Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Cambridge gas pump warning label
Courtesy of City of Cambridge

Oil

Cambridge To Post Warning Stickers On Gas Pumps

Cambridge, Massachusetts will be the first US city to require warning labels on gas and diesel pumps.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to Harvard and MIT, is ground zero for the tree hugger crowd in the United States, closely followed by Berkeley on the Left Coast. So it should surprise no one that it will be the first US city to place warning labels on the gas pumps within its city limits. Warning labels similar to those approved by Cambridge are already found in Sweden. Oddly enough, a campaign advocating for similar stickers in Berkeley was unsuccessful.

Cambridge gas pump warning label

Courtesy of City of Cambridge

It’s not that the warnings are harsh or designed to frighten the children. In fact, they are quite mild and far less assertive than many climate activists wanted. Jamie Brooks, a member of the climate advocacy group Beyond the Pump, tells The Guardian he pushed for language with a sharper tone. He wanted them to say, “Continuing to burn gasoline (or diesel) worsens the climate emergency, with major projected impacts on your health increasing over time.”

“Labels are designed to create a feeling like someone has broken a rule or violated a law,” Brooks says. “This feeling, along with increased social pressure, like smoking labels, can translate to a collapse in trust for the current system, thereby increasing the public appetite for alternatives.”

ClientEarth, an environmental non-profit, wanted the labels to show a forest on fire with a stark list of the disastrous impacts caused by global heating. It argues that more visceral warnings with greater emotional content would influence people in much the same way as graphic images of gum disease and heart failure on cigarette packets forced many people to acknowledge the health risks of chewing or smoking tobacco.

The stickers approved by the city are being printed and will be placed on pumps in Cambridge “fairly soon” according to a spokesperson for the city, who added, “The city of Cambridge is working hard with our community to fight climate change. The gas pump stickers will remind drivers to think about climate change and hopefully consider non-polluting options.” The placement of the stickers was approved by an ordinance passed by the city last January. Cambridge has a plan in place to reduce carbon emissions by 80% and offset the remainder by 2050. Meeting those goals will make it one of the first US cities to be carbon neutral.

The warning label idea is not new. 350.org started advocating for them in 2014 and Arnold Schwarzenegger added his voice to the chorus in 2017. Will warning labels save the Earth? Of course not. But they could lead some people to reassess their position on global heating and that could lead to changes that promote a sustainable environment. People still smoke despite warning labels on packs of cigarettes but attitudes toward smoking have changed considerably from the days when tobacco companies used to pay doctors to promote their products.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step, according to a Chinese proverb. Today, warning labels in Cambridge. Tomorrow, warning labels all across the US. In the not too distant future, a warning label on every pump in the world. If you want to give the Earth a Christmas present this year, decide to advocate for similar warning labels in your community. As Margaret Mead once said, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Cars

The Volkswagen ID.3 seems like it just hit the market, but the attention has already shifted to the Volkswagen ID.4, and that’s because the...

Cars

Sales numbers are in for electric vehicles in Sweden, Spain, Denmark, and Ireland for the month of March, and thus for the first quarter...

Cars

Welcome to China × Cleantech — February 2021 edition. Our China x Cleantech series covers top cleantech stories in China each month. EV Sales 8.4% Of...

Batteries

Volkswagen had a live “Power Day” event today. I’m not going to rate the acting and script reading (you can thank me later), but...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.