Herb Van Gent points his infrared gun at a square of still unpainted gray shingle and clicks the trigger. He gets an immediate temperature reading: 143 degrees and rising. Then he aims it 5 feet away to a square of roof I have just painted: 98 degrees and decreasing.
Associated PressThe idea of painting roofs white has become something of a social movement, one that Energy Secretary (and Nobel Prize-winning physicist) Steven Chu believes could be a huge help in stopping global warming.
“A 45-degree difference and we’re only on the first coat,” he says. That means it also will be cooler inside the building, he says, saving energy.
Its 11 a.m. and we are on the roof of a New York retirement home, rolling out a thick, shiny white paint. Van Gent is one of a volunteer group that has come up here to paint the roof as part of a city-sponsored “cool roof” program.