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The Elephants


Judith Goldman


Published April 11, 2018

JUDITH GOLDMAN is the author of Vocoder (Roof), Deathstar/Rico-chet (O Books), l.b.; or, catenaries (Krupskaya), and agon (The Operating System). Albedo derives from her current project [ ] Mt. [blank mount]: “Mont Blanc” + Mont Blanc / light + color / grieving Earth, which writes through past futures and future histories of ecological catastrophe, using the lenses of Shelley’s “Mont Blanc” and the mountain Mont Blanc. She is core faculty in the Poetics Program at SUNY, Buffalo and Poetry Features Editor for Postmodern Culture.

A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were red, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them white. Alice thought this a very curious thing, she heard one of them say, “Look out now, Five! Don’t go splashing paint over me like that!”

Seven flung down his brush, when his eye chanced to fall upon Alice. “Would you tell me,” said Alice, “why you are painting those roses?” “Cold generates cold” “That when sunlight is reflected off a white or light-colored surface” “affects the equilibrium temperature of the Earth”

albedo, or reflection coefficient, derived from Latin albedo “whiteness” (or reflected sunlight), from albus “white”

a non-dimensional, unitless quantity: how well a surface reflects solar energy

whiteness of a surface

1 = white; surface is a “perfect reflector”
0 = black; surface is a “perfect absorber”