They say if you want to see what will be happening across the country in years to come, look at California. The state has been the leader on many issues, including ones relating to the environment.
If that's the case, you might some day be seeing warning label when you pull up to the pump to fill up that say "The contents of this pump are dangerous to the health of the climate."
Two cities in the Bay area are considering placing warning labels that essentially say just that on every gas pump within their limits. Berkeley will vote this week on whether to move forward on one of two proposals, and San Francisco is currently drafting such a law to be voted on. Although the laws are currently only drafts, a mock-up of the warning, written by the San Francisco city attorney's office says, "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that a typical passenger vehicle burning one gallon of fuel produces on the average 20 pounds of tailpipe carbon dioxide, which the EPA has determined is the primary greenhouse gas contributing to recent climate change."
Climate advocates hope the label will function like warning labels on cigarette packs, causing some people to think about the consequences of their usage.
“Right now, it’s normal and socially acceptable to burn fossil fuels in our society, and this is in contradiction to the science of global warming,” Jamie Brooks, a campaign manager for 350.org/Bay Area, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “What we’re not doing a very good job of is making the connection between our own personal use and global warming. The goal is to connect personal consumption with the problem. Who is responsible? Me.”
And Berkeley City Councilman Jamie Brooks, who sponsored the proposal, told the Chronicle, "Everybody wants to do something about global warming. The goal is it’ll make people stop and think about what they can do in the real world.”
Not surprisingly, the Western States Petroleum Association was less enthusiastic and called the labels "forced reproductions of the state’s and city’s policy opinions.”
Others, including Berkeley Councilman Gordon Wozniak, were simply skeptical about their effectiveness, saying they would "increase people’s guilt without giving them useful action."
“When you have to get somewhere and you need gas, what are you going to do? Leave the car there?” said Wozniak. “The decision comes when you buy the vehicle.”
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At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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