LA Painting Streets White to Prevent Global Warming

Guest essay by Eric Worrall


Officials in Los Angeles are painting streets white to reduce the effect of urban “heat islands.” Photo: Los Angeles Street Services

Los Angeles is spending $40,000 per mile painting asphalt streets white to try to prevent global warming.

Los Angeles painting city streets white in bid to combat climate change

By Travis Fedschun | Fox News

California officials are hoping their latest attempt to stem the rising tides of climate change leads to a more socially conscious — and cooler — summer.

Officials in Los Angeles have been painting streets white to reduce the effect of urban “heat islands” and combat the effects of climate change.

The LA Street Services began rolling out the project last May, which preliminary testing shows has reduced the temperature of roadways by up to 10 degrees. The project involves applying a light gray coating of the product CoolSeal, made by the company GuardTop.

While each coasting could can last up to seven years, they are also pricey, with the estimated cost of $40,000 per mile, the L.A. Daily News reported.

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Outsiders might be tempted to suggest that Los Angeles has more pressing problems than the color of their streets, such as soaring rates of homelessness, drug abuse, crime and financial distress for poor people.

Obviously we outsiders have got it all wrong – the solution to Los Angeles’ horrendous social problems is taxpayer funded truck loads of white paint.

327 thoughts on “LA Painting Streets White to Prevent Global Warming

      • Sounds like they’re spending $40,000 per mile to create the perfect canvas for their rampant gang graffiti artists. Any bets on how long it takes for the first tagging to happen?

      • It’s what you call a whitewash. Still, they’re a couple of weeks late for April Fool’s Day.

    • Now the global warming fanatics are white washing the streets, to save us all from mythical anthropogenic global warming.
      A modern Mark Twain tale of juvenile guile? No – pathetic, beyond surrealism reality.

      • 3×2 – they will refer to it as the Dark Green Ages or the New Mediaevel Warming Period.
        This exercise basically proves that it is not CO2 that is causing the thermometers to read higher, it is all the gazillions of tonnes of bloody concrete and asphalt we have accumulated over the past century or so in particular and did not bother to move the bloody thermometers. The ‘climate scientists’ have been measuing HUHI !!
        Only in California (or South Australia).

      • It’s at the point where I’ve stopped making sarcastic jokes about what eco-loons will do next, because if one person can think of it, the marching brooms will do it.

    • Just follow my thinking for a moment.
      6500 Miles of road….
      229 days a year (21 rainy weekdays subtracted as bad for painting).
      7 Years between coats.
      (6500/7)/229=4 Miles of road need to be painted or repainted everyday, in order to maintain this.
      Cost $160000 for paint alone… Imagine the paint being the cheapest part of this…
      But, I could not resist this…. City of L.A. is home to about 1.3M cars. which, if I use 19′ per car covers about 4670 miles (one lane of course). Would assuming that all roads in Los Angeles are four lanes minimum… so maybe one quarter of all roads covered in cars, at all times? OK… I’m just kidding… probably way more than that… Traffic.
      I love the photo. Part of the paint already in the shade of a tree… Plus 35 days of rain that is part of about 80 days overcast… And shade from buildings… and parked cars. And streets worn dark. So much of it will be missing, covered or shaded, that the expense seems destined to be a political liability.
      What is the point of this paint? For that Money spent every day, plus labor and equipment, four miles of road blocked off (Towing all cars that didn’t move), cleaning, repairing, painting and restriping. This is all a fools errand.

      • – And more to-the-point:
        Painted asphalt has much less traction than the normal, unpainted stuff; they better hope “it never rains in Southern California”, because if it rains in L.A., they’re in for some doozalicious traffic pile-ups on those painted streets!
        But of course, Seattle doesn’t salt icy streets to prevent saltwater run-off into the (saltwater) ocean, and they don’t seem to mind all the traffic accidents that result… Youtube’s your friend!

      • Maybe they could also require tyre manufacturers to make white tyres so the streets are not marked up requiring their repainting more frequently?
        You know it makes sense because white tyres matter.
        Apologies for my Australian spelling of tyres and also for the state of nibs of anyone who takes this idea seriously.

      • the paint will wear and particles of it will fill the gills of the little fishies when the storm sewer delivers it to the ocean and a whole new crisis of concern will blossom and feed on subsidy and grow fat and breed more bureaucracies!
        nobody thinks about the guppies!

    • They should make cheap (or better, free) white camping tents. This way, the economy decay will automatically generate more white surface on Earth and we have a feedback.

    • Here in Portland, OR, ‘skid row’ has been moved right up into the main street business districts.
      Businesses are literally beginning to vacate because the city won’t move the homeless camping (sleeping, defecating, urinating, pan-handling, etc.) right on their front doorsteps.

    • The urban heat island effect is due to the lack of evapotranspiration. Not sensible heat effects but due to the fact water vapor has a molecular weight of 18 while air is 29.change. Meaning no matter what the temperature, water vapor rises. And cools greatly.
      Dry convection, like that from concrete and asphalt concrete, is trivial in global energy balance. Painting roads white does nothing. Convection cells arising from such tomfoolerly only mix the lower troposphere because without the bouyant effects of water vapor, no heat transfer to the stratosphere can occurr.

      • “Painting roads white does nothing.”
        I don’t know, it wastes money and fools a lot of people, that’s something.

      • “Painting roads white does nothing”…well it doesn’t do much in the grand scheme of things, but UHI is not solely due to reduced evapotranspiration.

      • We’ll begin to see in 5 years time if it does nothing or if it offsets the effect of UHI in that area. There is an area of southern Spain, along the Mediterranean surrounding San Agustin, that is white from plastic shrouded greenhouses. This area is more than 1C cooler than adjacent areas.

      • I don’t know about asphalt but concrete is a porous material. Concrete floored basements can have issues with humidity and even mold. If the ground is wet, the concrete will be wet. And that is why they make concrete sealers.
        This is a study done by Frostburg State University on that very subject which covers the additional factor of specific heat of materials. That is important. I am a bit leery of the exact temperatures they report because they used an infrared thermometer. Infrared thermometers do not measure the actual temperature of a surface, they measure the emitted “heat” as it were. The actual temperature is derived based upon the emissivity of the surface. I wish they had used something else. Either way, they do a good job of defining the factors.

