Should Climate Change Come With a Warning Label?

An enormous iceberg (R) breaks off the Knox Coast in the Australian Antarctic Territory on January 11, 2008. Australia's CSIRO's atmospheric research unit has found the world is warming faster than predicted by the United Nations' top climate change body, with harmful emissions exceeding worst-case estimates. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
June 17, 2014, 9:39 a.m.

Air pol­lu­tion could soon come with a warn­ing la­bel.

At least if you live in Berke­ley, Cal­if. The city is weigh­ing a pro­pos­al that re­quires gas-sta­tion own­ers to at­tach air-pol­lu­tion warn­ing la­bels to gas pumps. The la­bels alert cus­tom­ers that gas­ol­ine con­sump­tion re­leases car­bon di­ox­ide, which in turn con­trib­utes to cli­mate change.

And they don’t mince words. “GLOB­AL WARM­ING ALERT!” a mock-up of the la­bels screams in all cap­it­al let­ters.

The pro­posed or­din­ance is the brainchild of the San Fran­cisco Bay Area chapter of grass­roots en­vir­on­ment­al or­gan­iz­a­tion 350.org. It might seem far fetched to some, but it’s gain­ing trac­tion in a city with a pen­chant for pro­gress­ive polit­ics.

“We already re­quire ci­gar­ette packs to in­clude warn­ing la­bels,” Mat­thew Lewis, the co-chair of the Chan­cel­lor’s Ad­vis­ory Com­mit­tee on Sus­tain­ab­il­ity at Berke­ley told the Daily Cali­for­ni­an earli­er this week. “Re­quir­ing la­bels at gas pumps would sim­il­arly keep the harm of burn­ing gas­ol­ine fresh in people’s minds.”

Berke­ley’s Com­munity En­vir­on­ment­al Ad­vis­ory Com­mis­sion ap­proved the plan Thursday. The pro­pos­al now awaits a City Coun­cil vote, which is ex­pec­ted to take place in the next few weeks.

Of course, not every­one is thrilled.

The West­ern States Pet­ro­leum As­so­ci­ation — a trade or­gan­iz­a­tion for pet­ro­leum pro­du­cers and re­finers — had harsh words for the pro­pos­al.

In a let­ter sent to the com­mis­sion last week, as­so­ci­ation pres­id­ent Cath­er­ine Re­he­is-Boyd said the plan would vi­ol­ate free speech by for­cing gas-sta­tion own­ers to af­fix the la­bels to their prop­erty. 

“This is the type of forced speech that the United States Su­preme Court has ruled is ab­so­lutely un­con­sti­tu­tion­al,” Re­he­is-Boyd wrote.

What We're Following See More »
PLENTY OF MISTAKES IN COVERT TESTS
Report: U.S. Ill-Equipped to Detect Dirty Bomb
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

A DHS report "found gaping holes in domestic nuclear detection and defense capabilities and massive failures during covert testing." A team put in place to assess our readiness capabilities found significant issues in detecting dangerous radioactive and nuclear materials, failing to do so in 30 percent of covert tests conducted over the course of the year. In far too many cases, the person operating the detection device had no idea how to use it. And when the operator did get a hit, he or she relayed sensitive information over unsecured open radio channels."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
10 hours ago
THE LATEST
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
13 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
4 days ago
BREAKING
WOULD HAVE REPLACED FLYNN
Harward Turns Down NSC Job
5 days ago
THE LATEST

"Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned down President Donald Trump's offer to be national security adviser Thursday, depriving the administration of a top candidate for a critical foreign policy post days after Trump fired Michael Flynn." Among the potential reasons: his family, his lack of assurances that he could build his own team, and that "the White House seems so chaotic."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login