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Ambassadors Working to Label Gas Pumps, by Reed

guest post by Reed, Ambassador for Climate Justice, age 14

On March 3rd, 2015, Plant for the Planet met with Jasmine (Mike O’Brien’s assistant) and William Foster, a city attorney, at the City Hall in Seattle.  The goal of the meeting was to start our quest for labels at gas stations telling you about Climate Change.  Our meeting was divided into four parts:

In the first part, we talked about why we were here.   That was pretty easy.  We were there because we all wanted to save the planet and stop Climate Change, and you can’t do that when the world doesn’t know enough about something like this.  That’s why we want to inform people on Climate Change by putting a message on the nozzle.

The next part was about what we all wanted.  What was our goal?  We were all able to agree on the general basis of what we wanted.  But there were tons of smaller things that we debated on: What should the design look like?  Where should we put the labels?  What should the consequences be for companies who reject the labels? There are still a few things to decide.

The third part was about who and what could oppose the law that we were trying to pass.  The city attorney, William Foster, brought up the First Amendment, saying it might get in the way of this, as the gas stations would be forced to put the labels up.  Then cigarette labels were brought up.  The companies are forced to put something on the side of the containers, saying that they can kill you.  Could that be an advantage…?

While in the middle of this, Council Member Mike O’Brien came into the room.  He talked about how some laws could never be changed, and demonstrated it by dropping a cup and letting it fall on the table, demonstrating Newton’s laws of Gravity.  He hopes this is a law where we can have an impact.

The fourth and final part was what everyone (the city attorney and Plant for the Planet as well) could do until the next time we meet.  Cigarette labels were discussed, and William said he would look into them to see if they can help this case.  For us kids, our job is to find allies.  Other cities are trying to pass laws similar to this one, and maybe we could make an alliance with them.  Environmental groups are another place to look, so Sierra Club…if you are reading this…we want you on our side.  :)