Monday, February 19, 2007

Journalism 012

First there were green homes, then came along green burials and now we have green tours...well, kind of.

As Naoki Schwartz reported today for the AP, the non-profit, Communities for a Better Environment has started offering
a "Toxic Tour" that meanders through Los Angeles' oil refineries, brownfields and chemical sites.

Like any good tour, it's the stories that accompany the scenery that really make it impactful.
The stories of affected community members are shared along the tour as a grisly reminder that the money-makers don't always like to be held accountable for the pollution, death and disease that they expound.

From the AP:

"The big thing with the tours is to put a human face on this," said Bill Gallegos, executive director of CBE.

The next stop (on the tour) is Tweedy Elementary School in South Gate, where an accidental release of chlorine gas in 1986 from a nearby factory sent 76 people, including three dozen children, to hospitals to treat nausea, respiratory and eye problems.

Tomothy Malloy, co-director of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at UCLA, takes students on the tour to reinforce classroom lessons on pollution.

"What really drove it home for the students," Malloy said, "is we were standing at the end of a cul-de-sac with these small homes, and they were looking across a property and could see the emissions we were talking about."

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