Weekend edition—Climate change and heatwaves, advice from a shark, suburban millennials

Good morning, Quartz readers!

The world is suffering from extreme weather.

Heatwaves have killed 50 in Canada and 80 in Japan, caused drought in Germany and Scandinavia, set record temperatures in Algeria, Morocco, and Oman, and left the UK looking brown from space. The heat has spurred wildfires that have claimed at least 80 lives in Greece, melted electrical wires in California, and forced Sweden to call for international help.

This is not normal.

Weather is a localized phenomenon to which long-term climate trends contribute. The more greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere, the warmer the climate gets and the more likely extreme weather events become. Climate change adds fuel to the fire.

The world’s five hottest years on record, in ranked order, were 2016, 2015, 2017, 2014, and 2010. “The sort of temperatures that are occurring now would’ve been a one-in-a-thousand occurrence in the 1950s,” Joanna Haigh, of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, told the BBC. “Now, they are about a one-in-10 occurrence.”

The trouble is, the average person still is unlikely to make the connection between climate change and weather events. Take the US, for example. Among the 127 segments run on its TV networks about heatwaves this summer, only one mentioned the connection between climate change and extreme heat, according to a study published by Media Matters.

Legacy radio and print did a slightly better job, but even those outlets struggled to ascertain how to mention climate change in the context of breaking-news events, such as the wildfires in Greece. Research was published July 27 from a group of scientists that looked at seven places across northern Europe and concluded climate change made heatwaves twice as likely; it was only the 12th story on the BBC News global homepage—underneath “LeBron James ‘regrets’ giving son his name.”

Not so long ago the image of a polar bear on a melting iceberg was the symbol of climate change. Though it evoked sympathy, it also reinforced the idea that the impacts of climate change are physically distant. Over the past few years, however, extreme weather events have brought the impact much closer to home and increased public understanding, according to a 2017 study. Recent polls back up the claim, with more and more acceptance of the link between human-caused climate change and the recent spate of weather-driven devastations.

Yet fear doesn’t motivate everyone. For some, the message is better delivered through finding common ground. Whatever the means, it’s important we connect the dots on climate change. We aren’t going to find the solution to humanity’s greatest challenge without acknowledging the problem and its sheer scale.—Akshat Rathi

Five things on Quartz we especially liked

Shark Week meets Shark Tank. Corinne Purtill hilariously channels her inner apex predator to give career advice from the perspective of a shark. As it turns out, the abilities that have allowed the species to achieve unparalleled longevity and dominate the oceanic food chain are also invaluable workplace skills.

Does the US have an inequality problem? Well, it’s complicated. Factually, the country does have a wealth gap, but, as Dan Kopf’s interview with Scott Winship shows, some smart people don’t see that as problematic. With thoughtful and thought-provoking answers, the conservative scholar explains why a lopsided income structure might be better for everyone.

Rich food. We have always been fascinated by the lifestyles of the ultra-wealthy, but recently the relationship has been changing. Beginning with a 1991 cookbook and ending with our current celebrity-obsessed culture, Annaliese Griffin examines when and where we stopped looking at the rich as a distant, unknowable breed and started trying to become them.

Experiencing India—from butt hoses to Burger King. Three weeks ago, we shared a story about the experiences of immigrants seeing the US for the first time. Providing the reciprocal view, this article from the staff across Quartz India compiles mostly westerners’ accounts of their first trips to India.

Can you love your dog and still eat meat? Ephrat Livni argues that feeling compassion and respect for the creatures around us doesn’t necessarily preclude eating meat. Whether we’re vegans or devout carnivores, our actions will sometimes have ramifications that cause harm to other living things. What’s important is interrogating our individual ethics and responsibilities.

Five things elsewhere that made us smarter

Was letting China into the WTO a mistake? In 2001, an upset Robert Lighthizer watched the country join the World Trade Organization. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Bob David counts the trillions of dollars and millions of jobs lost (paywall), while reminding us that Lighthizer is now America’s top trade negotiator as the US goes into a trade war with China.

Paying for parking. As ride-sharing technology, improving public transit, and shifting population demographics alter urban lifestyles, the physical makeup of cities is failing to adjust. In CityLab, Richard Florida studies the costs of parking lots and concludes that we devote far too many resources and spaces to the vestigial structures.

The woman who must solve Brexit. The New Yorker’s Sam Knight profiles British prime minister Theresa May, a natural thinker and reluctant speaker, in the midst of a some pretty undesirable circumstances (paywall). Knight also reveals a split in the way that Europeans and Brits think about politics—one that may come up again and again as we approach March 2019.

It’s all about #nofilter as you mow the lawn. Recent census data suggests that millennials, often stereotyped as city dwellers, are actually driving a suburban renaissance in the US. Lucia Graves of the Guardian consults experts and ex-urbanites alike on the causes and effects of the unseen migration—and what its different lifestyles have to offer.

A gun’s afterlife. Unwanted weapons in America are being sent to a surprising destination: the steel mill. In the New York Times, writer Tiffany Hsu and photographer Jenn Ackerman capture a fascinating reincarnation process (paywall) wherein eye-catching infernos and powerful machines transform guns into high-grade steel for use in mining, construction, and energy projects.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, recycled gun metals, and aquatic career wisdom to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day, or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Weekend Brief was written by David Wexner and edited by Kabir Chibber.