        • Mark:
          You make a good point re: infrared thermometers. These are used by satellites to measure global temperatures; but as you rightly say are they only measuring Heat Emission and, as far as I know they don’t really know what the Emissivity of the section they are measuring is.
          OK. They fine it down by looking just at the Oxygen molecules; but when these are right next to water molecules the temperature doesn’t really mean very much; as the phase changes taking place in water are at constant temperature so the relationship with radiation flux is compromised.
          No doubt they will have an answer for this; but I doubt we shall hear about it. Seems to me that water is the joker in the pack when it comes to the Greenhouse Effect and all that nonsense.

      • “Painting roads white does nothing.” Incorrect. Try walking across an asphalt paved parking lot, and then one that is concrete. There is a substantial difference in temperature.

    • Yes, it’s pretty amazing. Not only acknowledging it but acting like a negligible act on what they claim is a negligible warming effect is of significance. Sort of like two negatives make a positive.

    • We made some difference by replacing black, rock ballasted membrane flat roofs with white self-adhered roofs at the college where I was a facility operator. The top floor stayed signifigantly cooler.

      • It may have been cooler, but it also has the unintended side effect of creating added moisture penetration due to a lack of solar forced drying.
        Strange how you think you are clever, and nature has a way of ‘grading’ you on your efforts.
        Will the painted roads have a side effect?
        I certainly hope they have put enough grit in the paint to make it slip resistant when it rains – otherwise there may be law suits coming due to injury and death from vehicles sliding off the roads.

    • This is nothing but crony capitalism, The paint company is making a fortune at $40k per mile and the bet is that the lifetime of the paint is much less than stated, which means more paint, please.
      Idiots are fun because they have no idea that they are idiots. They are joyful in their delusions and gleefully go about their idiotic deeds. It will be fun to see them rationalize their behavior when it is pointed out that the planet is indeed cooling, well beyond their stupid efforts.

      • I forgot to mention the kickbacks probably involved, hidden as taxes and permits to do the painting.

      • No! Emphatically NO!
        These idiots are socialist democrats. They are practicing an determined form of crony socialism. The paint company is likely a large contributor to socialist democrat causes and is rewarded with this nonsensical contract to buy their paint at an inflated price, to paint the town white and thus ‘save the planet’. In return, the crony socialist paint company sends even more money back to elect more socialist democrats. It’s crony socialism, all the way down…..

      • It will be fun to see them rationalize their behavior when it is pointed out that the planet is indeed cooling, well beyond their stupid efforts.

        Do you think there might be some sandblasting to remove the paint when that sheets home? Or will there be a year or two of trying to take the credit? They’re melons, after all.

      • True – it probably will not have a measurable effect of atmospheric temperatures per se’ but remember a significant number of temperature measuring stations are close ground level and these stations may record lower temperatures in each locality.
        So of course this is what matters. 😉

  1. Mayor Garcetti is a much a panderer as his father, who blew the prosecution of the O.J. Simpson case. BTW, if there were such streets when I was a teenager, my friends would have had contests trying for burnouts and other skid marks.

    • Seven years? I wonder if it could last seven weeks. I bet even money. Seven months? Ten to one.

    • the kids out there will start “tagging” the streets immediately !! the white streets will be irresistible to the “graffiti artists” and end up a huge mess of horrible graffiti. sooooo vibrant.

      • Let’s see… Bidirectional multi-lane streets/roads with no clear lane markers. LA traffic is going to resemble YouTube videos of crazy Russian drivers.

      • I’m thinking white lane markers will have to be black, and yellow lines will have to go to orange or even red.

    • Ah, but the next law they pass will be that all cars must be electric and equipped with all white tires!

  2. “increasingly hotter heat waves.”
    Cali has truly lost it’s mind. Gotta wonder if this is a political payoff of some kind. It’s as least as stupid as the US ‘scrubbing of Havana’ in an effort to stop Yellow Fever. Massive waste of money better spent elsewhere. I think they’ be better served providing ‘free’ shelter or ‘free’ food or ‘free’ A/C to the LA poor – and it might cost less. I mean 40K/mile? how many miles of asphalt are there in LA? Thousands? The concept is staggering

    • I would suggest it’s more than just a political payoff! Somebody, somewhere is getting mighty rich off this little scam. If you read the specs for the paint, I’m guessing it costs more than $40K/mile after all the surface prep and topcoat stuff……and the fact that it doesn’t adhere well to oily surfaces. Does anybody have any figures on the reflected glare for drivers and the increase in reflected UV for pedestrians…..just saying!

    • In a white room, with black curtains, near the station.
      Black roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.

      • Well they do say the cream rises to the top, but unfortunately so does the scum.
        p.s. Ginger and lads were great, a pity they could not get on together but diacetyl morphine does have some effect.

      • The U.S. is a melting pot. The slag has risen to the top, and in many communities not enough people know it should be skimmed off and discarded.

  3. That’s so white. If I were a diversitist, this would be suspect… Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    • Hey, it made a difference in weather station white boxes, making a difference in whether Whitewash or Latex paint was used, and the small difference in measured temperatures after converting to the newer latex paint. In fact, this was in small part how the whole global warming hoax was ‘confirmed’ by casting a shadow on the actual temperature records. I still remember the day in 1992 when I got my first computer and the first sciencey article I downloaded (at 14.4 kbps) was about how some obscure meteorologist was making the claim that painting the weather station boxes with new latex paint changed the measured temperature slightly. That was the day I became a skeptic and started thinking for myself.

      • I think it was Anthony. I too read the pieces and became an immediate WUWTist. Been so ever since. At that time I was visiting Panama regularly. Hot as hell.I told local people that things might improve if they painted their roofs white. As time passed, on my visits I noticed more and more white roofs as the plane landed. People there told me that it worked. Thank you Anthony.

