As I watched David Attenborough’s latest film A Life on Our Planet, I felt at times helpless, horrified and almost hopeless. This man has been doing his best for Mother Earth since he was 28 years old. He has been fighting the good fight for the last 66 years and he is not slowing down. On September 24, at the age of 94, he joined the very modern platform Instagram to give this message.
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In today’s lingo, he’s the real OG. He broke the record by reaching 1 million followers in just 4 hours and 44 minutes. Today, a month after he first appeared on Instagram, he has now 6 million followers. I wish he has more, not because I want him to win any contests but because I would like to see a greater number of the 7.6 billion people in this planet to be woke to the fact that we are destroying our home, and that we have to change the way we live!
A Life on Our Planet
Halfway through his film A Life on Our Planet, the screen showed the icy landscapes of the poles. Sir Attenborough narrated, “The most remote habitat of all exists at the extreme north and south of the planet. I’ve visited the polar regions over many decades. They’ve always been a place beyond imagination…with scenery unlike anything on earth…and unique species adapted to a life in the extreme. But that distant world is changing. In my time, I’ve experienced the warming of Arctic summers. We have arrived at locations expecting to find expanses of sea ice and found none. We’ve managed to travel by boat to islands that were impossible to get to historically because they were permanently locked in the ice. By the time Frozen Planet aired in 2011, the reason for these changes was well-established.
“The ocean has long since become unable to absorb all the excess heat caused by our activities. As a result, the average global temperature today is one degree Celsius warmer than it was when I was born. A speed of change that exceeds any in the last 10,000 years.
“Summer sea ice in the Arctic has reduced by 40% in 40 years. Our planet is losing its ice. This most pristine and distant of ecosystems is headed for disaster.
“Our imprint is now truly global. Our impact now truly profound. Our blind assault on the planet has finally come to alter the very fundamentals of the living world.”
A Response that can Help Mother Earth
Vanishing ice affects the planet—rising sea levels, faster global warming, and possibly extreme natural disasters.
Ice which is white creates an albedo effect. This just means that the ice reflects 50% to 70% of the sun’s energy back to space. Once the ice is gone, there is just the darker ocean which will absorb 90% of the heat, thus accelerating global warming.
In 2009, President Obama’s climate guru Steven Chu (also the US Secretary of Energy at the time and a Nobel prize-winning scientist), said that painting roofs and pavements white or other light colors can create an albedo effect.
Dr. Chu: “Now you smile, but if you look at all the buildings and make all the roofs white, and if you make the pavement a more concrete-type of colour than a black-type of colour, and you do this uniformly… It’s the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars in the world by 11 years.” (Steve Connor, Independent)
Boysen’s Roof Paint: Cool Shades
In 2014, Boysen, a company that constantly works on paint innovations, came out with a water-based, dirt-resistant, heat-reflective, roof coating called Cool Shades.White roofs painted with Cool Shades have that albedo effect which will reflect the sun’s heat. It contains a highly engineered, heat-reflecting pigment that repels infrared light before it turns into heat. In practical terms, indoor temperatures go down by about 1°C to 4°C, which means that you don’t have to use air conditioning as much.
The saying goes that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Therefore, Boysen painted the roofs of their buildings with Cool Shades. Studies show that a cool roof enhances the performance of photo voltaic panels. Using solar energy also benefits the environment.
Six years after its launch, this product is now more relevant than ever.
Environment Secretary Roy A. “Cimatu, who also chairs the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), said climate change is a bigger crisis than COVID-19 as it potentially poses existential risks for future generations.”
Using Boysen Cool Shades can bring about two things. First, you save on your energy bill. Second, you help save the planet.
Once you’ve painted your roof, you don’t even have to keep doing it as you would with efforts like recycling, repurposing, minimizing the use of plastic and bringing an eco bag instead, turning off the lights you don’t need, using the fan instead of the A/C, taking cold showers, etc.
To learn more about Cool Shades, please read the following posts:
How to Beat the Summer Heat with Roof Paint
Product Highlight: Cool Shades
Paint Your Roof and Help Save the Planet
If the simple act of painting our roofs white with Cool Shades would help save the planet, then what are we waiting for?
Bringing down our energy bill is good and welcome, especially with the financial hardships brought about by the quarantine.
But using Cool Shades to help Mother Earth? That is an action that reaps benefits for mankind! It may prevent another Yolanda, prevent countless creatures to perish due to rising waters, stop the displacement of people from their homes, keep islands from disappearing, and so much more.
Most important of all is that we do something to help in the global effort of sustainability so that our children and grandchildren would have a home that is as beautiful as the world the older ones among us have experienced and enjoyed.
I had hoped, and still do, that the pandemic and the quarantine these past months have moved us to rethink how we live our lives. To re-imagine how we connect with each other and nature in a more healthy way. To realize that we are part of nature and not apart from it.
(Warning: Spoiler ahead)
Sir David Attenborough ended his film with a glimmer of hope. He said, “Nature is our biggest ally and our greatest inspiration. We just have to do what nature has always done. It worked out the secret of life long ago.
“In this world, a species can only thrive when everything else around it thrives, too. We can solve the problems we now face by embracing this reality. If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us.”