Powered by TypePad

« Un-Civil Servants, Or, This Is Acting Stupidly | Main | Going Postal In The Health Care Debate »

July 30, 2009



Tell you what TM. When we secede again, we'll give you a visa and honorary citizenship.


who's for beers n brats at the White House tonite?


Apparently, these folks have never been an a "cool" tin roof in the summertime.

Like all speculators, she hits a streak now and then.

I'd like to see the numbers, really. What matters is the R factor of the insulation, and the ventilation of the attic. I'll bet color has a minimal effect. I'm being sylvitic here; I'm talking out of a well ventilated hat.


Or experienced winter in North Texas.


Where I live a lot of the houses in the historic district have stamped tin roofs which are usually painted with a grey reflective surface coating.

Others here have the Spanish influence tile roofs.

But you have a trade off in all of that. Reduced attic temperatures also mean cooler attics in the winter which effect house energy bills as a trade off unless you really have good attic insulation.

Climb in most new construction with near zero attic space and blown insulation and you have the makings of a sauna and a sweat maker in the summer.

Even that blown insulation can't stop the heating through the ceiling and cooking of ac ducting without massive insulation adding to the energy waste.

Ralph L

Our historic district prohibits light colored roofs. Can't wait to see the earth nazis and historic fascists duke it out.

I have two 1000 cfm fans in my attic and plenty of intake vents, but it's still hot as hell up there. Late in the day, the heat works through the old ceiling joists and warms the interior. Kinda weird when it's hotter inside at 9pm than 6pm.

Someone should make a sprinkler system for roofs.


Who says we're going to have roofs?

In the new people's republic, we'll be living in communal holes in the ground, lined with recycled cardboard and covered by smashed aluminum beer cans.

Fascist pigs. Don't you care about the earth! Save the trees.

Original MikeS

I think light colored roofs are the way to go in moderate climates. There are much more efficient ways to capture solar heat during winter months than using dark roofing.

As for the Goricle's sex drive; I couldn't care less.


You know California is either considering or has already enacted a law that outlaws black/dark cars.


Actually the new innovation is not light colored roofs which still absorb a huge amount of radiant heat but radiant barrier paint, which is applied in residential application to the underside of the roof to block the radiant heat from penetrating the attic and heating up the house.

There are several different types of radiant barrier paint, but the most effective has a very high efficiency rating, something like 77% reflected back in the best stuff. The foil is even more efficient reflecting 97% of the heat.

And our green President has made sure to reauthorize the $1500 credit for energy efficiency, so you and I will pay for this great leap forward.


The phrase "cat on a hot tin roof" must have escaped the solons at the Times? I can assure you you would be able to fry eggs on a tin roof in the summer in a southern clime.

Dave (in MA)

I live in the Northeast and both times I've had my roof reshingled I chose the lightest-colored shingles offered by the roofer. This was with my comfort and my electric bill in mind, not Al Gore.


No mystery to why there are no light-colored shingles -- light roofs stain and get ugly as sin over the normal life of roof.

My initial thought about this story is that this is stupid journalists popcorning stupid ideas...once again.

If they want to do it smart, they should turn roof color over to their home-making editors and let them pick the roof colors.

That headline would read: "What's the Best Shade Shingle to Match Your New House Paint, Pray Tell!?"



When the rental house that I live in was re-roof I specifically asked for light colored shingles. What showed up? Very dark ones.

I'd guess that the dark ones are cheaper or are longer lasting.

But I'm with Cheney - conservation is a private virtue.

Original MikeS

No mystery to why there are no light-colored shingles


Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

--Rush Limbaugh will routinely mock the conservation set but I am not sure of his official position on investing a little money now in order to save a lot of money over time.--

I believe his official position is voluntary or market driven conservation and efficiency are fine.
Compulsory or government coerced are not.

David Jay

Let's see: 1200M (energy reduction) - 520M (initial cost) = 680M net savings

680 / 520 = 131% return in 11 years or about 8% per year

not bad, but only a point above the long term average for the stock market.


Isnt 131 over 11 years, 11.9 per year?