      • Earthling2
        That made me chuckle. I had far less noble uses for the internet until about 5 years ago when I wondered a little bit about the climate change story I had been sold, and had swallowed, hook line and sinker.
        Long story short, I smelled a rat when I asked questions on alarmist’s sites and was howled at. Dipped my toe into WUWT and my questions were welcomed. They weren’t clever questions, just day to day stuff like ‘why is CO2 bad?’ or perhaps ‘when will I be drowned by sea level rise?’
        I’m a layman, I need to know this stuff, but no one on WUWT condemned me for asking the questions, they actually gave me answers. Some complicated, some easy. But at least I got an answer rather than an insult.
        Since then I have learned a little, thought a lot, and in my own way, reached my own conclusion that AGW is a crock.
        I keep saying it, but thank you guys for helping me think this whole thing through in my own simple way.
        Lots more voters like me to convince, so keep it simple for the man in the street.

  4. Did they consult any actual scientists about what impact this choice will have on temperatures?

    • I’m pretty sure they didn’t even consult an urban traffic planner. The initial road glare will be far worse, but they’ll alleviate that by painting only shady streets .
      The white won’t stay white more than a week. It doesn’t rain in LA and they dare not waste precious water keeping these things clean. There is that pesky drought . So any benefit will never be realized, and BTW how the heck will they know if there is any effect whatsoever?
      Now the worst part is that painting will only make driving on these roads far more dangerous. Anyone who has ever driven around LA knows that the slipperiest parts of the roads are the painted crosswalks. They accumulate engine oils and other leakages. So in their wisdom, they will turn entire blocks into early morning dew caused slip-and-slides.
      Roof Tops? Now that is a different thing all together. There is huge benefits in A/C savings by putting white UV resistant vinyl roofing onto large flat topped structures. And, neither cars nor bums will be befouling the albedo. Dust and detritus is still an issue as it still doesn’t rain in LA (enough).

      • The more people that die in accidents the fewer people there are polluting and breathing out CO2. It is actually part of the plan.

      • I’ve found that dust hasn’t materially changed the temperature after pairing my traditional roof with hydrated lime – three years after initial application the sections painted are 30-40 F cooler than my neighbors roof, which I benchmarked at the same temperature (+- 5F across otherwise identical areas, which I take to be the variations in the experiment).
        That said, I also don’t have black rubber dragged across it all the time……

      • $billw1984
        The loss of population is already accounted for. They are stockpiling illegals to make up for the citizens that have called it quits on California and moved elsewhere. Failing that, they could [lose] congressional seats and federal funds.

      • Australia uses green paint for cycle lanes at intersections. Motorcyclists know that the paint is super slippery in wet weather. Even dry it’s very dangerous for motorcyclists.

      • More than once, while pulling away from a light or stop sign, I’ve felt the wheels spin a bit as I crossed over the white lines of the cross walk.

    • MarkW

      • Drat, I missed an exclamation mark!
        Another award winning post consigned to obscurity because of a mere detail!
        I hate society, it’s so unfair!
        Am I a minority group yet, can I stake my claim to painting my street purple with yellow spots.
        Another beer then.
        Nighty folks.

  5. Obviously it will do nothing about global warming, but it might have some local effects: To whit, smart attorneys will be able to class-action sue for increased incidence of skin cancer and macular degeneration as a result of higher ground-level UV light reflected from whitened surfaces.
    LA law will find their silver-lining, even without the cloud. Smart people.

    • Almost forgot, the city will have to put up sign that the road may contain carcengious chemicals. That stupid law that force Starbucks to put up the same sign also apply here.

    • Only a benefit for reducing heat loading into the underlying building and commensurate A/C energy reduction.

  6. It’s just pure dumb luck asphalt is dark. I mean it could’ve been white, right?

    • Um…no. Asphalt is tar (dark bituminous pitch) mixed with aggregate or sand.
      I’m sure we could devise a material made from crushed seashells mixed with a durable polyester resin to pave the roads, ….at an order of magnitude far more costly. In the northern climes they try to keep the white off the roads and the dark color helps.
      Put all the roads underground and plant grass and trees above them at ground level.
      Or, just raise ground level to be above the current roads ala Seattle.

      • Well then, tar could be white, right?
        Sorry, it was just a nonsense proto thought that waft through my head, it’s been a hard day. Garcetti is a pandering jerk. The post was just so LA. I grew up there, have to still go there.

      • Sometimes in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota they use pipestone, a type of pink granite as aggregate, and the resulting road is a nice light shade of pink.

  7. I visited canoga park rocketdyne in september 2001 (from ohio) and the parking lot was a furnace, i could barely touch the car after it sat in the sun, it was HOT HOT.

  8. That sounds like it would be more likely to work than a lot of the OTHER crap they’ve suggested. But why stop there? Change the building codes to require that all roofing materials needs to be white, or at least a light color? Perhaps a requirement that all roofing material must have an albedo of at least 0.7.

    • Where I live in rural Oz, roofs have to be dark(ish). White/shiny roofs apparently are a problem for airline pilots, but in any case they are a driving hazard at times and can be somewhat unaesthetic [a word unknown to planners in Oz]. Or maybe there were bureaucrats with nothing else to do – like in LA, but less obvious.

      • White roofs waaaay down there on the ground…those tiny dots, are a problem for airline pilots on the most sun baked mostly desert continent on the planet?

      • Not all airlines travel at 30000 feet. Domestic routes may use smaller planes with a lower flight ceiling. Plus private aircraft, freight couriers, etc.

      • Most airports are near cities. Planes landing and taking off would be just a few thousand feet up.

    • I spent 13 months on Guam in the early ’70s. The roads were made from crushed coral. When it rained they were slipperier than snot on ice. And they were white. With a full moon, you didn’t need any headlights to see the road. Of course you may not see that coconut crab in the road.

  9. Los Angeles paints streets white to stay cool
    By David ShultzSep. 7, 2017 , 5:00 PM
    Los Angeles, California, in the summertime can be, for lack of a better word, a hellscape. It is the quintessential smog-laden, traffic-jammed, heat island, but a new initiative from Mayor Eric Garcetti aims to help cool the city by 1.67°C over the next 20 years. Part of the plan, Popular Science reports, is to paint over many of the city’s black roads with a reflective white coating called CoolSeal originally designed by the military to keep spy planes cool and hide them from satellite infrared cameras. Adding the coating to a patch of black asphalt can keep the area up to 5.55°C cooler, a difference that could prove vital as global temperatures continue to increase.
    Why not just paint CO2 white?
    Better yet… Mix CoolSeal into gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas… 👍👍

    • Because we are facing 5.55°C temperature increases in the next seven years…
      …like the paint would last that long anyway.

