SANTA MONICA, California — The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to consider requiring warning labels on all gas pumps to advise motorists of the risks of climate change. Council member Kevin McKeown proposed to “direct staff to explore an ordinance requiring the labeling of retail petroleum fuel pumps with a message explaining the connection between fossil fuel consumption and climate change.”
McKeown cited examples of similar measures in San Francisco and Berkeley. Such labels serve the purpose of “just acknowledging, making people aware, that the continued burning of petroleum fuels is a part of the problem with climate change. We have a personal choice to make,” he said, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press. He asked city staff to consider the risks of a lawsuit by the Western States Petroleum Association.
Last month, Berkeley passed a similar ordinance. There is no evidence that reduction of fossil fuel use in these California cities would have any appreciable effect on overall U.S. emissions, or indeed on the global climate. What politicians hope to achieve, evidently, is leadership by example, inspiring other governments worldwide to take action–and highlighting a contrast with Congress, where both parties have avoided such measures.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak