Afternoon Coffee: Walmart Workers to Deliver Packages, Economic Effects of U.S. Climate Accord Withdrawal

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Walmart is seeking to cut costs on "last-mile" deliveries by asking its employees to deliver packages to customers' homes, the Washington Post reports. A Walmart spokesperson said that the employees will be paid for participation in the voluntary program but did not provide details on how those employees will be compensated for potential additional costs such as gas and car depreciation.

Last-mile delivery refers to moving goods from a transportation hub to its final destination, and it is generally the costliest leg of the trip.

The Twittersphere's Proustian Moment

Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement yesterday, after a military band set the mood with some jazz that reminded the Twittersphere of the violin music that accompanied Titanic’s demise. While the official withdrawal process takes up to four years, the economic effects of the decision may be felt sooner.

“One of the biggest risks will be the threat of possible retaliatory tariffs imposed by countries that believe they are being forced to bear an unfair share of the burden of tackling a global problem,” the Financial Times writes. The fossil fuel industry will not necessarily benefit, as policy does not have as big of an effect as market conditions.

Crude Oil Price Drops Below $50/Barrel

One immediate effect of the Trump administration's climate pact announcement has been falling oil prices, CNBC reports, due to expectations that the U.S. will worsen the current global oversupply of oil. The price of oil has been steadily going down since the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC)'s meeting last week, which resulted in an agreement to extend supply cuts that critics say were not enough.

And Speaking of Deliveries...

In what Quartz called "a win for sheer unhealthiness," McDonald's is expanding its delivery service to more than 3,500 restaurants in the U.S. Meanwhile, a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) confirms the U.S. as the most obese nation in the world, with 38.2% of the aged-15-and-over population clocking in as obese.

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