The idea of white roofs cutting down on interior cooling costs is nothing new. The science is so sound, we simply call it engineering. Sec. Chu points out the magnitude of the potential savings (i.e., if we had all roofs and roads in hot zones reflecting more light vs. absorbing+radiating heat) as roughly comparable to turning off every car in the world for 11 years.
The result? A conservative (by European standards) paper posts a fairly reasonable article and in the comments, the conservative US Drudge-report readers go absolutely nuts — from claiming “oil-based” paints will increase our dependence on foreign petroleum (bad assumption), to wondering if painting one’s roof white would cause one’s house to flood (inane), to many repeated comments about painting black people white (utterly racist).
Mostly, they just couldn’t help themselves but try to sound like they knew something when they clearly didn’t, the repetition of the word ‘idiot’ reaching new heights of unintentional self-mockery.
It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that these people have some influence on what the world does or doesn’t do. I’m going to go with sad.