  10. What’s the toxicity of the paint? I mean, it’s going to start chipping and wearing down, and when it rains the debris will get carried away into sewers and eventually the ocean and rivers. Also, what effect will the reflected light have on skin? What about driving?
    Did anyone ask any questions before L.A. burned this hole in their pocket? Or did the word “Yes” tremble through the echo chambers of L.A.’s city hall after the proposal came up for a vote?

  11. Tucson spent a bundle of $$$ to paint a rainbow crosswalk to show solidarity with the LGBTQERTY crowd. It was obliterated in short order by the rubber from car tires. Haven’t any of these people watched NASCAR tracks get blacker and blacker during races? This has to rank up there with paving streets with solar panels. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

  12. Given that most painted markings on traffic lanes, stop signs and pedestrian crossings in LA have already been largely obliterated with the effluxion of time and traffic, there is indeed a serious need for lots of paint. But painting the entire roadway white is simply nuts, if only for the glare that it will produce.

  13. This could make some folks’ lives a little more bearable. Those without airconditioning would probably be grateful for any reduction in the summer heat.

    • Except it will reflect the heat at their homes, depending on the angle and the time of day.
      Hmmm….how will trees react to it being reflected to the underside of their leaves?
      (That’s a question. I don’t know. There must be a study somewhere about that…or didn’t LA have to do an environmental impact study before going forward with this?)

  14. Oh, we’re painting the roses red! We’re painting the roses red!
    Recognize that? Alice in Wonderland.

    • Oh, we’re painting the streets white! We’re painting the streets white! Recognize that? Eric in LaLaLand. Unfortunately, only one of these stories is a fairy tale.

    • Perhaps just a whiter shade of pale.
      [Buy the five gallon bucket, and you get a wider pail of shade. .mod]

  15. This truly is one of the stupidest things that I have ever heard.
    In my younger days, as a person who walked a lot, both for transportation and for recreation, I often raged about city planners’ use of very light colored concrete for some of the sidewalks here on the central East coast USA. Just an off white color is damn blinding. And Calilalaland is talking about WHITE?! What total idiots!
    I see sales of sunglasses spiking. They really do not get what they are about to do, in terms of upsetting visual comfort.
    To say that they are blind would be both a dramatic characterization of their insight and a prediction of their future visual health.
    Los Angeles should be declared an official intellectual wasteland.

    • Yes, this is a big art project that marginalizes all people of color in its choice of symbolic meaning. It sends the message that people of color cause problems that threaten humanity as a whole.
      But carrying this a step further, insisting that a black-body radiation law says anything useful about the warming of Earth by its atmosphere is equally racist. Why a black body? Is nature biased towards white people, when it comes to the mathematics of explaining the “greenhouse effect”. Oh, and isn’t the “greenhouse effect” awfully favorable towards the color green? — what’s that supposed to symbolize? — the Irish are somehow more hot tempered or something?
      We need to change the name of white paint to something else, … like “thermacure”. And “black body” needs to be changed to something like “universal body” or “gender-race-neutral body”.

      • Ah, but white is a conglomeration of all the colours of the rainbow, so how can it be racist? It is far too dazzling in heat though.
        BTW, this description of ‘people of colour’ always puzzles me; the entire human race is coloured some sort of colour, surely? We are varied to suit the climates we’ve come from.

      • If you’re not a corpse and don’t have tuberculosis or albinism, you’re a person of color. ;|

  16. If they gotta seal-coat anyway then it is just upping the cost from asphalt seal coat to grey stuff.
    But note that the grey stuff is for light traffic areas only. Also note that the manufacturer of the grey stuff recommends about 30 gallons per 1,000 s.f. (or 4,400 gallons per typical street mile). If it lasts 10 years (not!) that’s 1 gallon/ year/10 feet of street that goes down the drains.
    They are probably doing a test area, hyping it, and will decide it costs to much.

    • DonM

      But note that the grey stuff is for light traffic areas only. Also note that the manufacturer of the grey stuff recommends about 30 gallons per 1,000 s.f. (or 4,400 gallons per typical street mile). If it lasts 10 years (not!) that’s 1 gallon/ year/10 feet of street that goes down the drains.

      Hope the white stuff, the gray stuff, and the black street painting “stuff” are not made from hydro-carbons, do not emit volatile hydrocarbons as they cure, and are shipped, applied, and stored completely hydro-carbon free.
      Now, southern California is (relatively) snow-free (so far) inside the LA basin itself. But, what will be the percent increase in accidents when the coated streets are first subjected to rain and mud? Slick streets, falls, skidding WILL increase!
      What happens when the coatings get “filled up” with tire wear products, oil, and emission residue? Pollen, dust, Santa Ana grit, and salt spray from the westerly winds out near the beaches? There are reasons that “white concrete” does not stay white for long under regular traffic.

      • It (the grey stuff) is designed for light traffic (low use parking lot or playground … there are a few AC playgrounds still around).
        A street is not low use.
        Dig and we would find that the manufacturer will not honor the 12 year life guess for this type of use.
        Its a hype project that will stop after one test area. But in the interim the sweeping schedule for this street section will be altered (which may just make it fail faster).

  17. Most states traffic laws describe required driving techniques for colored stripping. Yellow will not contrast enough with white. White stripping obviously must be changed. More money for paint producers and headaches for traffic judges. I would think the glare would be hard on drivers eyes. They probably have to buy the paint from out of state to keep the high energy needed in production from making California CO2. It does seem like there are lots of negatives and and only minor speculative positives.

  18. “With its numerous streets and freeways, Los Angeles suffers from the “heat island” effect, which causes urban regions to become warmer than their rural surroundings, forming an “island” of higher temperatures.”
    Admission of heat island effect…

    • And since most of the “temperature stations” are IN those “heat islands,” the “warming” they’re supposedly measuring is thereby admitted to be unrelated to CO2 emissions.

  19. They’ll have to test to be sure the underside of the white paint layer doesn’t reflect IR radiation downward, making the painted street a greybody.

  20. “Cool pavements” and “cool roofs” would potentially cut the Los Angeles summer heat island by an estimated 1 to 2 degrees (depending on a lot of factors that vary day to day such as wind, sun angle, etc). But that 1 or 2 degrees is estimated to save quite a large amount of electricity when it comes to cooling requirements and cooling is the greatest climate control expense in LA.

