Paint Andes White to Cool Earth

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Paint Andes white to cool earth, claims Eduardo Gold, as reported in an article in the Telegraph, 28 June 2010. Eduardo Gold, assisted by people from the Peruvian village of Licapa have started painting three mountain peaks in the Andes white so they will reflect sunlight back into space to help prevent global warming and slow the melting of glaciers. So far they have completed two hectares (4.9 acres) on Chalon Sombrero peak and plan to cover a total 70 hectares (173 acres). Gold explained his reasons for the project: “A white surface reflects the sun's rays back through the atmosphere and into space, in doing so it cools the area around it too. In effect it creates a micro-climate, so we can say that the cold generates more cold, just as heat generates more heat.”

The paint is “an environmentally-friendly mix” of lime, industrial egg white and water. The project is funded by a 135,000 British Pound prize won by Eduardo Gold in a World Bank competition named “100 Ideas to Save the Planet”. Gold has convinced local people that painting the mountain peaks white will reverse the effects of loss of glaciers. Pablo Parco Palomino claimed "All the peaks here should be painted in this way. That way there would be as much water as there was before the glacier disappeared, and that would mean more pasture to support more livestock." However, Antonio Brack, Peru's Environment Minister, says "It's nonsense" and told the World Bank that its funding would be better spent on other "projects which would have more impact in mitigating climate change."


Editorial Comment: There is a grain of truth in the idea that white surfaces can reflect sunlight back into space, but it will take more than a few hectares of white paint to make any difference. A better way to achieve this is the method built in by the Creator – changing the amount and type of water cover. Altering this is something we cannot do.

Antonio Brack is right – World Bank money would be better spent on things we were given dominion over, such as good farming practices, and better water management. (Ref. climate, South America, environmentalism)

Evidence News 25 Aug 2010