Expressions of Interest Are Welcomed for Panel of Advisors or Collaborators on New Zealand White Roofs Project
I now realise there is a need for a panel of advisors or collaborators to bring in expertise in areas it has been lacking and reset the project on a more effective footing for a success in Stage 2. In communicating, marketing, business-like organising, engineering oversight for double-checking, and know-how for working with large organisations that will be approached in Stage 2. The panel will also help give the project more credibility.
I have set the goal of forming a panel of about ten people and I welcome expressions of interest.
Since the launch of the project last October, many people have said they like the white roofs idea and the positive opportunity to inject hope and practical science into what seems a gloomy situation where people do not know what they can personally do about it. The Radio NZ interview and the NZ Herald article especially created a buzz of enthusiasm. I appreciate and have gratitude for the eleven roofs that we know have been painted so far in the project (and the others in the pipeline), where these pioneers have been happy to paint and tell me and have them recorded. There has been feedback that the project and its website have been an influence in roofing decisions within at least a couple of large organisations. The number of roofs in stage 1 is much fewer than I had initially expected, but we have something on the board and learnt more of how it can best fit in the New Zealand scene and market, and learnt valuable lessons (from mistakes that have been made) to be applied before Stage 2.
Stage 2 involves directly approaching and giving presentations to councils, businesses and large organisations, for them to consider when their building roofs come up for regular maintenance, and also to people and businesses in the construction industry where decisions on roofing colour are made at the design stage, and in both these instances the choice to go white often comes at no additional cost.
The number of roofs so far in the project are fewer than originally expected, and here are some reasons why.
- It takes time for people to get used to the idea. Many people want to wait to see if the idea takes off first before they take action themselves. It takes time for the white roofs idea to catch on as being environmentally smart, when there is a prevailing perception that dark roofs look smart.
- Not all who want to participate in the project can because not everyone owns a roof, and roofs get painted only once every 15-25 years and it takes time for this to come around unless it is brought substantially forward.
- An unknown number of roofs were painted white but the people did not feel comfortable to tell us.
- Many people want to feel safe that a light coloured roof won’t devalue their house or to expose them to ridicule for caring or being different, or negativity from those who think global warming is a hoax.
- Some people feel action on global warming is futile when major countries like China, Australia and the US continue to increase their pollutions. The benefits of being positive and taking steps that help reduce global warming in some way are also that they may help change public opinion over time. The campaign over cigarette smoking took 15 years to take effect.
I had overestimated the current desire for change in the general population. It seems that most people do not like to think about global warming or look at the bigger picture. Alternatively, some people think the problem is too hopeless, that there is nothing that we can do to stop it, and so they don’t try.
I am told that some people are disappointed that the project has not taken off so far. But there is tremendous scope to move this thing forward.
While I have some good ideas and a reasonable understanding of the science and technology, I do not have enough experience yet in the people department and organising logistics. I know that my inexperience in communicating has put people off and that some good opportunities were missed in this way, and the fact that I was only one person heading the campaign did not help.
The project needs expanding to include existing white roofs painted without knowledge of the project, for many of these people paint white for the right reasons and may like to link to us when they here of our work.
The project needs expanding to also include light coloured roofs that use the Cool Colour pigment technology paints having higher reflectivity than standard paints, for example as being marketed by Resene on TV at the moment. This is how it’s done in the US.
And the project organisation needs expanding to a panel of people.
Tags: white roofs