    • There are many cheaper alternative for reducing AC costs. Investigate underground thermal heat exchangers. Rehau has a good brochure that shows quite well what’s involved.

      • Evaporative coolers are more energy efficient than traditional air conditioning, work just as well outdoors as in, and won’t suck the air in your room bone dry. The downsides are the higher initial expense and additional water consumption.

      • The problem with evaporative coolers is that when everybody uses them, the air is no longer dry.
        Las Vegas discovered that problem years ago.

  21. “‘…the estimated cost of $40,000 per mile…”‘
    I wonder how many pot holes they could fix at that price? How slippery is this paint going to be in the rain? Won’t they also have to paint the buildings that line the streets to get the full effect? I wonder how the home owner association Nazi’s will react to an all white scheme in their bailiwicks?

    • TiO2 is relatively abundant, harvested from black sands like rutile. Has an interesting extra property. Exposed to bacteria and sunlight (the UV spectrum portion) is a potent antimicrobial. Now, this may or may not be good for the biosphere. But amounts to geobiosphere engineering.

    • Yeah, so we breed up antimicrobial agent resistant microbes.
      Almost half of TiO2 comes from ilmenite. The sulfur and chloride conversion processes are both nasty.
      And think of all the hydrocarbons that go into making paint.

    • If it’s slip/skid resistant it’ll be high on the dirt-pick-up index.
      It won’t be white for long.
      Happy cleaning!
      Calastupidville . . .

  22. Not a durable,idea. The homeless urinating and defecating on them won’t keep the white, white.
    What to do?.. more white paint?

    • LA could set up sprinklers, misting seawater onto the streets, during the Sunniest hours.
      The evaporation would lower temps and remanant salt would add plenty of whiteness.
      Vehicles would reach end- of- life faster and be removed from the streets, ridding the city of legions of beaters and hordes of low- riders and si’ty- fo’s, while cutting down on evil air pollutants like CO (cough) 2. People would get more than enough of beach- like conditions and the beaches would become relatively deserted, freeing up hundreds of acres for building homeless hovels and voter registration kiosks.

      • Here we have a lot of salt sprinkled on to the roads with the purpose of getting rid of the white coating. Of course we also get rid of our cars much faster due to corrosion…. 🙁

  23. Not a durable,idea. The homeless urinating and defecating on them won’t keep the white, white.
    What to do?.. more white paint?

    • …at least they are admitting if you can counter GW with white paint….then it’s mostly UHI

    • Yes it does. Weathermans handbook says reduce the forecast by 5F if there is snow cover.
      Now if a few roads are painted white, reduce forecast by maybe 0.01F.

  24. Will they use a latex paint or calcium carbonate based whitewash? (if you are up on that, you were reading WUWT in the early days)

  25. I hope they put sand in it, or they don’t plan on driving in the rain.
    And on a positive note this will have a much larger impact on lowering temps than doubling co2 would increase them.

  26. OK, I gotta ask… What color will they paint the lane marker lines? Black? Will the guys at the city shop have to stop painting lines, clean out and change paint color every time they get to a stretch of this wonderful new roadway? Regardless, I predict a LOT of insurance claims (and law suits) arising from drivers forced to drive into a low sun angle at dawn or dusk. After all, one of the few distinctions LA still has is that it’s the home of some of the best ambulance chasers in the nation. not to mention juries that are famous for granting huge awards in accident/injury cases. The city council may find this out the hard way.

    • Actually you paint a slightly larger black patch then paint the white lines over that. That is how lanes are marked on the very light colored concrete pavements on Florida highways.

      • In some states that have a lot of concrete roadways in the south, they paint a separate stripe black right in front of or behind the white one.

  27. Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more effective to simply put up overhead shading. Everything would be cooler under the shade: cars, pedestrians, muggers, and the homeless.

    • You just need a sheltered pedestrian path. The temperature difference would be sufficient to make more difference than painting the road white.
      Or, you could plant some trees.
      Naaa, paint the road white, much more betta. It’s useful for nobody that way.

      • When you pour it out of a tanker truck, and spread it with a squeegee, is it still called painting?

  28. The Mad Queen from “Alice in Wonderland” ordering the gardeners to paint the white roses red, or it’s “Off with their heads!”

  29. I found one site that states that Los Angeles is responsible for 6700 miles of road. At $40,000 a mile that is well over a quarter billion dollars and they have to spend that every 7 years.

    • How is a road going to stay white or painted for seven years?
      That is a good amount of time for a house repaint.
      But houses do not have cars and trucks driving on them all the time, or dirt collecting on and in them.

  30. “I see a black road and I want it painted white
    No colors anymore, I want then to turn white
    I see the girls walk by dressed in their winter clothes
    I have to turn my head until their darkness goes.
    No more will my highways put out that UHI
    I could not foresee this thing with out asking why
    If I look hard enough into the setting sun
    My retinas will burn out before the painting’s done.”
    Sorry Keith and Mick.

    • I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky.
      Smog from all that solvent going into the air ought to do the trick.
      And trap a bunch of heat to boot!

  31. For the “Left” is not the color White a Racist Emblem! And now they embrace … White!
    Ha ha

  32. Which is the higher albedo effect I wonder. Should the government make it mandatory for people to shave their heads? Or force us to wear white hats? Millions of little heads walking around in the sun absorbing energy. Shocking!

  33. Just read the MSDS somebody linked above…

    Environmental precautions
    Prevent contamination of soil, surface water or groundwater
    This product contains one or more chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm

    Of course, almost everything useful has a Cal prop 65 warning about cancer and/or reproductive harm, but they seldom paint all the streets with it. Could get interesting.

