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Ban the Black Cars
March 26, 2009 9:38 PM   Subscribe

If you're a LEED AP (or not) you'll get this: California interested in banning black cars.
posted by wallstreet1929 (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Black cars... look better in the shade out of state.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:51 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


The way I heard it, the rationale was that black cars get hotter in the sun, thus requiring more energy for the air conditioning, which means they burn more fuel, release more CO2, and contribute more to global warming.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:59 PM on March 26, 2009


In the future, everything is going to be all white.
posted by isopraxis at 10:01 PM on March 26, 2009


Can someone who understands the science tell me if this is as stupid as it sounds on the surface?
posted by paisley henosis at 10:07 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


KITT is not pleased.
posted by NikitaNikita at 10:27 PM on March 26, 2009


If we're really trying to optimize for the environment, it sounds reasonable enough in the long term. Of course, short term it's going to require a lot of paint, which isn't exactly the most eco-friendly substance around.
posted by voltairemodern at 10:29 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, banning colors seems a bit heavy-handed. Why not just dissuade the results they don't want (more energy usage) by taxing darker cars more than lighter cars?
posted by ATXile at 10:30 PM on March 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


voltairemodern: "Of course, short term it's going to require a lot of paint, which isn't exactly the most eco-friendly substance around."

I'm guessing it wouldn't apply to existing cars...
posted by alexei at 10:32 PM on March 26, 2009


California interested in banning black cars.


FIXED THAT FOR YOU, CALIFORNIA!
posted by loquacious at 10:36 PM on March 26, 2009


Wait, didn't I already hear this debunked on KGO radio news on the way home from Mitsuwa this afternoon?
posted by wintersweet at 10:48 PM on March 26, 2009


Or you could throw a consumption tax on gasoline and let people drive whatever color and type of cars they want to drive. Eventually the price of gas will go high enough to drive most of the problem vehicles off the market, anyway. Look at what a year of high prices did to the SUV market.
posted by empyrean at 10:58 PM on March 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


what about black helicopters?
posted by caddis at 11:21 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interesting. In South Africa, the basic car color was white. You got that without paying extra. And white was more cool in the heat, obviously. Reminded me of Florida, where, at least in the 70's, most of the cars were light colored.

But yea, loquacious has it right. Just ban the damn things outright, and get on with life.
posted by Goofyy at 11:24 PM on March 26, 2009


Or you could throw a consumption tax on gasoline and let people drive whatever color and type of cars they want to drive...Look at what a year of high prices did to the SUV market.

Public policy also shaped the SUV craze in the first place. The reason all the movie stars and independent business owners wealthy people bought SUVs in the middle of the first term of the Bush administration was due to the modification to Section 179 depreciation deduction. At the time, it seemed as though every single tax adviser and financial planner out there was telling their clients to buy SUVs because they were practically fully deductable (like donating to charity would). As more and more wealthy people and cultural leaders bought SUVs, Joe Sixpack Taxpayer that doesn't receive any independent business income and therefore cannot take the Section 179 deduction buys an SUV anyways, and doesn't understand the background and rationale for all that hype gets assreamed on higher priced vehicles and gasoline because they don't understand tax codes (not to mention the collective impact on the environment because of an idiotic tax code to "boost the economist after 9/11" or some garbage).
posted by amuseDetachment at 12:10 AM on March 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Just load up all the black cars with all those excess black dogs hanging around the pounds and drive them all over a big cliff... and let Werner Herzog make a documentary about it.
posted by Elmore at 1:25 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you actually read the report, you'll find that they don't mention anywhere a plan to "ban black cars". Just to require specific amounts of reflectivity from paint colors starting in 2016.

Also, it's the stupidest thing I've read in my life.
posted by mmoncur at 3:32 AM on March 27, 2009


P. S. As the owner of a black Prius, I suddenly feel like a rebel.
posted by mmoncur at 3:32 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now if Canada decide to ban white cars in order to conserve heat, you won't be able to drive between the two places without stopping somewhere mid-route to have your car resprayed!
posted by Lanark at 4:01 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, any color as long as it's NOT black? Zombie Henry Ford isn't going to be happy about this.
posted by The Tensor at 4:29 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


It won't matter if they're all covered with solar panels.
posted by pracowity at 4:39 AM on March 27, 2009


Now if Canada decide to ban white cars in order to conserve heat, you won't be able to drive between the two places without stopping somewhere mid-route to have your car resprayed!

Life will be like a game of Grand Theft Auto.
posted by drezdn at 4:42 AM on March 27, 2009


Next up: Banning the deck chairs that are too close to the railing. The excess weight is making the ship tip over faster.
posted by DU at 4:50 AM on March 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


The irony is that - in toxicity terms - black in the greenest paint for cars. The least green is, er, green.
posted by WPW at 5:41 AM on March 27, 2009


Black is the greenest pain.
posted by WPW at 5:41 AM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Greenest paint! (Bangs head against desk.)
posted by WPW at 5:42 AM on March 27, 2009


Not physics majors, are they. It would probably be more effective to ban the wearing of wrists watches so that our transportation system wouldn't be hauling around all that excess weight.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:58 AM on March 27, 2009


In NY, "Black cars" refer to glorified taxi's (black cadillacs and similiar vehicles). Their popular transportation to/from the airport and for corporate accounts who like to shuttle their employees home when they work late. I thought for sure this was going to be what they meant.
posted by ShadowCrash at 6:00 AM on March 27, 2009


But, but, black doesn't show the dirt!
posted by box at 6:01 AM on March 27, 2009


Black is the color of my true love's car.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:02 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the interests of environmental ambiguity I should mention I have a gray car.
posted by tommasz at 6:23 AM on March 27, 2009


They should also make all road-surfaces and roofs shiny and reflective.... (no joke - but it's not that easy to do)
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 6:28 AM on March 27, 2009


I'm not a fancy paint paint nuclear astrophysicist type of guy or a high falutin, big-wig law makin' man, but couldn't this be solved by just reminding people to CRACK THEIR FUCKING WINDOWS OPEN WHEN PARKING IN THE SUN.

