Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders engaged in a serious discussion about the environmental injustices facing Flint, Michigan and communities around the country in a spirited debate on Sunday night. While the discussion didn’t reveal serious policy differences between the candidates, it did highlight the divide between Democrats and Republicans, who spent their debate comparing the relative size of their fingers and other body parts.
“This country needs to take a serious look at the environmental injustices affecting communities across our nation,” said Yong Jung Cho, 350 Action campaign coordinator. “We know that race and class are inextricably linked to the fight for healthy communities and a safe climate. Tonight’s debate helped elevate issues that should be at the forefront of this race going forward.”
The debate also saw a confrontation between the two candidates over the controversial and dangerous practice of fracking. Asked whether she supported the issue, Hillary Clinton answered that she would push for tougher regulations, but still allow fracking to happen in some places. Clinton has come under fire from environmentalists for her previous support for fracking, especially during her tenure at the U.S. State Department.
Asked the same question, Sanders’ response was much more direct, “No, I do not support fracking.” Sanders went on to note that climate change was a major issue facing the country that deserved more air time in the media and serious political steps to address the crisis.
.@BernieSanders reiterated his opposition to fracking—under all circumstances at the #DemDebate https://t.co/htsTS5aF0G— NowThis (@NowThis)1457323504.0
“Clinton will continue to struggle to convince climate advocates that she is serious about addressing the crisis until she comes out for a full ban on fracking,” said Cho. “Clinton has moved from supporting fracking to insisting on regulations that would make it impossible to frack in most places. It’s high time to come out against it all together.
“Scientists are clear that the only way to prevent catastrophic climate change is to leave all fossil fuels, including natural gas, in the ground. We need to see clearer signs that if elected President she won’t do the bidding of the fossil fuel industry corporations, whose campaign contributions she still hasn’t refused to accept.”
.@BernieSanders: "I do not support fracking." #DemDebate @joshfoxfilm @MarkRuffalo @neilyoung @dhlovelife @350 https://t.co/smLa0XZ7Ii— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1457319044.0
While Sen. Sanders and Martin O’Malley signed a pledge to refuse to accept campaign contributions from fossil fuel lobbyists, Secretary Clinton refused to do so. Months ago she told activists that she would “look into” the issue, but her campaign hasn’t provided any additional updates. 350 Action and others are calling on all candidates for public office to refuse campaign contributions from fossil fuel lobbyists.
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
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What Parents Can Do<p>Parents should ask for and receive frequent updates from schools about plans for the fall. They should also be informed about plans if and when COVID infections are identified, Sharfstein said.</p><p>"I'd like to see parents investing now, during the summer, in doing things that can slow and stop the spread of the virus in their communities," Widome said.</p><p>"Now is a good time for kids to practice wearing masks and get used to them as they may be wearing them for longer stretches if school starts up in person," Widome suggested.</p><p>She recommends parents try different mask designs and materials to see what children are more comfortable wearing.</p><p>"If you are using cloth face coverings, it's good to have extras on hand," Widome added.</p><p>Parents should model healthy behavior at home and while out in public — another thing that could affect how well children adapt to reopening practices, Sorensen said.</p><p>"Children may want to know more about face coverings," added <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leescott/" target="_blank">Lee Scott</a>, chairwoman of the Educational Advisory Board at <a href="https://www.goddardschool.com/" target="_blank">The Goddard School</a>. "Dramatic play, such as creating or wearing a face covering, may help some children adjust to this concept." Schools can also show children photos of what faculty members look like in their masks so the students are familiar with that appearance.</p><p>Johns Hopkins University recently released its eSchool+ Initiative, a slew of resources surrounding education during the pandemic. These include a <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-checklist/" target="_blank">checklist for administrators</a>, report on <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/ethics-of-reopening/" target="_blank">ethical considerations</a>, and a tracker of <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-policy-tracker/" target="_blank">state and local reopening plans</a>.</p>
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<div id="fea63" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9a6f211c2bc5aedd34837944cb8eeedf"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1281000111481294849" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Water in Illinois is overwhelmingly public. Why is Tammy Duckworth sponsoring a bill that aims to change that? https://t.co/1V36Kkd99s</div> — The American Prospect (@The American Prospect)<a href="https://twitter.com/TheProspect/statuses/1281000111481294849">1594249201.0</a></blockquote></div>
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