Berkeley Approves Global Warming Warning Labels at Gas Pumps

gas pump photo

The biggest complaint among those concerned about global warming is that they want to be part of something larger–a collective action that makes a difference.

And while individual actions certainly have an impact, it’s more difficult to get people to alter their ways independently. That’s the thinking behind the newly approved global warming warning labels to be placed at gas pumps in Berkeley, Calif.

Late Tuesday, by a 7-2 vote, Berkeley’s city council approved a recommendation requiring that the city manager draft an ordinance requiring climate change labels at gas pumps. Berkeley is the first city in the nation to take such action, though San Francisco may be next to approve the move.

The labels will appear in early 2015 as part of the “Beyond the Pump” campaign that reminds drivers to take steps to drive less. Because us drivers can sometimes forget that burning gasoline has a direct impact on global warming. Burning less fuel both individually and as a community can have a real impact, so keep your tires properly inflated, drive slower, commute using carpool, bus transit, walking, or biking.

This is all part of Berkeley’s plan to cut emissions 33 percent by 2020. Although Big Oil is not exactly thrilled with the move.

According to CBS San Francisco:

In a letter to city officials, The Western States Petroleum Association, an oil-industry lobbying group, said the proposal directly violates the First Amendment “by forcing businesses to advance the State of California’s policy position that global warming caused by greenhouse gases poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of California.”

If you saw warning labels at the pump would it make you drive less?

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Image: Mike Mozart