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Could We Paint Our Way Out of Climate Change

If there is one guarantee about life in Perth, it's the unbearable heat that summer brings. By the time January and February roll around, everyone is ready for summer to end. But what does paint have to do with the hot, hot heat of Perth? Well, as it turns out, it might just be one of our best bets to battle against climate change.

While the cost of cooling a building grows, so does the intensity of Perth's summers. Many business owners and property developers are looking for creative ways to drive those costs down.

As it turns out, researchers from Indiana's Purdue University in the United States have created the world's whitest paint. In fact, they believe it can eliminate the need for air-con by reflecting heat. They also believe that painting just 1% of the Earth's surface with the whitest paint could be enough to reverse the effects of global warming.

"Industrial and commercial building owners in Perth, and more so across regional Western Australia, have found that reflecting away heat using an energy-rated paint can greatly reduce their cooling bills,” says veteran Perth-based commercial painter Stephen Cochrane.

Which, of course, with the ever-rising price of energy becomes more valuable every summer.”

And while it is a clever move from industrial and commercial building owners, it isn't limited to the commercial space. There is nothing to stop homeowners from taking advantage of energy-rated paint. Have the professionals paint your roof the whitest white and you will enjoy a much cooler home.

What makes the whitest white paint so special? Barium sulphate.

It's the chemical compound most associated with medicine, as it is used to identify internal health issues, but it's also what makes photo paper white. When used in a high concentration it gives the paint an intense whiteness. Purdue's researchers found that barium sulphate was the key addition to any product that was incredibly white. So, it makes perfect sense to add it to paint to create an incredibly reflective surface to shield buildings, roads, and more from the intense heat.

The paint includes particles of all sizes so the light scatters more of the spectrum. The more particles in the paint, the better the scatter. However, too many particles will sacrifice the quality of the paint and give it an inappropriate viscosity. The balance has been struck, and for now, it's the most effective option available.

While the whitest white isn't on the market yet, you don't need to wait. There is plenty of energy-rated paint available that can help you drive the temperature down now. While the whitest white can reflect up to 98% of the sun's rays, today's products can reflect up to 90% of sunlight. That means you can start the cool down and the climate change fight back now.

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