10/10/10 NYC

Circle 10/10/10 on your calendar. That’s the date. The place is wherever you live. And the point is to do something that will help deal with global warming in your city or community.

This is the official site of the New York City 10/10/10 White Roof Work Party.

We’re calling it a Global Work Party, with emphasis on both ‘work’ and ‘party’.

This work party is part of 350.org‘s global day of action and the point is to do something that will help deal with global warming in your city or community.

On this global day of action, volunteers from across New York City will join forces with family members and neighbors of the Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem to paint its 6500 square foot roof with a special white paint that reflects nearly 80% of sunlight. This white coating will keep the roof much cooler, while reducing energy use, air conditioning bills, and carbon emissions. Volunteer groups participating in the painting and fundraising efforts include StopOil!NYC, Greenpeace, Oxfam Action Corps NYC, White Roof Project , White Roof Campaign, and Manhattan Young Democrats.

Painting roofs “solar white” is an important part of efforts to reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as outlined in PlaNYC 2030 – the City’ long-term sustainability plan. www.nyc.gov/coolroofs. “Reflective rooftops are a simple yet powerful tool in the fight we have been leading against climate change,” said Mayor Bloomberg, and a means to channel “the power of our volunteers to address some of the City’s greatest needs.” U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said that the world should try to have “white roofs everywhere” to help fight climate change.

In the summer, black tar roofs can get up to 100° hotter than outdoor temperatures, requiring significantly more air conditioning to cool the building below. In addition, black roofs contribute to what is known as the “heat island effect” whereby urban areas can reach temperatures up to 15% hotter than surrounding rural areas. The dangers of the heat island effect are enormous: smog conditions worsen and pressure on the city’s electric grids can lead to rolling black outs with subsequent heat related fatalities and other health concerns.

As an ongoing initiative, organizers are also seeking other New Yorkers and civic groups to volunteer to paint roofs of nonprofit facilities. “We are asking civic groups to find nonprofit facilities in their neighborhood, to get their roofs painted,” said John Kolp of White Roof Campaign.

“World temperatures are rising steadily. Heat waves like those we’ve had this summer in the U.S. and Russia and catastrophic floods like the ones we’ve seen in Pakistan will increase as climate change accelerates. The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster reminds us of other consequences of our dependence on fossil fuels. We’ve got to step on the brakes,” says the work party’s lead organizer, Anne Craig. So far, efforts to step up national and international climate change response have failed. To push our leaders to act, and to support the leaders who are moving in the right direction, we’re taking action ourselves at the neighborhood level. “We want New Yorkers to know: energy waste is just not chic anymore. And so we’re offering a ‘cool’ fashion trend. In this city – solar white is the new black.”