Cambridge, Massachusetts is the first city to pass an ordinance requiring warning labels on the dangers of fossil fuels at all gas pumps.
The bright yellow stickers will be hard to ignore and that is the point.
James Brooks, founder of Think Beyond the Pump, came up with the idea for warning stickers in Berkley, California, which has not passed the ordinance yet. He said they are “intentionally distracting.”
In a recent op-ed, Brooks explained, “The goal is to create a social norm around gassing up and put public pressure on consumers to find ways to reduce emissions. Of course, there is some guilt involved; drivers get the message, and they know everyone else gets it, too. That forces drivers to recognize they’re part of the problem. It creates a sense of accountability.”
The labels will read, “Warning – Burning Gasoline, Diesel and Ethanol has major consequences on human health and on the environment including contributing to climate change.”
Governor Charlie Baker has set an ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 for the state of Massachusetts, but the law only requires an 80% reduction in carbon emissions. With 43% of emissions coming from transportation, environmentalists hope the new warning labels will bring awareness and change.
“The City of Cambridge is working hard with our community to fight climate change. Since burning fossil fuels to power our automobiles is a big part of the cause, we know that we have to convert to less polluting transportation and replace gasoline and diesel with renewable energy,” a spokesman for the city told The Independent.
“The gas pump stickers will remind drivers to think about climate change and hopefully consider non-polluting options.”
Ways To Reduce Pollution From Vehicles
- Ride a bike or walk
- Take public transportation when possible
- Purchase electric or hybrid vehicles
- Optimize home delivers by having all items shipped at once in minimal packaging
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Brooks continues to push for more cities to add the warning labels to gas pumps. He believes the labels can bring change just like cigarette and seatbelt warnings did. “Seatbelts, good. Smoking, bad. Now we need a Gas-is-bad norm.”
He hopes to one day see the warning labels all around the world with the following message in bold letters, “Burning gasoline and diesel is bad for your health and will make life on Earth increasingly difficult.”
A study found that more than 100,000 Americans die every year from illnesses caused by air pollution. But you can help by signing the petition below to demand higher fuel efficiency standards to reduce air pollution and save lives.Whizzco