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He really did it. Last week, President Donald Trump officially pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The historic accord united nearly every country in the world to address the very real impacts of global warming. Only Syria (in the midst of a crippling civil war) and Nicaragua (which thought the agreement didn't go far enough) abstained. Now we can add the world's largest economy to that list.
But not all is lost. Cities, states and businesses across the country are joining the We Are Still In movement to send a message to the world that the United States doesn’t need the federal government to meet its Paris commitments. Michael Bloomberg has personally committed $15 million to the United Nations, which will cover the U.S.'s share of the climate accord's operating budget. And individual citizens are fired up in a way that the climate movement has never seen before. As AutoDesk Foundation president Lynette Cameron puts it in the op-ed below, Trump’s announcement may inadvertently be the best thing that ever happened to the planet.
There's reason to be hopeful, but there's also a lot of work to do -- especially for businesses. This week’s Reconsidered deep dives into the climate change debate and the ramifications from last week's announcement. Have you come across any other good articles or resources lately? Send me the links; I'd love to read them.
This Week's Five Links
What Is In the Paris Climate Agreement? — BBC
First things first, what is the Paris Agreement and why is it so dang important? This primer covers the basics. [Tweet this]
We Need to Literally Declare War on Climate Change — The New Republic
In this brilliant 2016 article, Bill McKibben draws parallels between the fight against climate change and World War II, arguing that we need to embrace a wartime mentality in order to make real progress. As in the 1940s, this mobilization effort could result in significant social and economic benefits, like creating jobs and driving innovation. [Tweet this]
How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science — The New York Times
A look at how the Republican party’s views on climate change have been influenced by the private sector over the past decade. Surprise, surprise: the fossil fuel industry and the Koch brothers are involved. [Tweet this]
Paris Agreement: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — HBO
Everyone's favorite ragey Brit skewers Trump for his decision to leave the Paris Agreement and fact-checks his withdrawal speech. [Tweet this]
Trump May Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to the Planet — CNBC
Lynette Cameron, president and CEO of the AutoDesk Foundation, was both “devastated” and “oddly ecstatic” about Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. "Trump's decision to bet against science and diplomacy is catalyzing the action, innovation and collaboration that is core to our American values," she writes. "Perhaps he will be remembered for the way his actions rallied each of us to take our future in our own hands." [Tweet this]
Spotlight: A Brief History of Climate Change
When someone tells you, “The climate is always changing,” show them this cartoon. (via Grist)