The Bay Area chapter of 350.org wants all local gas stations to display labels on pumps that say, "WARNING! GAS USE CREATES CLIMATE DISRUPTION," and while their hearts are undoubtedly in the right place, is this is a realistic and viable way to reduce fossil fuel addiction?
Jamie Brooks of 350.org thinks it is.
"There's no immediate signal to a consumer of gasoline to show their effects on climate," Brooks told the San Francisco Chronicle, “The goal is to create a signal saying, 'You need to change your behavior.’”
Here’s the problem. Even if Berkeley and San Francisco implement the labels, it’s still a small and merely local fix. And that’s assuming that drivers always read the labels, believe in their message and feel guilty enough to change their ways.
Again, consider the similarly severe warnings on cigarette packs. Consider the gruesome pictures of black lungs and cancerous body parts wrapped around packs in the European Union by mandate. Although smoking has decreased around the world (due mostly to rising costs and the advent of e-cigarettes), there are still plenty of Westerners who ignore the gloom and doom warnings and continue the habit.