Warning labels on gas pumps
Status update on Dump the Pump campaign 4/30/13
In addition to the first break-out session at the 350 Bay Area general meeting on December 4, 2012, we met before the Garth Lenz talk in Oakland on January 20, 2013 and we met after the Forward on Climate rally on February 17. We also passed out post-it notes with a sample warning label at the Forward on Climate rally.
We have continued to accumulate signatures supporting the campaign, and there are currently about 1,000 signers.
Three of us met with Professor Kirk Smith at the University of California on April 15 to discuss his views on the warning label idea. We are also working on an opinion piece to submit to the media on the subject.
The main tasks for the campaign right now:
1. Legal research. I have been in touch with students from the Golden Gate University Law School who may be willing to assist us in this. Anyone else is welcome to pitch in. The issue here is that cities can't pass an ordinance without approval of their city attorney. Local officials who support the idea, such as John Avalos, would like to make sure we have good legal footing before asking the San Francisco City Attorney to weigh in. The reason is that each member of the Board has a limited budget with the City Attorney.
2. Consolidating all Climate Action Plans in one short web link—e.g. www.ClimateAction.gov. We need to talk to the various city climate action staff members to ask them to do this.
3. Continued outreach to environmental and community groups to gain endorsements. Continued gathering of petition signatures and follow up, especially in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco, but not limited to those cities.
Future tasks include:
- Meet with city council members to get their support . Goal is to meet with each council member and make it a unanimous vote. Take careful notes to see if the council member understands global warming or is in denial. Keep a record of the position of each council member so we can publicize it in the next election—both positive and negative.
- Work with city attorneys to draft model legislation and spread it around the Bay Area
- Attend public hearings and testify in support of the resolution
- Be prepared to withstand a furious assault in the form of ridicule, anger, and denial-- orchestrated by the oil companies. Remember that this is a question of math, chemistry and physics, not politics, economics, or philosophy. We have to stop using fossil fuels if civilization is to continue. Don't let the opposition get you down! Let's have some fun!
- If we win the gas pump labels, we move on to other cities in the Bay Area and the nation. Then we go on to all oil/fossil fuel company advertising—magazines, TV, etc. should have warnings, or just be banned, like cigarette commercials.
Keep in mind that this is just one part of a movement to tax carbon, get cities and schools to divest from oil company stocks, end subsidies for fossil fuels, support alternative energy, and save the planet. Join us, and we can do this!
--Jack Lucero Fleck for 350 Bay Area