What the Times again does not tell you is that the savings is not uniform. I actually got a contractor (who was to be paid thru a program forced on the local electric providers) to come out and test the airtightness of my house and the duct system, looking for leaks that weather stripping and sealing would improve efficiency. They bring a large fan that with a tarp fills an exterior doorway. It set to suck out and then revved up and measurement are taken.

My house built in 1994 registered in the high 80 % for almost everything. There was not much of any savings to be had.

The contractors told me that older houses leak like a sieve and its easy to get the necessary readings to permit them to bill the utility company for a bunch of this work.

Rick Ballard

It's 7.9% compounded. If you want a laugh, read the McKinsey executive summary (I'd suggest "Blue Skies" playing softly in the background as accompaniment) and consider whether you would invest a nickel based upon their bizbabble.


Instead of fiddling with roof shingle colors, how about local utilities seize the opportunity to partner with homeowners and builders to install co-generating solar systems on rooftops everywhere, and especially in the southwest. Such systems could satisfy a lot of the residential energy demand, provide a bit of energy self-sufficiency, and buffer the national energy network. A solar roof could be like water heaters, heating systems, and refrigerators, built-ins that no home is without.


consider whether you would invest a nickel based upon their bizbabble

Considering that much of this report is funded by such entities as the Department of Energy, the EPA, the National Resources Defense Council--was there any doubt that the conclusions would be so rosy about all these efficiency gains? And, more importantly, the need for collective action to achieve them?

This is the same crowd that has forced upon us low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and other such violations of the free market.

Rick Ballard

"My house built in 1994 registered in the high 80 % for almost everything."

It was probably built to the UBC 1991 requirements (revised in '94, '97, '00 etc). Every revision has seen the R factor requirement tweaked. About 25% of the current housing stock will hit the 80% level and the worst of what doesn't meet current standards is rental housing.

They should call this stuff the "Tony Rezko Slumlord Relief Act" when they get around to ramming it through.


How about local utilities seize the opportunity to partner with homeowners and builders to install co-generating solar systems on rooftops everywhere, and especially in the southwest. Such systems could satisfy a lot of the residential energy demand, provide a bit of energy self-sufficiency, and buffer the national energy network.



FWIW, if you want to cool the attic, blow foam on the underside of the roof sheeting, it's pretty amazing. Kind of wondering how it will affect the shingles, though.


Well Po then the tax credit will just have to be upsized. See wasn't that easy? What is the next problem, [email protected]


Well, sure, because govt money, it, well, it like comes from fairies or something.

I wish these solar people would wake up a minute and realize that you could build new efficient nukes and generate power locally for probably 1/8 the cost or less of all this carp being proposed. I read somewhere the other day where the pioneers of nuclear power envisioned a future where electricity would be nearly too cheap to meter, then the govt stepped in to "help".


The payback time on a solar roof is highly dependent upon the MTBH (Mean Time Between Hailstorms) in your locale. Where I live, that's measured in months...


The best description on a Solar system that I've seen is "It's a system with a 20 year life and a 50 year payback."

In other words, somewhere the other side of never.

Maybe somebody will find a way to do it more cheaply, but, so far there have been a lot of claims, but no products.



Me too. My insurance company loves me, I have a cement tile roof. What would happen to my premiums though were I to add a bunch of very expensive solar panels to Southern exposure? Might that extend out the payback beyond my natural life?


Rush doesn't mock real conservationist. He mocks those who would force us to conserve the way they decide.

Hey, I have a metal roof and it is much more energy efficient. My Mother-in-laws place was built in 1881. They put a new tin roof on when she was born and other than painting it every few years it's in great shape. She's in her 70's.

They'll seize the opportunity when it's mandated and subsidized, Mom.

Look! Golfballs the size of hailstones!


Here's a good piece called "Green Jobs" Brown Economy" that explains why green jobs are another form of pork.




The duce you say. Green jobs=government subsidized employment=pork. I've never heard such blasphemy.

Rick Ballard


Wanna read about Smoot-Hawley Redux? The Chinese Potemkin facade appears to be a rather high maintenance item. It's sure good to see the EU acting calmly and rationally. After all, their hair really is on fire.

Jim Miller

In temperate regions, a better alternative would be "chameleon" roofs, roofs that could change color with outside temperatures, light in the summer, dark in the winter.

