Have you ever touched a black car that's been parked in the sun? Hot tamale! Dark colors like black absorb heat while light colors like white reflect heat. That's one reason why apartment buildings with black tar roofs heat up like an oven in the summer. That's also why you can cook an egg on pavement on a scorching hot day. As people replace heat reflecting and carbon storing forests, streams, and valleys with heat absorbing and carbon producing cities, roads, and strip malls, the Earth gets warmer and warmer. One way to help counter the problem is to paint flat black rooftops white, which is exactly what President Obama is encouraging us all to do. White roofs are a double benefit. They reflect heat away from the surface of the planet and help keep buildings cool and therefore reduce energy use from air conditioning.
President Obama is even taking this idea to the street. He is encouraging painting cars in light or cool colors to make them more fuel efficient by reducing the need to turn on the air conditioner. Pavement will also be made a cooler color, so we'll have to stick to frying our eggs in a pan.
If your family owns your home, encourage your parents to go white. If you are like many city kids who live in a building with many families, talk to the building owner about going white to go green.