Arnold Schwarzenegger: Governments Should Start Putting Public Health Warning Labels On Fossil Fuels

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California — and of course film actor, producer, and bodybuilder, as well — has issued a public challenge to governments around the world to start putting public health warning labels on fossil fuels similar to the ones now found on cigarette packages.

Citing the 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) pact that saw 164 nations commit to putting labels on cigarette and cigar packages alerting buyers to the health risks associated with use, Schwarzenegger called on a similar action to be taken with regard to fossil fuels.

“Wouldn’t it be great now if they could … make the same pact with the rest of the world to go and say, ‘Let’s label another thing that is killing you — which is fossil fuels,'” Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying at the recent UN climate talks in Bonn.

“Schwarzenegger suggested telling customers at petrol stations that ‘what you pump into your tank may kill you’, and plastering oil tankers driving along highways with messages that their contents are dangerous to health,” Reuters reports.

“Schwarzenegger lamented that environmental pollution — estimated to kill more than 9 million people per year in all its forms — was rarely discussed at conferences on climate change. About two-thirds of those deaths are from air pollution.”

“This is a massive tragedy — and as depressing and terrifying as it is, we are not talking about it enough,” he continued.

Interestingly, Schwarzenegger noted that during his own political career it became obvious that simply talking about temperature rise and polar bears wasn’t effective in influencing public understanding of the dangers of anthropogenic climate change and the urgency of the situation. What did work, though, was apparently running ads stating bluntly that air pollution killed people and caused breathing problems in children.

Schwarzenegger noted that during just the 12 days that the climate change conference in Bonn would run that over 300,000 would die around the world as the result of pollution in their local environment.

Image by Jordandayaia (some rights reserved)

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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