  34. Now, does this LA politician understand how “albedo” actually works?
    A “white roof” does reflect the sun’s rays from the top of each building, and – for a given level of “clean” – a white roof will continue to reflect more energy than a black-gray-brown roof.
    IF – big “IF” there! – the year-round climate requires cooling (HVAC) almost all the year, then the owner/renter does save a limited amount of each year’s cooling electric bill.
    But …
    If the general climate requires heating part of the year, or if the building is not air conditioned at all (more common than office worker millenniums assume!) such as a manufacturing, warehouse, or repair (like auto repair or commercial fabrication), then there are NO savings during the heating season.
    In fact, a white roof INCREASES the heating energy required each winter.
    But remember, this is for a white ROOF. The energy refleted never reaches the ground. If all buildings around the “white roof” are near-equal in height, then no other building intercepts the reflected rays of sunlight, and no other building is “super-heated” above the “standard dirty brown roof” case.
    But assume you have the taller building, and are surrounded by herds of lower-level white roofs. Presto! You now have MORE sunlight into your windows, your walls, your building every hour of every summer day!
    “They” save energy, you pay more for every hour of air-conditioning every day the sun shines.
    But streets are (by definition) usually at ground level.
    A “white street” does reflect the sunlight from the exposed street. But it refelcts that sunlight not into the “air” above the city, but onto the perpendicular building walls and cars and windows and doors of every building near the street.
    Now, exact angle changes each minute of each hour. So, the street heats your building at 10:30 – 12:30 each n=morning, and somebody else’s building from 14:00 to 17:00 each afternoon. SO, your AC bill increases part of the day, your window lighting load increases, his increases at a different time.

    • Most office buildings produce enough heat inside them, that they have to keep the AC going, even as the outside temperatures get down into the 50s F.
      (The last time I saw figures was before the advent of LED lights and flat screen monitors.)
      Beyond that, in places where it gets really cold, the roofs are covered by snow most of the winter, so the actual color of the roof doesn’t matter. Additionally, during the cold season, there’s a lot less sunshine, so the color of the roof is less relevant.

  35. So will it make it less ‘hot’ or more ‘hot’ for the people? Where tarmac absorbs heat wouldn’t the paint just reflect it into their living space? Not being an “ist” I don’t know.

  36. Are we sure we’re not all stuck in an alternate dimension? Is there a way to prove you’re not actually in Purgatory?
    This is just blowing my mind for all the wrong reasons.

  37. Please stop the geoengineering spray over Southern California. LA has had brown skies at 30,000 feet every day for the last month.

    • Organic materials are the leading cause of smog.
      Paint is made from organic molecules, derived from oil.
      Smog traps heat and causes a lot of non-global warming.
      You will be quizzed on this later.

  38. On the plus side, maybe they are admitting that CO2 has been falsely accused, and the true cause of climate change is streets that are too dark. /sarc

  39. Simple. Just find out who owns the company that makes the paint or the contractor that got the job…then trace the link to the official who commissioned the job.

  40. The reflecting radiation from the white road surface will sunburn the underside of your arms.
    No conjecture.
    Decades ago, while skiing at Mt. Baker on the July long weekend.
    Hot enough to wear a T-shirt with bare arms. Topsides were tanned.
    Undersides not.

  41. What about snow blindness? It never rains in Southern California (allegedly). Does this mean that LA is going to pay for everyones Raybans? and medical costs especially taxis drivers and delivery people who work the road every day . . .

  42. Have you ever read a book out in the sunshine. The white page will give you an effect very much like snow blindness. I can just imagine trying to drive in bright white… poorly thought out and a waste of money.

  43. The identity politics, diversity bunch won’t like their streets painted the evermore distastful color white. Next they will be asking citizens to all dress in white. They may have to compromise with rainbow colours.

  44. Besides roadways they should paint all hard surfaces including roof tops and even solar panels. They will have better luck with this then with trying to reduce CO2 emmissions. Wit this approach, how many degrees of global cooling will result per dollar per year. How much energy is required to produce the paint, deliver the paint, and then apply the paint. The real problem is ro reduce the emmisivity of the ocean that borders LA. For that problem they have no solution.

  45. You think LA has problems with misuse of public finances! In the UK we have the “Climate Change Act” (CCA) under which billions of pounds annually of taxpayers’ money have to be re-distributed to fund numerous organisations which benefit from the CCA, provided they declare allegiance to the Climate Change Faith. Here[1] is just one taken at random from many.
    Bullet point #1 reads:
    “Global mean temperatures are increasing at rates unprecedented in human history, with human activity a major contributory factor through release of “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. This leads to both chronic and acute changes in weather patterns and an increase in extreme events such as droughts, floods and storms.”
    Further on: “[The Woodland Trust will] raise awareness of climate change, including through campaigning [and will] continue to work in partnership with relevant coalitions, such as The Climate Coalition, to ensure the benefits of, and the threats to, the UK’s trees and woodland are included and given adequate consideration in the wider climate narrative.”
    Separately, the UK National Trust and the Department of the Environment seek to create new area of actual swamp, such as by turning off the drainage pumps in the West of England, or demolishing sea defences, for the benefit of wading birds.
    While Trump is draining the swamp, May is creating it, both literally and metaphorically!
    [1] UK Woodland Trust: Position Statement on Climate Change.

  46. “The goal of these efforts are reducing the risk of heat-related deaths, to save energy by reducing air conditioning..”.

  47. I just looked it up: There are over 23,000 miles of roads in Los Angeles alone, and it is only one city among tens of thousands.
    At $44,000 per mile, that comes to well over $1,000,000,000, even if you round it down to 23,000 even.
    And how long will a road stay shiny and white? How long will paint even last on a travelled road?
    Is this a leftover April Fool’s day joke?
    Or maybe a “dig holes and fill them back in” jobs plan?
    Because it for darn sure aint gonna have no effect on the climate of the Earth.
    Which, by the way, there is nothing unusual going on with, except for some very unseasonable cold weather in large areas of North America, Asia, and Europe.
    Oh, and thickening ice over both poles.
    I have been trying to keep my done more polite, but seriously now…how the hell did these idiots get their entire skulls so far up inside their own rectums?

  48. Some more juicy tidbits from the “Man, you don’t never go full retard” department:
    Paint is made primarily from this substance.
    Do not forget to phrase your answer in the form of a question.
    And the follow up:
    This group of chemicals is the leading cause of heat trapping smog in smog laden Los Angeles.
    *Cue Double Jeopardy Music*

  49. If you make all Los Angeles businessmen wear white suits instead of black or charcoal, when they are outside, would they not be doing their bit for a cooler world? And require all cars to be white?

