and they declare the reduction of CO2 emissions is the only way to achieve that goal. They completely ignore the fact that there is another road to achieving the same result. Reducing CO2 is a good idea, the initiative supports it, but to achieve a 2 degree cap in temperature we will have to concern ourselves with more than just emissions.
Infrared energy emitted from the surface of the Earth can be moderated quite easily by increasing Albedo. Many coastal Greek towns already use colors to reflect sunlight to promote cooling. This initiative seeks to communicate 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?
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. 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?
Imagine if every one of the 500 million residents of North America made a white square 1 Meter by 1 Meter, and placed it outside. We would instantly be making 500 million square meters of simulated snow. You would be able to see it from space! And that 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 squares can you fit in your yard? Our continent would look like it had year round snow! There is no question it would promote cooling.
Why don't we hear about this from politicians or media?
Albedo increase cannot be taxed or politicized. There is no requirement for funding. No exploration or exploitation of resources is needed. No person has to give up freedom, no animals need suffer, and no harm will come to the environment. In short, it is too boring for media and not profitable enough for the 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.
It does not matter what a white square is made of, it just needs to be white. You can paint your driveway white if you like. It also does not matter where the white square is located. California or Bangladesh will do. They can be placed anywhere on the Earth. There are no pumps or solar panels required for the White Square initiative. White squares do not require an engineer, climate scientist, or architect. White squares can be made by nurses, accountants, and dock workers. White squares can be promoted by schools, integrated into society, and placed in open spaces to brighten the mood.
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!