Lone Republican Takes Stand on Climate at GOP Debate, But Vows to Build Keystone XL If Elected
The first debate for the Republican presidential contenders took place last night in Cleveland, Ohio. Because of the 17-person field, the first debate night was split in two. The top 10 polling candidates debated at 9 p.m., while the bottom seven participated in what was dubbed the "Happy Hour Debate," at 5 p.m.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich all made the cut for the 9 p.m. debate. The Happy Hour participants included: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former CEO of Hewlett Packard Carly Fiorina, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Scant attention was paid to environmental issues at the first Republican primary debate. Climate change was not even mentioned once during the 9 p.m. debate. The only time it came up during the earlier debate was when moderator Bill Hemmer brought it up in a negative way saying to Lindsey Graham, "You worked with Democrats and President Obama when it came to climate change—something you know is extremely unpopular with conservative Republicans. How can they trust you based on that record?"
Moderator: Lindsey Graham, with climate change, you believe in science. How can people trust you? So this is going well. #GOPDebate
— Emerson Collins (@ActuallyEmerson) August 6, 2015
“You can trust me to do the following: that when I get on the stage with Hillary Clinton, we won't be debating about the science," Graham replied. "We will be debating about the solutions. In her world, cap-and-trade would dominate. That will destroy the economy in the name of helping the environment. In my world, we would focus on energy independence and a clean environment.”
That sounds promising, but Graham goes on to say, “When it comes to fossil fuels, we’re going to find more here and use less,” he continued. “Over time we’re going to become energy independent. I am tired of sending $300 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts.” Graham supports more domestic coal and oil production and said later in the debate, that Clinton is “not going to build the Keystone pipeline. I will.”
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"The choice between a weak economy and a strong environment is a false choice," he said, seemingly contradicting his earlier statement that a cap-and-trade program would "destroy the economy in the name of helping the environment." But Graham concludes by saying, "A healthy environment, a strong economy and an energy independent America—that would be the purpose of my presidency."
— Christopher N. Fox (@ChristopherNFox) August 6, 2015
Even though Graham's remarks are a far cry from a serious call to action on climate change, at least he isn't "debating about the science," which is more than most of the other candidates can say. As evidenced by Graham's comments, the most talked about issue by far in both debates wasn't even an issue. It was a person: Hillary Clinton. Many of the candidates gave obligatory swipes at President Obama, but every candidate made sure to take jabs at Clinton whenever possible. It took almost an hour into the 9 p.m. debate for anything eco-related to even come up.
When asked whether he would cut government funding for departments such as the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called the EPA's mandates unconstitutional without any explanation as to what he meant by that. Scott Walker embraced an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy and Jeb Bush made mention of the need to embrace the "energy revolution," which Slate describes as "a vaguely worded reference to the boom in natural gas and renewables." Bush also voiced his support for the Keystone XL pipeline, making sure to slam Clinton (of course) for not saying whether or not she supports it.
"Hillary Clinton can't even say she's for the Keystone XL pipeline after she's left [the State Department]," said Jeb Bush. "Give me a break. Of course we're for it." The rest of the main debate was full of standard Republican talking points: God, national security and illegal immigrants.
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1. Stay Informed<p>A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit <a href="https://www.ready.gov/be-informed" target="_blank">Ready.gov</a> to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning <a href="http://www.weather.gov/nwr/" target="_blank">NOAA Weather Radio</a> to your local emergency station or using the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app" target="_blank">FEMA app</a> to get National Weather Service alerts.</p>
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable<p><span>Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. </span><a href="https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Microchipping</a><span> your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.</span></p><p>Additionally, use <a href="https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">'animals inside' door/window stickers</a> to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)</p>
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan<p> "No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NRJkFKAm4" target="_blank">a video</a> produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.</p><p>It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.</p><p>Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.</p><p>For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/pets-in-evacuation-centers.html" target="_blank">tips on what to expect</a> there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.</p><p>Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.</p><p>If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.</p><p>For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that <a href="https://www.spcai.org/take-action/emergency-preparedness/evacuation-how-to-be-pet-prepared" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.)</p><p>For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.</p>
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit<p>Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:</p><ul><li>Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;</li><li>Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;</li><li>Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);</li><li>Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;</li><li>A <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/pet-first-aid-supplies-checklist" target="_blank">pet first aid kit</a>;</li><li>A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;</li><li>A favorite toy and/or blanket;</li><li>If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stress-relieving items</a> like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.</li></ul><p>In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:</p><ul><li>Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;</li><li>A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;</li><li>Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;</li><li>Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;</li><li>A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.</li></ul>
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time<p>It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.</p><p>As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pet disaster preparedness</a> will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."</p>
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals<p>The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.</p><p>Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.</p><p>For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/large-animals-and-livestock-disasters" target="_blank">more information</a>.</p>
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets<p>As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.</p>
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