  50. Where’s all the titanium going to cone from for this TiO2 based paint? China? Russia?
    Part of the rationale I guess is the photo-catalysed removal of some pollutants like nitrates from the air by the TiO2.
    Note this same TiO2 was in the concrete that the Florida University bridge, for the same reason – “selfcleaning” and anti pollution. It also made the concrete weaker.

    • gray is white … cold is hot … weather is climate … solar power is cheap … CO2 is bad … fake data is good … GCMs are time-machines … penguins are rare … plastic shopping bags are satanic … oceans are actually acidic … crickets are yummy … 97% of ‘scientists’ agree … taxation will save the world … eating meat is evil … taking drugs is the answer … everyone needs three tatoos … hipsters are cool … hydroplanning on a painted wet road will not be a problem …

      • fairly accurate summary.
        I just wish it was just 5 line long, but the fact is, you could had written a whole book with such stuff, and still be short.

  51. The Coefficient of Friction (CoF) of LA roads will be changed for the worse by this coating & sun glare from the surface of the roads will be dangerously increased. Slippery roads in the wet & no white lane lines! Are lane marking paints manufactured in black? I’m very impressed with mental faculties the far sighted geniuses who came up with this idea. Motor insurers will certainly seek reimbursement from the city of LA for vehicle repairs & as for personal injury claims as a result of this “whitening” of the streets, the mind boggles. What will “Black lives matter” say & do about this obvious racially motivated stunt is anyone’s guess? Cof, Cof!!!!!!

    • Already done. Everybody noticed, except a few federal bodies.
      Next step: California (Republic of) secede from Kalifornia (People’s Democratic Republic of). Should be interesting.

  52. Let US hope that the bicycling community renews their caution that street paint is slippery, particularly when wet, while oily and wet after cleaning; – with precious water? No upside, all downside.
    There is no skin-in-the-game in SoCal.

  53. Anyone ever notice how slippery wet paint is? Asphalt is designed to maximise grip, particularly in the wet, for very important reasons.
    This should be ‘interesting’, in a horrific sort of way.

  54. So the road markings will need to be of a contrasting colour? Black or grey perhaps? It will be like driving on a great big strip of negative film.

  55. So have they investigated whether there’s any difference between using acrylic paint and whitewash? Can’t see it working too well in Oz because we have white lines on the road and the Road Traffic Act isn’t geared for black lines on white roads. ie no overtaking either way on double white lines, etc.

  56. What’s the friction coefficient of paint vs asphalt? I see a lot of additional accidents occuring in LA.

  57. This is all about the idiotic, virtue-signaling “We Are Still In” campaign, wherein cities, towns, organizations, and various and sundry useful fools “fight climate change” on their own, because Trump refuses to. It is sheer folly of course, and nothing but a waste of money, with likely negative side effects such as glare from the roadways blinding people, and causing accidents. Whatever UHI-lowering effects it has would require many $millions to have a noticeable effect, and the only possible benefit would be a bit more comfort being outside, and very slightly lowered costs of cooling. The cooling effect on the planet would be laughably tiny. But cost is no object to Warmunist morons.

  58. Instead of painting the roads white it would be far simpler to legislate that roof colours must be whites or similar light colours”

    • yes, but you don’t spend money doing that, no friend make a profit, and so none can pay for your election as a tribute.

  59. If they haven’t figured out that paint can be sprayed on yet a lot faster, then I’d imagine that they think painting them white is a great idea.
    I’ll just wait for the warnings…”Walking on these painted streets can cause CANCER.”.

    • Does this white paint supports nuclear radiation from a Russian bomb exploding above the city ?

  60. Hang on folks! Let’s not allow our prejudices addle our brains.
    Consider the science: The Stephan-Boltzmann equation tells us that a reduction of 0.0294 in the global Albedo of Earth will offset any 3 Deg.C threatened by the IPCC.
    This means that very roughly if you paint some 1 million square miles white with an Albedo of 0.9 then all will be well. That is roughly achieved by painting Italy white. Not that the the Italians would fancy that.
    However this does give credence to the painting of roads white, or for that matter anything else. Mind you if you wait for winter the climate will do it for you.
    The science also tells us that if you want to warm the planet then best plaster it with solar panels. Much better than leaving it to CO2. Perhaps the Warmists should take note of that.
    It is wonderful what a bit of armchair science can achieve!! /(sarc.
    I propose that ALL vehicles should be painted White. There are billions of them. (again ((sarc.)

  61. What is this paint made of and how was it manufactured? Where did the ingredients come from?

  62. I’ve always noticed that it takes about 3-6 mo before the white stripes on the road turn to a dingy gray …… so I don’t see this having any effect at all.

  63. While each coasting could can last up to seven years, they are also pricey, with the estimated cost of $40,000 per mile

    Why, it is only $5,714 per mile per annum. Now. Los Angeles county has 23,142.76 miles of Maintained Roadway.
    Therefore keeping them withe in the long run costs only $132,244,342.85 per annum, with an original investment of $926 million. That’s less than a billion, but they have plenty of money, I guess, because they have more than 10 million inhabitants. That is, it’s less than a hundred bucks per capita, a true bargain.

    • I can bet they buy their road in the million bucks per mile (is is cheaper elsewhere, but, eh, we are talking LA, aren’t we?), and have to do that every 20 years. So this must be like ~10% of their road maintenance cost.

  64. “Having” to paint all the streets white is just evidence of how serious the problem is to California Person. And hey, isn’t paint an environmental threat?

  65. Wouldn’t it be much more efficient to commit car owners to repaint their cars in a highly reflective silver and register new cars only if they have a certified minimum solar reflection color? That might reduce the need for painting the streets white to the middle of the road only, because the reflecting cars cover the sides, especially when street parking. It saves a lot of money, too. Except for the car owners, of course.
    Who said once that California has 365 Fool’s Days and 366 in a leap year?

  66. This may be costly (*), but for sure is magnitude cheaper than wind turbine, solar panel and the like.
    old cities under heavy sun are white for a reason. Seems reasonable to me to turn Los Angeles as white as possible, too, street and road included, except if it is used by plants.
    Turn your building white, first. Then install air conditioning, if still need be (but that may be not the case, in fact)
    (*) anyway, you can bet the official taking this decision would had wasted it in some other silly way otherwise.

