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.


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Maybe they should just paint over skid-row.

Edith Wenzel


Bryan A

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.

J Mac

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.


You have to wonder what future historians will write of this period.

Leo Smith

I think its distinctly racist.
Whitewashing the blacktop, indeed.

Komrade Kuma

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).


That was my first thought. Komrade.

Joel Snider

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.

Y. Knott

– 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!


When they repair pot holes, do they have to send out a separate crew to repaint?


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.


State of nibs = State of minds


“When they repair pot holes…” Ha! LA repairing pot holes? Good one, MarkW!


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.

Joel Snider

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.


Well at least they are acknowledging the phenomenon of “Urban Island” warming.

Keith J

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.

Michael Jankowski

“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.


and besides- screw trees, right? every parking lot has to be shade free too

Bryan A

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.


it’s gonna make traffic jam hell all over the place.
maybe that’s the real goal.

Mark Fife

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.

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.

“Does nothing”? It absolutely shows how much politicians CARE about “doing something” (and how they love to spend other people’s money.)


“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.

Michael Jankowski

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.


Actually, the formula is “Two negligibles make an inconsequential.”

Pop Piasa

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.

J Mac

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.

Tom s

They may affect ‘local warming’ but global? Not so much


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. 😉

Philip Ward Dawson

A bit late for April Fool?


Philip Ward Dawson
Beat me to it mate.

a bit early for Apriñ


That was my first thought.

Tom Halla

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.

Curious George

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.


And the “tags” will have even less traction than the original white pain.


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

Paul r

Wouldn’t it be blinding to drivers?


Exactly my thought.

DC Cowboy

“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

Phil Rae

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!


Twenty three thousand miles

John Bell

Liberals making such claims should be in straight jackets, white ones.


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

dodgy geezer

…dates you… 🙂

Richard of NZ

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.


They’ve definitely been down to the crossroads.


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.

Peter Melia

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.


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.

Todd Pedlar

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

It will be yuge.


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.

Robert Beckman

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……

peanut gallery

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.

Patrick J Wood

Choosing white over another shade is “racist”.


They should use rainbow paint – that will please the LGBTIPQRST brigade!


FFS, no, please.
I refuse to surrender democracy to minority groups.

Thanks for surrendering Republicanism for Democracy.
Our nation is a Constitutional Republic with Democratic Process.
Democracies suck, and the more Democratic our nation gets, the more it sucks.

Leo Smith

This is important.
To someone…


Leo, depends on whether you are talking absorption or reflection.


Let’s start a ‘Black Roads Matter’ action group.


There are Fifty Shades of Grey to choose from.


Too bad you can’t whitewash LA City Hall as easily.


To be followed by a massive increase in traffic accidents the next time it rains.

D. J. Hawkins

They claim “Has been shown to meet skid safety requirements”, but no literature on that was evident on their web site.

Greg Cavanagh

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.




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.

michael hart

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.

As I recall, research on white roofing shingles indicated no effect.


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

Nils Rømcke

Who sells the paint . . .?

D. J. Hawkins

The company name is GuardTop.


Are they owned by a city councilman?

Randy in Ridgecrest

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.

Randy in Ridgecrest

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.


Those of us in the asphalt cement manufacturing business never refer to it as tar.

Terry Gednalske

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.

John Bell

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.

Ken Mitchell

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.


If the albedo of the roofs is too low, can they just use Viagra?

Won’t that make the streets slipperier, especially in the rain?

I suspect they will mix in a good percentage of sand


Crosswalks are more slippery than pavement.

G. Willard

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.

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.

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?

D. J. Hawkins

Low VOC, meets LEED requirements. 12 year resistance to UV degradation.


That’s not what he asked.

Gunga Din

“12 year resistance to UV degradation.”
How about SUV degradation?

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!


Just use White Tires


…so much more important than dams and water

Gunga Din

Where have I heard that before?

Cold in Wisconsin

What happens when it gets dirty? Will we wash it with the abundant water of SoCal?

Bob Burban

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.

Eric Simpson

A joke. Please tell me this is a joke.

Eric Simpson

It’s close enough to April Fools so that’s got to be it. Yeah, good one lol. Had me going!

Greg Cavanagh

Why didn’t they paint then gold?


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

Gunga Din

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?)

Eric, you can’t make this up.


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.


They’ll have to fix the potholes first.


With white epoxy?


White paint? How racist is that?

Tom in Floridea

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

Correction. They’re painting the streets Caucasian.

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.

Great point! What effect might that have on drivers depending on time of day?

How are crosswalks to be marked?


With black paint I guess. But I wouldn’t bet on it with this lot in charge.

AGW is not Science

In order to reduce global warming, those will be white too. But a different shade of white. /sarc

Eric Simpson

A lot of accidents would be caused by this but they don’t care because they’re saving the world by reducing its temperature by one billionth of a trillionth of a degree.


Of Course visibility at night would be much better creating the next problem night sky illumination.


More likely it’d just make the glare of oncoming headlights and overhead streetlights that much worse.


Wouldn’t surprise me if most of those councilmen are chauffeured every where they go.

Wouldn’t this be considered discriminatory, especially being that this is in California?

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”.

john york



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.


Well, the new trend is to claim that science is different for everyone…


Do you mean that black bodies are worse than white bodies because they reflect less light ?


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


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.


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).



You won’t be able to see the Muggers coming for the glare off the White painted Streets, This has to be a Champion Spoof.


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.

“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…

AGW is not Science

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.


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.


“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.

Greg Cavanagh

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.

john york

“‘…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?


Will the pigment be titanium dioxide?
What an environmental horror!


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.

Warren Blair

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 . . .


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

Alan Robertson

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…. 🙁


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


Ask yourself this: Does snow on the ground keep the temperature from increasing?


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.


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)


Latex is too soft to stand up to traffic.

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.

Bill Murphy

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.

Tom in Floridea

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.

Tom in Floridea

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.

Greg Cavanagh

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?