I have no idea whether such roofs could be made economically, though I can think of several ways to make them, and engineers in the right fields could probably think of many more.


Gee Jim, you could make a good back with that.



It isn't looking good but Wall Street seems to be taking it all in stride-the cheerleaders got another up day (I suppose in the new normal the market never goes down?). FP also had a warning this week (though I disagree with the authors point that it has been the Chinese "propping up the dollar")


Rick, one other point: The World Bank study from a year and a half ago showing that China's economy was overestimated by 40% hasn't made a break through either.

Rick Ballard


That FP piece reinforces Pettis' observations about the absolute crud quality of the Chicom forced loan program. The market is currently rather detached from what is known as 'economic reality'. It won't be forever.

Have you ever seen a percentage relationship between the total DJIA companies and GDP? I ask because the Romer inventory replenishment fantasy seems to be back in the mix. Total Q4 08 ending inventory for the DJIA (ex-finance and insurance) was $164B versus a Q1 09 ending of $158B. I'm still totaling up sales but I already know that the DJIA remained inventory heavy at least through Q1. Considering that the pre-Ogabe GDP ran at $38.3B per day, the inventory fantasy just doesn't wash.


Insulation is great,it keeps the heat in,it also keeps the cold in,so the house has to be heated. Does anyone think that Greenscam is about letting the cost of electricity go down if we conserve it? No you could make your house airtight and the government and the utilities will put the prices up.That is what it is about,less for more money.


Same with ObamaCare.


Have you ever seen a percentage relationship between the total DJIA companies and GDP?

Not following. Are you looking for market cap to GDP or sales to GDP? I'll do some digging this evening.

In re: China, they are going through the topish-IPO craze we went through with the NASDAQ so I'd guess the rude awakening will be soon. Alot of the bullish sentiment has been built around an unfortunate faith in the Chinese economic miracle.

Rick Ballard


Sales to GDP or a statement such as 'business activity of the DJIA companies accounts for X% of the GDP'. The Romer stuff is driving me nuts. The inventory babble is without foundation.


How about: "Interestingly, even with changes in the component companies, over the past 50 years, the share of GDP represented by the revenues of the firms comprising the Dow industrials has been
rather stable, averaging approximately 14 percent. More recently, revenues of the Dow companies comprise approximately 18.9 percent of GDP - on the high end of average, but very close to where it was as far back as the 1970s." (from GT Financial Analysis Lab August 2007)

I'll see if I can find something better, but something around 14%-19% might be good enough for government work.

Rick Ballard


That's great - I don't see any need for better. Let's call it 1/6th of the GDP. The inventory/sales ratio at the end of Q4 08 was 30% and Q1 09 came in at 34%. I'll have to do 10Qs for Q2 but there is no 'inventory restocking' necessary for the DJIA companies. Romer is spouting pure smoke.

Thank you.


I suppose in the new normal the market never goes down?

Someone needs to point out that it's no great accomplishment to get the market to approximately 35% below its peak. Or, to put it another way, back to where it was in 1998 (even before allowing for inflation).


I do what I can.

So the first reading on Q2 is out tomorrow does it exceed -4%? The consensus is still around -1.5% iirc. Does Obama start firing his economics team after the release?

And would you look at that-Cash for Clunkers has thrown a rod.

Rick Ballard

"does it exceed -4%?"

It should - if they put 2% of lipstick on this pig they'll pay for it in Q3. You can shuffle the pea and thimble for a little bit but the Stim I money wasn't shoveled in - what else could mitigate the downturn?

Back of the envelope shows -18% since Q3 08. Q4 was -6.7 and Q1 was -5.5.


Absolutely. It will be a hell of a lot harder to get unemployment under 8% than it will be to cheer up the market.



They could revise down the Q408 and Q109 numbers to perk up Q2 a bit. Obama's economics brain trust and all those blue chip credentialed forecasters can't all be wrong?

In re: inventory numbers you posted. The i/s ratio is creeping up meaning that at least the DJI companies are holding inventory? Not only does that not put pressure to build, but could put pressure for further liquidations. Romer's wishful thinking does seem to have spread. Wonder when she is going to start quoting google trends of "inventories" as a leading-leading indicator?

The comments to this entry are closed.