San Francisco and Berkeley, California, the ever-tireless pioneers of progressive government policies, are slated to become the first cities in the nation to slap global warming labels on all gas pumps.
In Berkeley, where the City Council passed this eco-law last month, the stickers will read “Global Warming Alert,” before warning consumers about the “harmful emission of carbon dioxide” that they’re about to shamelessly engage in. The intention is obvious: lay a green guilt trip on people at the pump, forcing them to think twice before filling up.
“I think the science is clear we have to reduce buying gasoline and treat it as though it’s a neutral activity,” said Jack Fleck, a member of 350 Bay Area, the organization leading the effort. “Consuming gasoline is causing climate change. It’s a serious problem.”
San Francisco is currently drafting a similar proposal that will easily be approved by their ultra-liberal Board of Supervisors (often fondly referred to, by yours truly, as the Board of Stupid-visors). A sample warning label, written by the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office states, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that a typical passenger vehicle burning one gallon of fuel produces on average almost 20 pounds of tailpipe carbon dioxide, which the EPA has determined is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change.”
The Western States Petroleum Association has already signaled a legal threat, calling the labels a violation of “the First Amendment’s prohibition against compelled speech.”
350 Bay Area conceived the sticker scheme as a part of its “Beyond the Pump” campaign, designed to frighten consumers about the supposed-dangers associated with using gasoline and diesel fuel.
Let’s stop right here. In addition to everything else I do I am a meteorologist and I know the facts. First, there are more cars and trucks on the road than ever in the United States, yet our pollution levels are the lowest in decades. America has done a remarkable job of cleaning up its skies! Second, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant—it’s a compound required for life! Third, while a sexy theory, there is no solid proof that carbon dioxide has caused global temperatures to rise. In fact 100 percent of solar physicists (nerdy scientists who study the sun) agree that long-term changes in climate and temperature are caused by variations in solar radiation—not the activities of people. Oh, and one more pesky fact: there has been no rise in the earth’s atmospheric temperature for over a decade and a half!
In a letter to Berkeley city officials, The Western States Petroleum Association says the law directly violates the First Amendment “by forcing businesses to advance the State of California’s policy position that global warming caused by greenhouse gases poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of California.” And how much are those stickers going to cost? Both Berkeley and San Francisco each anticipate spending $20,000 to print and affix the labels on to the pumps. Costs needed to fight the inevitable lawsuits are unknown.
The stickers I would like to see on the pumps? Large ones detailed the ridiculous amount of taxes we pay with each gallon of gas in California.
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