Carbon Dioxide Warning Labels

Carbon Dioxide Warning Labels are safety warnings found on gas pumps, home heating oil invoices and contracts, and electricity bills that warn people at the time of purchase that the use of the fuel will increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and make the planet increasingly unsuitable to life. Such labels remind people that the decision they are now making is contributing to changes in weather patterns, droughts, the extinction of species and the collapse of ecosystems. These labels can remind people at the time of such a purchase that carbon levels have not been this high in the last 800,000 years and that the planet’s atmospheric conditions are increasingly like those of past extinction periods. With this information a person is aware of their individual role and the implications of the decisions. It also reminds a person of the existence of the option not to make the purchase.

Carbon Dioxide Warning Labels are consistent with the health and safety disclosures commonly found on other products.

Light Switch

1) A device that sends a signal to a coal plant to burn more coal or natural gas.

2) The end point in a vast network built around the burning of fossil fuels.

On the other end of a light switch is a coal plant and flipping a light switch results in the burning of coal or natural gas, adding adds more CO2 into the atmosphere and more mercury to the soil, lakes and oceans.

The difficulty of seeing the relationship between the flipping a light switch and the burning coal at a location remote from that switch allows people to believe that no harm results from this action.

Due to specialization, we do not observe the efforts of those who act as our proxy and who mine for the coal, transport it, and incinerate it. But the action of flipping the light switch makes possible and endorses all of these actions.

For people who use only solar or wind as electricity sources, the light switch is a support for the further development of these energy sources.


What’s The Choice?

What can you do? Here are some choices that are available to you.

1) Share this definition with others.

2) Purchase electricity for your home or business from a company that generates it from renewable energy sources. Here is a list of renewable energy electricity providers in the United States.

3) Support the idea of a carbon tax in local, state and federal legislation.

4) Sign petitions in favor of a carbon tax or that seek to end government subsidies for energy companies that use fossil fuels.

5) Explain to others the benefits of renewable energy use or assist others with the conversion to renewable energy providers.

Environmental Whistleblower

1) A person who sees his or her duties and obligations to the biosphere, all currently living things, and all things and people that will live in the future as being greater than his or her obligations to the shareholders of the company that employs them.

2) A person who believes—and who acts on this belief—that it is worse to be complicit in the destruction of ecosystems and the killing of species than it is to act contrary to the short term interests of an employer.

3) A person who wishes to reduce the amount of harm being done to the planet’s systems by exposing the practices causing that harm.


Soda is the product of industrial-scale corn monocultures which rely on pesticides and herbicides and that destroy habits and food sources for a variety of insects and animals. If the soda is in a can, the aluminum of the can involves intensive mining which too harms or destroys habits and ecosystem by stripping the surface earth but also through runoff of the extracted materials into streams and lakes. If the soda is in a bottle, the plastic contains BPA, an endocrine disruptor founds in drinking water, lakes and streams. BPA finds its way into ecosystems and is toxic to animals and water organisms.


What Are My Choices?

What can you do? Here are some choices that are available to you.

1) Share this definition with others.

2) Drink water instead of soda. Drink less soda, drink only soda that is in a glass bottle and made with organic sugar, or make soda at home.

3) Support legislation or sign petitions that seek to ban the use of glyphosate on corn and other crops.

4) Support legislation that requires companies to label GMO food products and support efforts designed to push our government representatives to write such legislation.

5) Ask our representatives to increase restrictions on pollution from BPA plants and from mining operations, with severe penalties on pollution that ends up in bodies of water.


1) A monoculture with intensive water, fertilizer and often pesticide requirements.

2) A human tradition with high costs to ecosystems.

3) An energy expensive form of landscaping.

4) It is human aesthetics being chosen over the necessities (for survival) of other living things.

A yard is an opportunity develop a habitat for insects and wildlife. A yard is an opportunity to plant edibles, native plants (which require less watering and therefore put less stress on the local water supply), plants that are food sources to birds and insects. A yard can be a part of a larger effort to increase the amount of acreage (there are approximately 25 million acres of lawn currently in the U.S.) for species other than human beings. In short, a yard can be part of a reversal of a long-term trend toward habitat destruction.



What Are Your Choices?

What can you do? Here are some choices that are available to you. Continue reading “Lawn” »

Diffusion Of Responsibility

1) The belief and expectation that someone else will take a necessary action and so freeing you from the obligation.

2) A phenomenon where a necessary action is neglected because all those who can take the action expect others to do so.

3) One cause of passivity and inaction.

Example: An individual waits for a scientist to discover a new technology to address CO2 levels in the atmosphere while continuing to live a carbon-intensive lifestyle and continuing to support fossil-fuel dependency. Diffusion of responsibility is one of the contributing factors to passivity in the face of an imminent danger.


1) A numerical value human beings place on a thing to draw it into the human sphere; a way for human beings to see a thing on their terms.

2) A way label all things and dismiss all that people don’t know about them as irrelevant; a practice of reductionism.

3) A way to conceal what we don’t know about a thing and its role in an ecosystem, its mechanics and it history; a way to push away our anxiety about our lack of knowledge about a thing.

4) A way for people to feel important and confident in their mastery over the planet and in their place in the universe.

5) A way to subordinate all things on the planet and see them only in terms of their short term utility to a human being.


1) A person who, by shaping people’s tastes for certain types of buildings, establishes a demand for ecologically-friendly houses.

2) A person whose expertise allows them to design buildings compatible with the planet’s ecosystems (both minimizing destruction of habitats and minimizing fuel and resource use).

3) A person capable of designing houses and buildings that do not require energy to heat or cool them, and understands how to reduce the typical inputs (heating fuel, electricity and water) and outputs (waste) of a building.

A significant portion of annual CO2 emissions (as much as 40%) are from the heating of homes. However, it is now possible to build homes and buildings which do not require any type of heating appliance (even in cold climates). The cost of constructing these homes and buildings are approximately equivalent to buildings which use oil, propane, natural gas, electricity or wood burning to heat them.