In an unusual attempt to fight global warming, Los Angeles is painting its streets light gray with a reflective pavement sealer made by GuardTop called CoolSeal.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield told the Los Angeles Daily News that the city wants to control the urban “heat island effect,” the tendency for cities to become hotter than the surrounding countryside. Buildings, roads, and other infrastructure make land in large cities dry and impermeable, causing the region to hold heat. On a hot summer day, roofs and pavement in urban areas can become 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the air, but in rural settings they remain close to air temperature, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
After street crews applied CoolSeal to an asphalt parking lot at a Los Angeles sports complex two years ago, the average surface temperature dropped from 160 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer to between 135 and 140 degrees.
City administrators plan to continue the experiment in 14 other districts before the end of June. CoolSeal coating applications could cost an estimated $40,000 per mile and last for seven years, officials said.
E. Calvin Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, said the costly scheme might just work. He argues that a significant portion of the apparent increase in global average temperature is not due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, as global warming alarmists warn, but rather from the urban heat island effect, he wrote on his organization’s blog. Heat island effect contaminates true temperature data, making the rise in global temperature appear higher than it truly is, he said. —J.B.