Call, me crazy, but it's worked for me for decades and I didn't even need a law or regulation to think of it.

See also, finding a shady place to park, black leather seats +bikini = bad, and the window sun shades everyone over 70 has ten of.
posted by Muddler at 6:41 AM on March 27, 2009


Can't they just build separate (but equal) roads for the black vehicles?
posted by swift at 7:03 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


you know who else tried to ban black colors?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:04 AM on March 27, 2009


Here's a guy who tested it himself:
http://www.tom-morrow-land.com/tests/cartemp/index.htm

Executive Summary:

For those who just want to know the results of the test, I'll tell you. The glass temperature (which I assume to be a proxy for interior temperature) varied only 5 to 6 degrees between the black and white cars on average. So I conclude that the interior temperature only varied somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 6 degrees. The paint temperature, however, varied by about 55 degrees, which is ten times as much. So it is indeed true that black paint is much hotter than white paint, but the interior of the black car isn't that much warmer than the white car.



So wouldn't it make more sense to mandate window tinting and windshield sun shades, California?
posted by ben242 at 7:06 AM on March 27, 2009


reminding people to CRACK THEIR FUCKING WINDOWS OPEN WHEN PARKING IN THE SUN.

Some people would rather not make their vehicles as inviting for thieves as possible.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:37 AM on March 27, 2009


Oh god no, please don't mandate window tinting. Tinted windows make cars impossible for other drivers to see through, which makes driving in traffic a lot more dangerous.

How about, you know, building a public transportation infrastructure? Shiny white trains and buses! I'll gladly trade in my black Prius for a train system that gets me to work in less than the 2 hours it would take me today.
posted by otherthings_ at 7:40 AM on March 27, 2009


After owning a string of black cars all my life, my last car was only available in silver at the time, so I got it and man am I happy I did. It's much cooler in the summer and easier to keep clean. I'm never buying a black car again.

5 or 6 degrees of interior heat is a pretty big deal and to me represents the difference between tolerable (75F) and hot/sweaty (81F).
posted by mathowie at 9:07 AM on March 27, 2009


Way back when we still had the image tag, there was an AskMe: Why are radiators so often painted white? See, a radiator is basically only emitting infra red photons, so any colour paint will increase it's emissivity compared to bare metal. On the other hand, the Sun's rays are primarily made up of visible or near visible photons.

I wonder how much better a DeLorean would be in this test.. Probably a lot better.
posted by Chuckles at 9:56 AM on March 27, 2009


I am a black car-driving Californian. However, I rarely, if ever, use my AC, being a windows-down, fresh air freak. I'm sure someone will point out that the streamlining effect of the car is lost when the windows are down, thus upping the drag on the car and lowering the mileage....blah blah blah. Whatever. I love my car and I love driving with the windows down. This is America, right? We have choices, right?
posted by Lynsey at 10:07 AM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously? This is like spending millions of dollars to design a zero gravity pen instead of just using a pencil.

This can't be nearly as effective as ten things any kid can think of. Did they consider implementing venting systems, cracking the windows, putting sunshades in the windows (or even making a car that automatically covers the windows with some reflective material when parked)?
posted by brenton at 10:40 AM on March 27, 2009


Seriously? This is like spending millions of dollars to design a zero gravity pen instead of just using a pencil.

The tip of a zero gravity pen doesn't break off and float around the cabin until you find it poking you in the eye or stuck in an instrument.

I don't think I would object to a law requiring motorists to put sunshades in the windshield when the car is parked if the state of California can prove that hotter cars result in greater tailpipe emissions.
posted by ben242 at 10:56 AM on March 27, 2009


i have a feeling that a lot of you are not writing from southern new mexico. cars are white here, black cars included as the sun burns the paint off in less than a year.
posted by kitchenrat at 11:02 AM on March 27, 2009


How about a regulation where drivers of black cars must put eggs and bacon on their hoods whenever they are parked? This will offset emissions of Denny's and IHOP restaurants, while providing free meals to passers by.
posted by orme at 11:09 AM on March 27, 2009


This can't be nearly as effective as ten things any kid can think of.

Fair enough, but by that's an argument to never do anything small ever. The fallacy here is not seeing the scale. So what if it only saves 5%? That's not a noticeable difference to a consumer.

It's big on the aggregate though. California buys about 8 million gallons of gas each day. Saving even 5% percent of that is 400,000 gallons per day in savings. Or, if you prefer, 3 000 tonnes per day less CO2 emissions.
posted by bonehead at 11:27 AM on March 27, 2009


It isn't going to save anything remotely as much as 5%. That's why it's stupid.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:07 PM on March 27, 2009


There are paints that have been developed for building roofs that reflect a fair amount of the solar energy despite having darker colors. Having recently invested in developing this technology, I'm sure this is a great opportunity for them to get a legally mandated market for their product...
posted by meinvt at 7:05 PM on March 27, 2009


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