Policy: Environment & Energy

Warning: Global warming warning stickers may be coming to a gas pump near you

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Climate Change,Ashe Schow,Energy and Environment,Global Warming

You know those warning labels on cigarettes that let you know just how bad the product is for your health? Imagine pulling up to a gas station and seeing a similar warning label on the pump -- but for global warming, not cancer.

If environmentalists in San Francisco get their way, that could become a reality.

Environmentalists with 350.org, a grassroots group dedicated to solving global warming, want to slap warning stickers on gas pumps warning drivers of the dangers of using gas.

“Human beings are not really wired for seeing the cause and effect of climate change,” Jamie Brooks, a member of the Bay Area chapter of 350.org, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The cause is burning fossil fuels, but we're not going to feel the effects until well into the future. There's no immediate signal to a consumer of gasoline to show their effects on climate.”

So to force people to think about global warming, the group wants the warning stickers.

But would it work?

“The goal isn't to take transportation away from people and say, 'You're a bad person,' ” Brooks said. “The goal is to create a signal saying, 'You need to change your behavior.' ”

But change their behavior to what? If you see a warning on a cigarette label, maybe you won’t buy the pack of cigarettes. But it’s not exactly possible to drive up to a gas pump and then choose not to buy that gas and instead purchase something better for the planet.

One could choose to purchase a more expensive vehicle that uses less gas or no gas, but that puts a heavy burden on consumers.

Perhaps it would be easier to put warning labels on environmentalists. Michael Bastasch, who covered the story for the Daily Caller, had a great suggestion:

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