  67. The original Fox News article said that the paint was applied in two coats, each 50 microns thick. At 100 microns thickness, a gallon of paint covers 407 square feet of roadway. If we assume that a two-lane road is 24 feet wide, a mile of roadway would have an area of 126,720 square feet, and would require about 310 gallons of paint to cover it to a depth of 100 microns.
    If the great (?) state of California is spending $40,000 per mile to paint roads white, they are spending about $128 per gallon for white paint, when the average do-it-yourselfer spends $30 to $40 per gallon at a paint or hardware store. Leave it to Governor Moonbeam to charge California taxpayers three to four times the price for white paint on roads!
    Governors of colder states (which get snow in winter) would know that there are some advantages to the heat-absorbing properties of black asphalt roads. If there is a daytime snowstorm and the air temperature is not far below 32 F, ultraviolet rays from the sun can pass through clouds and heat up asphalt roadways more than more reflective surfaces such as grass or other vegetation. It is not uncommon for snow to melt on contact with asphalt roads, while nearby grass can be covered with two or more inches of snow. If the roads were painted white, snow plowing costs would increase.

  68. I am glad to see that it is not just the UK that has given the keys of the asylum too the inmates. I wonder how long it will take for this little piece of lunacy to be replicated in good old Great Britain. Don’t think it wont happen, our government has a herd instinct for adopting stupid ideas.

  69. After the painting, can LA afford the water to keep the streets clean and reflective. They probably plan to just suck that much more water out of the delta.

    • I bet they are going to use chemicals for that purpose instead of water. Some sort of dry cleaning?

  70. Is there a danger of getting something similar to snow blindness if you’re spending a lot of time behind the wheel? (delivery driver etc)
    California isn’t the arctic. A hot sun and reflective surfaces, could there be a problem with more sunburn UV damage?

  71. It’s a sealcoating product, and when dry is a matte gray (little or no glare). Like any sealcoating, it is fairly dense, so has to be spread on with a squegee. Just as an example, you can buy Latexite Airport Grade Driveway Filler Sealer at HD for 19.95 for a 4.75 gal. pail, about $4.25/gal. At that price, it would cost roughly $6,600 to cover a mile of 24-foot wide pavement. I’m guessing this stuff is more expensive, perhaps twice as much, so make that $12k for product, meaning about $28k of that $40k/mi. must be for labor and equipment use.

  72. Heeeeeeeeeelp, the lunacy is spreading:
    A ‘singing road’
    Cannabis overdose?
    Fortunately didn’t last long. (The singing road, dunno ’bout the weed)
    Think carefully about those white roads:
    Yes asphalt gets hot in the sun – but bitumen is a good thermal insulator.
    The heat energy doesn’t ‘soak in’ and asphalt cools very quickly when the sun goes down.
    High temp of the daytime asphalt creates strongly rising air currents, lifting the heat out of people’s way and drawing in colder air. At least it moves the air giving a cooling effect to critters made of water. (Me & you)
    White surfaces will scatter the light and solar energy onto and into buildings leading to:
    ….The glare will be horrible.
    ….UV will be thrown everywhere, a wide brimmed hat will no linger protect you.
    ….Concrete is what retains heat energy, especially if it is full of rebar
    (Try that barefoot walk in the local park after a sunny day if you don’t believe me)
    They are going to make the place even hotter and simply unbearable.
    It will fail big-time.

  73. You’ve have to use a product that does not become slicker than the unpainted road surface in wet conditions. This truck driver has felt the difference in certain places and conditions. Yes, even a semi driver with all that rubber on the road can feel the slip. This one has multiple times when driving along lines which aren’t textured. I often go right to the white or yellow line when passing.

  74. Each time you hear about a wild environmental idea like this you ask yourself can liberals’ solutions get any crazier? This one surely fits into that catagory. What a waste of money. The next thing we will be reading about is the accidents caused by drivers blinded when the sun is at the right angle to reflect off the pavement. Snow blindness anyone?

  75. Now they just have to give every solar panel in the state a good thick coat of white paint – It’ll make sense to them.

  76. Sigh. No concern for blinding drivers and killing people I guess.
    Human life is such a low priority for those saving the planet.
    All this faux concern over future generations, I humbly suggest that our primary responsibility is THIS one.

  77. The potential problems with this initiative, as raised by the comments above, will surely be answered in the Health and Safety Assessment that was, (oh surely) carried out by Highway Safety professionals before actual work began.
    I assume that taxpaying residents of LA will be entitled to see the document(s) , or indeed anyone planning to visit LA by car for commercial reasons, or on vacation. I am thinking of a visit next year can I see it?
    After all California is suing the pants off oil companies for not disclosing the risks to citizens’ health from climate change caused by their products, so LA would not wish to be sued by Gov Brown for not disclosing the risks, if any, of their white paint initiative.
    Sauce for the goose , sauce for the gander ?

  78. Well, we’ll see. But I suspect this action is based on an overly-simplistic concept of albedo. Asphalt and concrete pavements are hugely powerful heat-banks no matter what colour they are.

  79. I thought a mirrored surface would be more reflective. Added benefit of turning LA in to one big optical telescope so they can look for another place to live.

  80. This is medieval. During the Ice Age some Swiss villagers had the region’s bishop lead prayers at the glacier front to stop its advance. The only difference is, that would be considered “Christian” in LA.

  81. Perhaps this has been mentioned already but, if they don’t want black asphalt, replace it with concrete.
    At $40,000 a mile, it might be cheaper and it would definitely last longer.

  82. It would probably be better to encourage white or off-white roofs than roads, but at least this acknowledges the urban heat island effect and attempts to address it. It’s a better intervention than most of what government attempts.

  83. Do they realize how slippery that’s gonna be in the rain. They are literally making streets deadly. That is a safety concern that needs to be addressed immediately.

  84. I have to wonder how their slip and skid tests are performed. I ride a motorcycle and I can tell you that the paints they use to put the lane markers (arrows and such) on the roads are VERY slick when wet. Did those pass the slip and skid tests?
    I wonder if they test freshly painted surfaces or do they try to simulate what the surfaces will be like after years of cars passing over, leaking oils and other substances on them, bird droppings, squashed animals, etc.
    I see lawsuits in the future.

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