Dante Swinton, an organizer with The Energy Justice Network, leads college students on a "toxic tour" of polluting sites in Baltimore. The Energy Justice Network always starts the tour at the Wheelabrator incinerator, which was long known as BRESCO.
The Baltimore City Council is to be commended for voting to limit the harmful emissions coming from the Wheelabrator and Curtis Bay smokestacks (“Council adopts emission limits,” Feb. 12). Poisoning the air and lungs and health of Baltimore residents in an effort to limit greenhouse gases (the proposition Wheelabrator makes) is not acceptable. No matter what the cost to craft alternate solutions to our waste, it will cost more in dollars, deaths and quality of life to not make those changes.
So too, it was good for the city to include one- and two-family rental units to comply with basic health standards. Everyone deserves safe living conditions. The Sun correctly editorializes that those renters who are displaced because of this law should not be abandoned (“Safe, affordable homes,” Feb. 12). Rather, they should be relocated at the offending landlords’ expense. Kudos to those who call for this and to those cities that are doing it.
Now, what about all of us and the earth? We, too, have a right to a healthy home: the fundamentals of an earth with healthy air, water, land. The only thing is, when we degrade and diminish it, when it becomes inhabitable, we can’t be relocated. We have to make things right, healthy, here. And now. That is why we need to support bills like the Clean Energy Jobs Act and the effort to create a Healthy Green Maryland constitutional amendment to assure our rights to a healthy environment.
It is up to all of us to address these issues with grit and determination. And Baltimore is showing us how.