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Maryland must act more boldly on climate | READER COMMENTARY

Biological Science Technician Alice Stearns takes a water sample in the SMARTX marsh ecosystem experiment. Experiments at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater help scientists learn about climate change. File. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette).
Biological Science Technician Alice Stearns takes a water sample in the SMARTX marsh ecosystem experiment. Experiments at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater help scientists learn about climate change. File. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette). (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette)

I share Donald F. Boesch’s disappointment in the Maryland General Assembly’s failure to enact strong climate legislation (“Maryland, once a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, falls dangerously behind,” Nov. 3). Maryland should enact robust climate justice legislation during the upcoming legislative session.

With the U.S. Congress watering down vital climate legislation, states need to act boldly on their own. Maryland, the wealthiest state according to U.S. News and World Report, is in a perfect position to lead on climate justice and can afford to do so.

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As strange as it sounds, the climate crisis presents Maryland with a golden opportunity. By addressing climate, we will begin to solve problems that disproportionately affect low-income communities and people of color, who are more likely than others to live near freeways, power plants and toxic waste dumps, all of which cause serious health problems and hurt local economies. Transitioning to clean, renewable energy and transportation will help bring racial justice to Maryland: Climate justice is racial justice.

With climate legislation, we can help workers transition to new careers across the state including in historically redlined neighborhoods. We can lower the health risks communities of color face and build greener, more reliable public transportation that everyone can count on. With all these benefits why wouldn’t we want climate justice in Maryland?

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I urge House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson to go all-in on the climate and do right by the environment, right by Maryland’s workers, right by Maryland’s children and families and right by Maryland’s communities of color. Let’s make Maryland a climate justice leader.

Robert Wald, Silver Spring

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