A new report says the U.S. might meet its Paris goal no matter what Trump says or does.

Here's some less-bad-than-it-could-be news for coral reefs, polar bears, and humans in coastal cities who don't want to drown.

It turns out that President Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Accord (you know, that giant agreement that 195 countries signed promising to reduce carbon emissions and limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius) might end up being kind of an empty gesture in the long run.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.


That's according to an analysis by Morgan Stanley, which found that the economic benefit of going all-in on renewable energy is becoming too large to ignore and the U.S. will most likely meet its goals under the agreement after all:

"By our forecasts, in most cases favorable renewables economics rather than government policy will be the primary driver of changes to utilities’ carbon emissions levels. For example, notwithstanding president Trump’s stated intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, we expect the US to exceed the Paris commitment of a 26-28% reduction in its 2005-level carbon emissions by 2020."

Basically, it doesn't matter that President Trump agrees with the terms of the Paris Accord or not. As long as building solar and wind plants is better for the bottom line than burning coal, oil, and natural gas, power companies in the U.S. (and around the world) will naturally gravitate toward those clean energy sources anyway.

The analysis predicts that renewables will be the "cheapest form of new power generation by 2020," Business Insider reports.

Solar panel prices fell 50% between 2016 and 2017 thanks to a global oversupply, and wind turbines continue to become more cost effective and efficient to build.

Workers install solar panels in D.C. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Does that mean we can kick back, crack open a beer, and enjoy the deliberate-yet-inevitable march of progress?

No. Climate change is still a huge deal.

Even hitting those Paris targets might not be enough to stop really bad things from happening. Didn't you read that New York Magazine article?

You didn't? Well, here's what the world could look like in a century or two, even if we do meet our Paris goals:

"Cities like Karachi and Kolkata will become close to uninhabitable, annually encountering deadly heat waves like those that crippled them in 2015. At four degrees, the deadly European heat wave of 2003, which killed as many as 2,000 people a day, will be a normal summer. At six, according to an assessment focused only on effects within the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer labor of any kind would become impossible in the lower Mississippi Valley, and everybody in the country east of the Rockies would be under more heat stress than anyone, anywhere, in the world today."

So ... like, call your senator.

What it does mean is that climate change deniers and skeptics have less power than they used to.

Regardless of how many of the rich and powerful refuse to believe the Earth is warming, as long as the price of clean energy keeps falling, the argument for burning more fossil fuels is weakening.

Meanwhile, 70% of Americans support the Paris Agreement.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Back in June, the Trump administration touted its withdrawal from the accord as good for American business.

By following the money, American business might just prove him wrong.

For once, thank goodness, that's what they're good at.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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Another week of 2021 in the books...and now we're fully into September. Holy moly, how did that happen? Pandemic time is so wild.

Another week means another chance for us to counter the doom-and-gloom headlines with some simple rays of sunshine. Need a reason to smile? Here are 10 of them.

Enjoy.

1. This story of quick-thinking generosity on 9/11 is a reminder of the goodness of ordinary people.

Mercedes Martinez shared a story on Twitter about how her dad rented the biggest van he could find just before his flight was grounded on 9/11 because he knew people were going to be stranded. He ended up driving seven scared strangers from Omaha to Denver, took them straight to their front doors, and refused to accept any payment. She wants to find the people he helped. Read the full story here and follow her thread here for updates.


2. A WWII veteran got to meet the girl who wrote him a letter in the third grade, which he's kept with him for 12 years.

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